Canadian Children's Rights Council
Conseil canadien des droits des enfants
Enforcement of Parenting Time Orders- Across Canada

Parenting Time Schedule Enforcement Laws

Enforcement of the relationship rights with parents - The laws that are supposed to protect children's right to a continued relationship with parents as designated in a separation agreement or when parents choose to live apart. - March 18, 1998

PROVINCE/STATUTE LEGISLATIVE PROVISION
Canada

Divorce Act, R.S.C.1985 (2nd Supp.), c.3.

- enforcement is within provincial and territorial jurisdiction.
Alberta

Provincial Court Amendment Act, 1997, Chapter 22, amends Provincial Court Act, R.S.A. 1980, cP-20.

-s. 32.1 (1)-(6) Deals with grandparents rights to access (see chart entitled "Extended Family Custody and Access"), and sub.s. (7) states: any person who contravenes a provision as to right of access in an order made under this section is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not more than $1000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 4 months.
Provincial Court Act, R.S.A. 1980, cP-20. -s. 32(8) Any person who contravenes a provision as to custody or right of access in an order made under this section is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not more than $1000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 4 months or to both fine and imprisonment.
British Columbia

Family Relations Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 121.

-128 (3) A person who, without lawful excuse, interferes with the custody of, or access to, a child in respect of whom an order for custody or access was made or is enforceable under this Act commits an offence. (5) An order, certified by a proper officer of the court that made the order, is proof of the order in a prosecution under this section.
Manitoba

The Family Maintenance Act, R.S.M. 1987, c. F.20 as amended.

-s. 11 In an application for custody of or access to a child under this or any other Act, a judge may, if he considers it necessary in the circumstances, by order authorize the applicant or someone on his behalf to locate and apprehend a child and section 9 of the Child Custody Enforcement Act applies with the necessary changes to the order. (N.b. s. 9 includes provisions on entry and search, and a peace officer's duty to act.). Otherwise, direct any person or public body to provide the court with such particulars of the address of the proposed respondent to the application as are contained in the records in the custody of the person or body and section 13 of the Child Custody Enforcement Act applies with the necessary changes to the order. (N.b. s. 13 deals with information as to address, and compliance with the order.)
Child Custody Enforcement Act, R.S.M. 1987, c. C360. -s. 14(1) Contempt of court orders will require a fine of no more than $500, or prison for no more than 6 months, or both.
New Brunswick

The Child and Family Services and Family Relations Act, S. N. B. 1980, c. C-2.1 re-titled Family Services Act, S.N.B. 1980, c. F-2.2, as amended by S.N. B. 1996, c. 13.

-s.130.7(1) In addition to his powers in respect of contempt, every judge of the Provincial Court may punish by fine or imprisonment, or both, any willful contempt of or resistance to the process or orders of the Court in respect of custody of or access to a child, but the fine shall not in any case exceed one thousand dollars nor shall the imprisonment exceed ninety days.
  -s. 130.7(2) An order for imprisonment under subsection (1) may be made conditional upon default in the performance of a condition set out in the order and may provide for the imprisonment to be served intermittently.

-s. 132.1(1) Where a court is satisfied upon application by a person in whose favour an order has been made for custody of or access to a child that there are reasonable and probable grounds for believing that any person is unlawfully withholding the child from the applicant, the court by order may authorize the applicant or someone on his behalf to apprehend the child for the purpose of giving effect to the rights of the applicant to custody or access, as the case may be.

-s. 132.1(2) Where a court is satisfied upon application that there are reasonable and probable grounds for believing (a) that any person is unlawfully withholding a child from a person entitled to custody of or access to the child, (b) that a person who is prohibited by court order or separation agreement from removing a child from the Province proposes to remove the child or have the child removed from the Province, or (c) that a person who is entitled to access to a child proposes to remove the child or to have the child removed from the Province and that the child is not likely to return, the court by order may direct any or all police officers having jurisdiction in an area where it appears to the court that the child may be, to locate, take charge of and deliver the child to the person named in the order.

-s. 132.1(3) An order may be made under subsection (1) or (2) upon an application without notice where the court is satisfied that it is necessary that action be taken without delay.

-s. 132.1(4) Any police officer directed to act by an order under subsection (2) shall do all things reasonably able to be done to locate, take charge of and deliver the child in accordance with the order.

-s. 132.1(5) For the purpose of locating and taking charge of a child in accordance with an order under subsection (2), a police officer may enter and search any place where he has reasonable and probable grounds for believing that the child may be with such assistance and such force as are reasonable in the circumstances.

Newfoundland

Children's Law Act, R.S.N. 1990, c. C-13, as amended by S.N. 1995, c. 27.

-s. 41(2) Where the court is satisfied that access is being wrongfully denied to the applicant, the court may order a) the respondent to give the applicant compensatory access to the child for a period agreed on by the parties, or where the parties do not agree for a period that the court considers appropriate. b) supervision under section 40, c) the respondent to reimburse the applicant for reasonable expenses actually incurred as a result of the wrongful denial of access, or d) the appointment of a mediator in accordance with section 37.

-s. 41(3) Compensatory access shall not be longer than the access that was wrongfully denied.

-s. 41(6) Where the court is satisfied that the respondent without reasonable notice and excuse, failed to exercise the right to access or did not return the child as the order requires, the court may order a) supervision under section 40, b) the respondent to reimburse the applicant for reasonable expenses actually incurred as a result of the failure to exercise the right to access or to return of the child as the order requires; and c) the appointment of a mediator in accordance with section 37.

-s. 43 (1) Where a court is satisfied upon application by a person in whose favour an order has been made for custody of or access to a child that there are reasonable grounds for believing that a person is unlawfully withholding the child from the applicant the court by order may authorize the applicant or someone on the applicant's behalf to apprehend the child for the purpose of giving effect to the rights of the applicant to custody or access. (Note: s.43(2) the court by order may direct a peace officer to locate, apprehend and deliver the child to the person named in the order; and, s. 45 the court may also make an order to prevent the removal of the child from the jurisdiction.)

-s.46 in addition to its powers in respect of contempt, a Provincial Court judge may punish by fine or imprisonment, or both, a willful breach of or resistance to its process or orders in respect of custody or access to a child, but the fine shall not exceed $1000 nor shall the imprisonment exceed 90 days.

-s. 41(4) a denial of access is not wrongful where a) the respondent believes on reasonable grounds that the child will suffer physical or emotional harm if access is exercised; b) the respondent believes on reasonable grounds that he or she might suffer physical harm if access is exercised; c) the respondent believes on reasonable grounds that the applicant is impaired by alcohol or a drug at the time of access; d) the applicant fails to present himself or herself to exercise the right of access within one hour of the time specified in the order or a time otherwise agreed on by the parties; e) the respondent believes on reasonable grounds that the child is suffering from an illness of such a nature that it is not appropriate to allow access to be exercised; f) the applicant does not satisfy written conditions that were agreed upon by the parties or that are part of the order for access; g) on numerous occasions during the preceding 12 months the applicant had, without reasonable notice and excuse failed to exercise the right of access; h) the applicant had informed the respondent that he or she would not seek to exercise the right of access on the occasion in question; or i) the court thinks that the withholding of access is, in the circumstances justified.

Northwest Territories

Domestic Relations Act, R.S.N.W.T. 1988, c. D-8

-s.30(1) a person in whose favour an order has been made for access to a child at specific times or on specific days, and who claims that a person in whose favour an order has been made for custody of the child has wrongfully denied him or her access to the child, may make an application for relief under subsection (2) to the court that made the access order.

(2) Where the court is satisfied that the party against whom the application is brought wrongfully denied the applicant access to the child, the court may make such order as it considers appropriate, including any one or Read More .. the following orders: a) requiring the respondent to give the applicant compensatory access to the child for the period agreed to by the parties or, if the parties do not agree, for the period the court considers appropriate; b) giving directions for the supervision of custody or access under section 23; requiring the respondent to reimburse the applicant for any reasonable expenses actually incurred as a result of the wrongful denial of access; d) appointing a mediator in accordance with section 71 as if the application were an application for access. (3) a person in whose favour an order has been made for custody of a child, and who claims that a person in whose favour an order has been made for access to the child has, without reasonable notice and excuse, failed to exercise access or to return the child as the order requires, may make an application for relief under subsection (4) to the court that made the access order. (4) Where the court is satisfied that the party against whom the application is brought, without reasonable notice and excuse, failed to exercise access or to return the child as the order required, the court may make such order as it considers appropriate, including any one or Read More .. the following orders: a) giving directions for the supervision of custody or access under section 23; requiring the respondent to reimburse the applicant for any reasonable expenses actually incurred as a result of the failure to exercise access or to return the child as the order requires; c) appointing a mediator in accordance with section 71 as if the application were an application for access; d) requiring the respondent to provide his or her address and telephone number to the applicant.

Nova Scotia

Family Maintenance Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 160.

-s. 421(c) Empowers the courts to fine, imprison or otherwise sanction flagrant violators of the courts' orders.
Ontario

Children's Law Reform Act, R.S. O. 1990, c. C.12.

-s.36. (1) Where a court is satisfied upon application by a person in whose favour an order has been made for custody of or access to a child that there are reasonable and probable grounds for believing that any person is unlawfully withholding the child from the applicant, the court by order

may authorize the applicant or someone on his or her behalf to apprehend the child for the purpose of giving effect to the rights of the applicant to custody or access, as the case may be.

(2) Where a court is satisfied upon application that there are reasonable and probable grounds for believing, (a) that any person is unlawfully withholding a child from a person entitled to custody of or access to the child; (b) that a person who is prohibited by court order or separation agreement from removing a child from Ontario proposes to remove the child or have the child removed from Ontario; or

(c) that a person who is entitled to access to a child proposes to remove the child or to have the child removed from Ontario and that the child is not likely to return, the court by order may direct a police force, having jurisdiction in any area where it appears to the court that the child may be, to locate, apprehend and deliver the child to the person named in the order. (3) An order may be made under subsection (2) upon an application without notice where the court is satisfied that it is necessary that action be taken without delay.

-s. 38. (1) In addition to its powers in respect of contempt, the Ontario Court (Provincial Division) may punish by fine or imprisonment, or both, any willful contempt of or resistance to its process or orders in respect of custody of or access to a child, but the fine shall not in any case exceed $5,000 nor shall the imprisonment exceed ninety days.

(2) An order for imprisonment under subsection (1) may be made conditional upon default in the performance of a condition set out in the order and may provide for the imprisonment to be served intermittently.

-s. 39. (1) Where, upon application to a court, it appears to the court that, (a) for the purpose of bringing an application in respect of custody or access under this Part; or (b) for the purpose of the enforcement of an order for custody or access, the proposed applicant or person in whose favour the order is made has need to learn or confirm the whereabouts of the proposed respondent or person against whom the order referred to in clause (b) is made, the court may order any person or public body to provide the court with such particulars of the address of the proposed respondent or person against whom the order referred to in clause (b) is made as are contained in the records in the custody of the person or body, and the person or body shall give the court such particulars as are contained in the records and the court may then give the particulars to such person or persons as the court considers appropriate.

(2) A court shall not make an order on an application under subsection (1) where it appears to the court that the purpose of the application is to enable the applicant to identify or to obtain particulars as to the identity of a person who has custody of a child, rather than to learn or confirm the whereabouts of the proposed respondent or the enforcement of an order for custody or access.

Prince Edward Island

Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, R.S. P.E. I. 1988, c. C-33.

 

-s. 20 Empowers the court to make an order restraining any person from molesting, annoying or harassing the applicant and/or child in the lawful custody of the applicant. Gives the court ancillary powers such as ordering a person to enter into a recognizance, report to the court or other named official, and/or deliver up such documents as the court thinks fit.
Quebec

Civil Code of Quebec, S.Q. 1991, c. 64.

-Art. 49 The courts or judges may condemn any person who is guilty of contempt of court.

-Art. 50 Anyone is guilty of contempt of court who disobeys any process or order of the court or of a judge thereof, or who acts in such a way as to interfere with the orderly administration of justice, or to impair the authority or dignity of the court...

-Art. 51 Except where otherwise provided, anyone who is guilty of contempt of court is liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year. Imprisonment for refusal to obey any process or order may be repeatedly inflicted until the person condemned obeys.

-Art. 52 Anyone who is guilty of contempt of court in the presence of the judge in the exercise of his functions may be condemned at once, provided that he has been called upon to justify his behaviour.

-Art. 53 No one may be condemned for contempt of court committed out of the presence of the judge, unless he has been served with a special rule ordering him to appear before the court, on the day and at the hour fixed, to hear proof of the acts with which he is charged and to urge any grounds of defence that he may have. The judge may issue the rule ex officio or on application. Service of this rule is not required; it may be presented before a judge of the district where the contempt was committed. The rule must be served personally, unless for valid reasons another mode of service is authorized by the judge.

-Art. 53.1 The proof submitted to establish contempt of court must leave no possibility of reasonable doubt. The respondent may not be compelled to testify.

-Art. 54 Judgment is rendered after summary hearing; if it contains a condemnation it must state the punishment imposed and set forth the facts upon which it is based, and in such case it shall be executed in accordance with Chapter XIII of the Code of Penal Procedure (R.S.Q., chapter C-25.1).

Saskatchewan

-Children's Law Act, S.S. 1990, c. C-8.1.

-s. 17 deals with the enforcement of custody orders. s. 17(2) states that a court may refuse to enforce the custody order and may make any other order for the custody of or access to the child that it considers necessary.

-s. 18 where the court orders return of the child, the court may make any interim order with respect to custody or access in the best interest of the child.

-s. 23 allows for an order restraining any harassment by either parent.

-s. 24 sanctions the unlawful withholding of a child from the person entitled to custody or access.

-s. 26(1) Where a court, on application is satisfied that a person entitled to access to a child pursuant to an order or agreement has been wrongfully denied access to the child by the respondent and is of the opinion that it is in the best interests of the child, the court may, by order, direct that all or any combination of the following be done: a) required the respondent to give the applicant compensatory access to the child for the period: i) agreed to by the parties; or ii) that the court considers appropriate if the parties do not agree; b) require supervision of the access in any manner that the court considers appropriate; c) require the respondent to give security for the performance of the obligation to give the applicant access to the child; d) appoint a mediator pursuant to section 10 to assist the applicant and the respondent in resolving the issue; e) make or vary a custody order or access order. (2) Where a court, on application, is satisfied that a person entitled to access to a child pursuant to an order or agreement has wrongfully failed to exercise the right of access or to return the child as the order or agreement requires, and is of the opinion that it is in the best interests of the child, the court may, by order, direct that all or any combination of the following be done: a) require supervision of the access in any manner that the court considers appropriate: b) require the respondent to give security for the performance of the obligation to: i) exercise the right of access; or ii) return the child as the order or agreement requires; c) appoint a mediator pursuant to section 10 to assist the applicant and respondent in resolving the issue: d) require the respondent to provide the respondent's address and telephone number to the applicant; e) make or vary a custody order or an access order.

-s.29 the court has the power, in addition to any other remedy, to find the parent in violation of the order, in contempt of court and he or she is fined, imprisoned or both.

Yukon

Children's Act, R.S.Y. 1986, c. 22.

-s.35 Where an order is made for custody of or access to a child, the court may give such directions as it considers appropriate for the supervision of the custody or access by a person who has consented so to act.