REPRESENTATION OF CHILDREN

Every court decision concerning a child is to be taken in light of that child’s interest and in respect of their rights.  Some factors taken into account include the child’s age, medical issues, family environment, personality, intellectual, physical and emotional needs.

When a child’s interests are at stake, that child has the right to be heard by the court if their age and maturity level allow for it.

Under Quebec law, it is possible to have an attorney appointed to represent a minor child, if the court determines that it is in the child’s best interest to do so, and that the child is of sufficient maturity.

Although there is no minimal age requirement for an attorney to be appointed, generally children who are in the vicinity of 10 years or older are considered to be of an appropriate age to mandate an attorney.

Should an attorney be appointed by the court to represent a child, it is the role of that attorney to speak on the child’s behalf.  The attorney for the child will make representations to the judge that indicate the child’s opinions and beliefs.

It is important to note that in Quebec, it is not the role of the child’s attorney to make recommendations to the court on what is best for the child, or act as an advisor to the court.

The mandate of the child’s attorney, as established by jurisprudence in Quebec,  is strictly to tell the court that which the child would express if they were speaking to the judge.

The above is intended to provide general information and is not to be taken as legal advice for a particular situation.  If you require a legal opinion, please contact an attorney.