When a custody case is being filed, one of the first considerations is finding the appropriate jurisdiction. Even if a child has recently relocated to British Columbia with his or her parent or parents, if the move has been recent, the appropriate jurisdiction to hear the matter may be the child’s former province of residence.
A court outside of British Columbia having jurisdiction over a child custody case is termed the extraprovincial tribunal. British Columbia courts will also respect parenting arrangements and child custody orders that have been issued in other provinces or countries, provided that those orders were issued by a court having jurisdiction and that both parents had notice and an opportunity to be heard.
In the event more than one province may have jurisdiction to hear a child custody and parenting-time case, a court in British Columbia may still hear the case if the child is a resident of British Columbia at the time the application is made. The British Columbia court may also hear the case if the court finds that the child is present in British Columbia at the time of the application even if the child does not typically reside there. There must also be substantial evidence existing in BC in regards to the best interests of the child and a case must not have already been filed in an extraprovincial court.
Jurisdictional issues sometimes arise in child custody cases depending on the living arrangements of the child and the parents. When people are unclear about which jurisdiction is the appropriate for their case, they may want to speak with a family law lawyer. A lawyer may be more familiar with how jurisdiction is established for child custody and parenting arrangement cases. The lawyer may then help file the petition in the appropriate court.
Laughlin & Company Lawyers Mediators
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