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.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER (in French)!
Note that the Curateur public will never ask for personal or confidential information in its newsletters.
Whether custody of the minor is awarded to the mother, the father or some other person, the parents retain the right and the obligation to ensure the child’s maintenance and education in a manner appropriate to their financial position.
In addition to the obligations of legal tutorship, parents have specific obligations to their minor child under the Civil Code of Québec.
A child is under the authority of their mother and father. This is known as parental authority. Broadly speaking, parental authority may be defined as all the rights, duties and obligations of the mother and father as regards looking after their minor child’s material, psychological, moral, intellectual and physical needs.
Among the responsibilities stemming from this authority, parents have obligations of support and maintenance to their child. The obligation of support covers not only food but also clothing, accommodation, education, personal or health care, transportation, recreation, etc.
If the parents do not perform their duties as legal tutors properly, the court assigns tutorship to someone else. Regardless of whether the mother and father retain parental authority, they continue to have an obligation of support to the child. The dative tutor to the property or the suppletive tutor who replaces the parents must ask them to contribute to the minor’s expenses if they can afford to do so.
If the parents have steady jobs or other sources of income, they must fulfil the obligations of parental authority free of charge, drawing as little as possible on the minor’s patrimony.
However, if the child’s patrimony comes from a monthly death benefit paid by a public agency, these funds may be used to cover the child’s needs. The same thing goes for a death benefit paid by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) to a dependant.
In exceptional circumstances (death of mother or father, parents short of money, disabled child, etc.), it is possible to override this obligation; the child’s best interests must always be taken into account. With the tutorship council’s approval, it is possible to make exceptional use of the patrimony to cover expenses related to the minor’s education, health or job integration.
When the child’s assets are not used to pay for the needs of the mother and father, and remain in the child’s name, and the parents receive social assistance or social solidarity programs benefits, the parents continue to be legally entitled to receive these benefits.
Under the Civil Code of Québec, the support obligation between parents and child works both ways, even if the child is a minor. If the parents are short of money and the child has substantial assets, the court may rule that the child should assume this obligation. (Article 585 of the Civil code .)
In this case, under exceptional circumstances, the child may be called upon to:
If the amounts or assets administered since the beginning of the tutorship exceed $25,000, the parents must: