Law Column

October 2010 Law Column


Can a 14-year-old petition the court to change a custody agreement?

Etienne Ruel, lawyer

In a recent case, the Honourable Yvan Godin, S.C.J., had to rule on a petition filed by a 14-year-old seeking to modify his parents’ custody agreement. The teenager asked to be placed in the sole custody of his mother instead of the shared custody he had been in for the past three years.


The teenager’s mother chose not to petition the Court for sole custody in order to avoid allegations of parental alienation, and the child therefore testified in court and requested the change himself.


The law and caselaw stipulate that a minor must be represented by his/her guardian when exercising his/her access rights. Only in exceptional cases are minors authorized to seek remedy themselves.


The Court interviewed the teenager and concluded that he possessed a certain intellectual maturity, clearly understood the consequences of his legal action and demonstrated the ability to make his own decisions, since he had met with his lawyer four times and consistently expressed his wish to modify the agreement.


In light of the evidence that was presented and the singular nature of the case, the Court authorized the teenager to seek recourse himself to assert his rights and ask that custody be awarded to his mother. The Court was of the opinion that it was in the teenager’s interest to allow him to seek recourse, seeing as he was directly impacted by the custody agreement.

The decision was certainly an exceptional one. We are convinced, however, that it will become a judicial precedent for all family law practitioners who, to ensure that their clients are not falsely accused of urging their children to live with them, will now recommend that minors initiate proceedings to realize their interests.


LAW COLUMN 09/2015

Condo life, building bylaws and the limits of individual freedoms

There are many advantages to living in a condominium: the proximity of shops and services, shared common areas such as a pool or terrace and the little upkeep required as compared to a single-family home.


Rental property owners: Your tenant's illegal activities could lead to the seizure of your building

The government recently seized a rental property that was being used for drug trafficking. In Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (hereinafter, “DPCP”) v. Rogers 2015 QCCQ 3321, a building was seized from its owner under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (hereinafter, “Act”).


Employees and work injuries: Employers must comply with their duty to accommodate under the Québec Charter

On July 15, the Court of Appeal of Québec rendered an important ruling on the obligation of the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (hereinafter, “CSST”) and the Commission des lésions professionnelles (hereinafter, “CLP”) to evaluate an employer's duty to accommodate within the context of an employee's right to return to work under the Québec Charter. (CSST c. Caron, 2015 QCCA 1048 (C.A.))




June 2015

Regroupement des gens d'affaires de Boisbriand gala

On May 1st, André Morin, Étienne-Louis Morin, Jean-Philippe Desabrais and I attended the gala held by the Regroupement des gens d'affaires de Boisbriand (RGAB). We are proud to announce that Prévost Fortin d'Aoust earned the Création ou maintien d'emploi sur le territoire de la ville de Boisbriand award in recognition of the firm's efforts to create and maintain employment in Boisbriand. An honourable mention went to our fourth-floor neighbour Univesta, which was the runner-up in the category.


May 2015

The PFD team runs for good causes

On May 3rd, the PFD team took part in the 13th annual Défi course et marche Desjardins organized by the Club Lions de Sainte-Thérèse. Seventy participants from PFD and their family members ran the 1-, 2-, 5- and 10-km races to raise funds for local organizations that provide support to those in need.


May 2015

The PFD team is growing!

We are very pleased to announce that Me Marc-André Nadon will join the Litigation team at our office in Boisbriand on May 25th. We wish him a warm welcome!


All the news...


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