Reciprocal Enforcement
of Custody Orders Act




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An Act Respecting the Reciprocal
Enforcement of Custody Orders

Short title

1 This Act may be cited as the Reciprocal Enforcement of Custody Orders Act. R.S., c. 387, s. 1.


2 In this Act,

(a) "child" means a person under the age of eighteen years;

(b) "court" means a court in the Province having authority to grant custody of a child;

(c) "custody order" means an order, or that part of an order, of a tribunal that grants custody of a child to any person including provisions, if any, granting another person a right of access or visitation to the child;

(d) "reciprocating state" means a territorial legal unit in Canada or outside Canada that is declared by the Governor in Council as such for the purposes of this Act;

(e) "tribunal" means the court which made the original custody order. R.S., c. 387, s. 2.

Enforcement of custody order of reciprocating state

3 A court, upon application, shall enforce, and may make such orders as it considers necessary to give effect to, a custody order made by a tribunal in a reciprocating state. R.S., c. 387, s. 3.

Variation of order

4 (1) Notwithstanding Section 3, where a court is satisfied that a child would suffer serious harm if the child remained in or was restored to the person named in a custody order, the court may vary the custody order or make such other order for the custody of the child as it considers necessary.

Considerations in varying order

(2) In varying a custody order or making another order pursuant to subsection (1), the court shall

(a) give first consideration to the welfare of the child regardless of the wishes or interests of any person seeking or opposing the variation or other order; and

(b) treat the question of custody as of paramount importance and the question of access or visitation as of secondary importance. R.S., c. 387, s. 4.

Requirements of application for enforcement

5 An application under this Act shall be accompanied by a copy of the custody order to which the application relates, certified by the proper officer of the court to be a true copy, and no proof is required of the signature or appointment of the proper officer. R.S., c. 387, s. 5.

Practice and procedure

6 (1) The Governor in Council may make rules respecting the practice and procedure in proceedings under this Act.

Order to declare reciprocating state

(2) Where the Governor in Council is satisfied that reciprocal provisions will be made by a territorial legal unit in or outside Canada for the enforcement therein of custody orders made in the Province, he may by order declare it to be a reciprocating state for the purpose of this Act.

Revocation of order to declare reciprocating state

(3) The Governor in Council may revoke any order made pursuant to subsection (2), and thereupon the territorial legal unit with respect to which the order was made ceases to be a reciprocating state for the purposes of this Act.

Regulations Act

(4) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority conferred by this Section shall be regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act. R.S., c. 387, s. 6.

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