Beverly Hills 90210-OH! - Jennie Garth Moves the Children to Santa Ynes Valley

On March 13, 2012, People.com confirmed that Jennie Garth and her husband of 11 years, Peter Facinelli decided to end their marriage and obtain a divorce. The couple have three daughters and while they have decided to raise their daughters together, recent events make it seem that that option is no longer possible.

Just days later, on March 16, 2012, People.com further reported that Jennie Garth decided to relocate herself and her daughters from Los Angeles to a simpler, country life in the Santa Ynes Valley, California. The main motivation behind the move was for her reality TV show Jennie Garth: Little Bit Country which will follow her and her daughters as they tackle country life.

Given the fact that the above relocation was for the purposes of filming a reality television show, it is safe to assume that Peter Facinelli was consulted with and consented to this prior to Jennie Garth uprooting the children's habitual residence and transferring it to Santa Ynes Valley.

What if the circumstances were a bit different and Jennie unilaterally decided to move with the children without consulting with Peter and obtaining his consent? What recourses would Peter have to stop her from leaving with their children?

In Ontario, and when there is no formal court order dictating custody or access arrangements, Peter could immediately apply to the court for an order for custody pursuant to s. 16(1) of the Divorce Act. In his Application to the court, he could ask for an order that the children not be removed from the jurisdiction of the court without his express consent. If granted, then the order would gain legal effect throughout Canada and would become enforceable in each province provided that the individual who obtained the order took the necessary steps to register the order in each province.

If, on the other hand, Peter was agreeable to giving sole custody and primary residence of the children to Jennie but maintaining the right to visit them (i.e. he would become the "access" parent) then he could include in his Application for access an order, pursuant to s. 16(7) of the Divorce Act, which states that the "the court may include in an order under this section a term requiring any person who has custody of a child of the marriage and who intends to change the place of residence of that child to notify, at least thirty days before the change or within such other period before the change as the court may specify, any person who is granted access to that child of the change, the time at which the change will be made and the new place of residence of the child."

In so doing, Jennie would be obligated to inform Peter of her intentions at least one month before the move which would grant him enough time to consider the move and potentially even dispute it by initiating court proceedings to stop her from leaving with the children.

Lastly, if an order were obtained and regardless if Jennie still chose to ignore it and moved away with the children without consulting with or obtaining Peter's consent, then he could also consider obtaining a court order that would require police involvement in order to necessitate the enforcement of the order. Essentially, he could contact the police after he has obtained an Order and they could locate, apprehend and return the children to the proper jurisdiction and in accordance with the court order.

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