Can Grandparents Get Custody?

March 13, 2013
Ron Shulman

Article written by Ron Shulman

In the vast majority of situations involving separation and divorce, custody of any children of the marriage will go to one or both of the parents.  But what about non-parents?  Can a person such as a grandparent or an extended family member obtain custody instead?

In the right circumstances, a custody application by a non-parent can be launched pursuant to the provisions of the Children’s Law Reform Act, which sets out the detailed requirements in connection with this kind of application.

The necessary information and documentation includes a police Record Check, as well as reports from every Children’s Aid Society for the areas in which the person who is making the application has lived.  Those reports indicate whether he or she has had prior involvement with CAS; if so, the information is naturally shared with the court hearing the application, and with the child’s parents and other interested parties.

Court staff will also search across all Ontario court record to determine whether the non-parent application has been involved in any previous family law cases; a judge may also direct that searches of the criminal law cases be undertaken as well.

As compared to custody granted to parents, custody applications by non-parents are relatively uncommon, but when they do occur they are subject to strict requirements.  Shulman Law Firm is a Toronto-area firm of experienced Family Lawyers who can provide practical advice and effective representation in connection with these types of proceedings. Contact us to set up a consultation.