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Unmarried Fathers Rights in Canada

Unmarried Fathers Rights in Canada

Unmarried fathers rights in Canada! So many people are searching for the answer of this question. In this article, you will learn more about this.

Unmarried Fathers Rights in Canada

Having children without being married is quite a common thing in many societies. Canada is no different. The country legalizes being unmarried and living together as a legal couple. Just like this, the illegitimate child rights in Canada are also robust and precise. Both the father and mother of the child are equally important in the child’s life.

As a result, the legal system of the country recognizes both parents similarly and provides equal rights. In this article, we will know about unmarried fathers’ rights in Canada.

Can a Mother Keep the Child Away From the Father in Canada?

Like any other country, single mother rights in Canada are significantly valued. Anyone would think that a mother is more important than a father. If the parents are separated even without marriage, what happens to the child?

When there is joint or sole custody, the main question arises whether the mother can move far away from the father with the child. The Supreme Court of Canada is remarkably fair in such matters. A mother cannot just move away from the father without the consent of the father. Even if the mother has sole custody of the child, the father must have prior knowledge and say.

In addition to this, no provincial court would allow the mother to keep the child away from the father if there is no logical reason that ensures the child’s well-being. Nevertheless, things can still be relatively easy when the mother has sole custody. The mother may still be allowed to keep the child away as she is solely responsible for the child’s well-being. The problem arises when both the father and the mother have joint custody of the child.

In such scenarios, it can be costly to fight for the father’s rights in court. Instead, the court provided a testing system.

If a father opposes the child’s move, he must establish valuable proof that the change may negatively affect the child. For instance, the new area may have a higher crime rate. Even if the mother keeps the child away without the father’s consent, the father can still prove to the court that the child may never have access to the other parent, which can harm the child’s lifestyle.

Do Unmarried Fathers Have the Same Rights as Married Fathers?

The answer to this question can be a bit tricky. When two people raise their own child outside the sanctity of legal marriage, things are not so complicated. At least legally, it is simple, and the family can go by their lives usually. However, a significant problem arises when the parents find themselves in dismay and decide to get separated. It is almost a common practice everywhere that the mother will always be the first guardian of the child. This is the case regardless of a wedded or unwed mother.

On the other hand, fathers do not always have the same privilege. An unwed father will not have the same legal right as a married father. In the time of separation, the mother will get custody. The unwed father must prove paternity before claiming custody of his child. If the paternity cannot be proven, he will have no right to say anything over his child’s life. Furthermore, this also includes paying child support. If an unwed father cannot prove paternity, he will not have to pay any child support.

Therefore, a father can terminate paternity over his child to avoid paying child support. It suggests that unmarried fathers are not legally bound to pay any support during separation like married fathers.

Does A Father Have Rights to His Child If Not Married?

Becoming a father is probably one of the most joyous moments of life. However, you may not be legally lucky as a legally wedded father if you are not married to the child’s mother. It is because unwed fathers’ rights are not recognized until and unless the person can prove paternity.

The Importance of Establishing Paternity

The term “Paternity” means to prove that you are the biological father of the child. It is a necessity when the parents of the child are not married. Therefore, before you can enjoy your right over the child as a father, you will have to prove your child’s paternity. Until you verify your paternity, you do not have any right over the child. Now, what kind of rights can you explore over the child if you prove your paternity? The most crucial right is the right to custody.

It is the key when you and the mother of the child are going through separation without marriage. Once you prove your paternity, you can claim legal custody of the child. It will give you the inherent benefit of raising your bloodline.

It can be emotionally beneficial for some fathers to keep their child with him after a tiresome separation. You can even claim child support and government benefits by raising a child on your own as a father.

02 Ways to Establish Paternity

There are 2 best ways to establish your paternity over the child. The first one is known as Recognition of Parentage (ROP). It is an informal way of establishing paternity. It is an inexpensive and quick way to complete the process. The only thing required is the consent of the mother.

However, you will need to manage a signed document from the mother’s husband (if she is married to someone else) on a form called “Spouse’s Non-Parentage Statement.”

The other option is a much formal one. It is called the Paternity Adjudication Court Order. Instead of having an agreement of both the parents, it is focused on court actions. The mother is provided with a limited time to prove that the father is not the child’s father. Therefore, it is advantageous to hire lawyers.

Who Has Custody of A Child When the Parents Are Not Married in Canada?

Separation can be a challenging situation in your life. This is even tougher when children are involved.

However, the problem arises when parents are not married, and they intend to get separated with child custody in question. If you have read so far, you must have understood that unwed fathers do not enjoy as much privilege as unwed mothers.

Therefore, mothers will always be the first person to receive the custody order without any hindrance when it comes to child custody. This is a straightforward decision that mothers have every legal right over the child. Unwed fathers cannot be assumed to be the father of the child. The same assumption can be made in the case of an unmarried mother.

However, fathers can still claim custody of his child. He will have to prove his paternity to file a custody claim in court. Once the paternity is established, the unwed father has every legal right over his child. There can still be a dispute over the custody decision. In such scenarios, it is advised that both the parents deal, negotiate, and decide on the matter within themselves.


Knowing about unmarried fathers’ rights in Canada can be extremely important to avoid complex legal situations. You may end up separating from your loved one but still want to hold on to your child.

The court will never listen to your claim unless you can prove that you are the actual biological father of the child. An unwed father rarely enjoys any right over his child. Make sure you seek lawyer support to prove your paternity.