Ontario Civil

Conflict of Laws

Court may transfer proceedings to “most substantially connected” jurisdiction

Father applied to vary October 2009 consent order respecting primary residence of parties’ daughter, aged six. Mother moved to transfer variation application from Ontario to Manitoba. Mother had moved to Manitoba with child shortly after separation. She commenced divorce proceedings in Ontario because she did not meet residency requirements to proceed in Manitoba. If child was “most substantially connected” to proposed jurisdiction, court may consider exercising its discretion to transfer proceedings to that jurisdiction. Question was whether transfer was in best interests of child and whether transfer would impede proper administration of justice. Application granted. Child was most substantially connected to Manitoba. Child had lived in Manitoba for almost her entire life. Her mother, her mother’s family, her teachers, her healthcare professionals and her friends lived there. It was in child’s best interests if application were transferred to Manitoba. While Ontario courts had history with family, Manitoba courts could verse themselves in this history as easily as fresh judge in Ontario. It would not impede proper administration of justice to transfer case to Manitoba.

Agnew v. Violo (Jun. 26, 2013, Ont. S.C.J., D.L. Corbett J., File No. Brampton FS-06-56958-00) 229 A.C.W.S. (3d) 779.

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