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Children's Law Reform Act , section: 20

Family Law, Father and mother entitled to custody

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Part, the father and the mother of a child are equally entitled to custody of the child. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 20 (1).

Rights and responsibilities (2) A person entitled to custody of a child has the rights and responsibilities of a parent in respect of the person of the child and must exercise those rights and responsibilities in the best interests of the child. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 20 (2).

Authority to act (3) Where more than one person is entitled to custody of a child, any one of them may exercise the rights and accept the responsibilities of a parent on behalf of them in respect of the child. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 20 (3).

Where parents separate (4) Where the parents of a child live separate and apart and the child lives with one of them with the consent, implied consent or acquiescence of the other of them, the right of the other to exercise the entitlement of custody and the incidents of custody, but not the entitlement to access, is suspended until a separation agreement or order otherwise provides. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 20 (4).

Note: On a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, section 20 is amended by section 77 by adding the following subsection:

Duty of separated parents (4a) Where the parents of a child live separate and apart and the child is in the custody of one of them and the other is entitled to access under the terms of a separation agreement or order, each shall, in the best interests of the child, encourage and support the child’s continuing parent-child relationship with the other. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 77. See: R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, ss. 77, 85.

Access (5) The entitlement to access to a child includes the right to visit with and be visited by the child and the same right as a parent to make inquiries and to be given information as to the health, education and welfare of the child. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 20 (5).

Marriage of child (6) The entitlement to custody of or access to a child terminates on the marriage of the child. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 20 (6). Entitlement subject to agreement or order

(7) Any entitlement to custody or access or incidents of custody under this section is subject to alteration by an order of the court or by separation agreement. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 20 (7).

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