Parental authority

Parental authority covers all the rights and duties parents have towards their children, for example with respect to:

  • the child's custody and education;
  • the child's needs;
  • the decisions needed to ensure the child's well-being.

Parental authority following a separation

If you and your spouse separate, you will both continue to have parental authority over your child, even if one of you has sole custody. As a result, you are both entitled to:

  • see the child's report card;
  • attend parent/teacher meetings;
  • obtain information about the medical care the child is receiving.

If your former spouse has sole custody of your child, he or she may decide where the child will live, but must consult you about any important decision concerning the child. For example, the following decisions must be made by both parents:


  • registering the child at a private or public school;
  • choosing the child's religion;
  • consenting to health care for the child;
  • starting certain forms of medical treatment, such as orthodontics.

If the parents cannot agree, either parent may:

  • apply to the court to settle the dispute;
  • ask a family mediator to help resolve the dispute.

End of parental authority

Your parental authority ends when:

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