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Can custody of a child be granted to a third party?


Family law

Monica and Robert have been taking care of their granddaughter since she was born.  She is now 4 years old.

Monica and Robert are the maternal grandparents of the minor child. The minor child has an undeclared father on the birth certificate.

The biological mother is in and out of the child’s life. However, she has left to her parents the responsibility of taking care of her child, both in the physical aspects as well as in the monetary aspects.

Monica and Robert would like to know how they can facilitate their daily lives with the minor child, seeing that they are not the biological parents and it can be difficult to make certain day-to-day decisions, as well as to travel with the child.

The law provides that a third party can ask the court to obtain the legal custody of a minor child if this decision is in the minor child’s best interest.

In the case of Monica and Robert, seeing that they have been the primary caregivers to the minor child since her birth, the court will take this into consideration when considering their motion for custody.

In the present case, Monica and Robert can also discuss with their daughter if she agrees that custody of her daughter be given to her parents.  If so, the parties can prepare an agreement stipulating that the grandparents will have custody of the minor child.

The fact that Monica and Robert would have custody of the minor child does not automatically remove their daughter’s parental authority, vis-à-vis the minor child.

In fact, the grandparents as well as the biological mother will need to take important decisions regarding the child together.

These decisions can be medical, religious, and educational.

However, an agreement can also provide that the grandparents can make the necessary, day-to-day decisions without the authorization of the mother, such as registration for daycare, registration for extracurricular activities and registration for school.

The grandparents would need to advise the biological mother of their decisions in order that she be kept informed of the progress of her daughter.

All decisions related to the minor child are taken in the best interest of the child and the judge will consider the child’s well-being when issuing a decision.  


Gianina Fuschini, Attorney-at-Law
Alepin Gauthier Avocats inc.

This text contains legal information of a general nature and should not replace legal advice with a lawyer or notary who will take into account the particularities of your situation.


Can custody of a child be granted to a third party?
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