Child Custody and Divorce: 3 Steps to Follow When Moving

Understanding the Law

According to the latest data, one third of children in Quebec will live with a stepparent at some point in their lives. Here are 3 steps to follow before going forward with a move that could affect child custody.

Analyze the impact of the move

During the divorce, decisions were made regarding custody of your children. These decisions are written down in your divorce judgment. Whether you’re relocating for work or for personal reasons, you must refer to this judgment and consider if your move will have an impact on parenting time with your children.


Since March 1, 2021, the Divorce Act no longer uses the terms “custody” and “access”. The law now uses the term “parenting time” to describe a divorced parent’s relationship with a child of the marriage.

For more information, read our article Divorce: What Is “Parenting Time” and What to Do When Moving.

Give a notice in writing

A divorced parent who shares parenting time and wants to move must send a written notice to the other parent. This notice is required even if the relocation is within the same city or a neighboring city. It must mention the date of the move and the address of the new place of residence.

In some situations, you must use a form called a “Notice of Relocation”. This is the case if your relocation will seriously affect the other parent’s ability to continue seeing their children. In this notice, you must propose a new parenting time arrangement. This notice must be sent at least 60 days before the move.

Responding to an objection

The parent who receives a Notice of Relocation has 30 days to object to the proposed relocation of their children. In such a case, they must send an “Objection to Relocation”. This notice is notably used to give their opinion regarding the proposal for changes to parenting time arrangement.

If the other parent objects, you must be authorized by the court to move. The court will consider several criteria to make its decision. For example, it will consider the reason for your relocation and the impact on your children.

Did you know? You can get some hours of free family mediation to modify a judgment that establishes your parenting time with your children.