Law to better protect
Find out more about the changes that will have a direct impact on the lives of thousands of vulnerable people and their loved ones.
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The parents are automatically and jointly the child’s legal tutors. They have to represent the child in exercising the child’s rights.
Monitoring of the tutorship
If the value of the child’s property exceeds $25,000, the parents have to report on their administration to a tutorship council and the Curateur public.
They must also protect the child’s property by administering it prudently, diligently, honestly and loyally, in order to remit it to the child when they attain majority or are emancipated.
No legal formalities are required to assume legal tutorship.
By virtue of their parental authority, the parents also have other obligations; these concern protection of the child’s person. They are responsible for caring for and maintaining the child, giving them any necessary treatment, supervising them and educating them. They must fulfil these obligations using their own income, in a manner appropriate to their standard of living.
Regardless of whether one parent obtains custody, custody is shared between the two, or someone else is awarded custody of the child, the mother and father continue to remain joint legal tutors to their child. They retain their parental authority and the obligation to ensure the child’s maintenance and education; they must contribute to this financially, unless a court judgment decrees otherwise. This is known as deprivation of parental authority. Deprivation of parental authority leads to the immediate loss of tutorship, whereas deprivation of certain attributes of parental authority (or the exercise thereof) leads to the loss of tutorship only if the court so decides.
If both the father and the mother are unable to act as legal tutor, a suppletive tutor could be appointed.
Parental authority covers all the responsibilities and obligations of tutorship to the person in the case of a dative tutorship (i.e. a tutorship exercised by someone other than the mother or father).
If one of the parents dies, the other parent assumes legal tutorship alone. The same applies if either parent becomes incapacitated or is deprived of parental authority by the court. (However, in both these two cases, the obligation of support continues.)
If one or both parents is unable to fully exercise their role as legal tutor and person having parental authority, the parent(s) may delegate or share their responsibilities with a suppletive tutor, who will be appointed by the court.
If both parents die or become unable to look after the child, a dative tutorship may be set up. There are three possible situations:
The person appointed by the parent who was the last to die or become incapacitated will exercise tutorship. This person must also inform the Curateur public accordingly.
If both parents die or become incapacitated at the same time (e.g. in a road accident) and had chosen different tutors, the court decides which person should exercise tutorship.
In this case, a meeting of family members or, if there are none, of friends, is called. The meeting appoints a tutorship council. On the recommendation of the council, the court appoints a tutor.
If the property is worth $25,000 or less, the Director of Youth Protection acts as both tutor to the person and tutor to the property.
There may be nobody in the Child’s circle who can act as tutor. In this case, the Director of Youth Protection at a Centre de jeunesse du Québec will act as tutor to the person or recommend someone to take care of the child. The Curateur public acts as tutor to the propert, if the child’s assets are worth over $25,000.
Loss of tutorship or parental authority may be temporary. The court may restore the parents’ rights at any time if circumstances justify doing so.
Various situations may arise: