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Child custody can be a sensitive topic, especially during the stressful time of separation and divorce. Prior to the divorce/ separation, parents typically have a commitment to shared parenting, where both parents are involved equally in the upbringing of the child. However, after a separation/ divorce, parents must arrange how they are going to divide the parent responsibilities.

What is Joint Custody?

Joint custody is when both parents cooperate for the best interest of the children and continue to make parenting decisions together. Joint custody is also known as shared custody. It is a relationship where the parents have equal responsibility to discuss and jointly decide on important aspects of the child’s life, the child’s education, health, and welfare. This type of custody does not entail that the child will live with both parents 50% of the time. Rather, the joint custody is regarding the decision-making aspect only.

Benefits of Joint Custody

Joint custody can be beneficial. Besides showing both parents can put aside any personal differences they have, they agree with enough to work together in parenting their children. It helps dispel any feelings of divided loyalties or guilt the children may have. Joint custody helps a child recover from the separation experience, aiding in maintaining healthy emotional well-being and development.

What are some Joint Custody Child Support Rules?

When you have joint custody, you may still need to pay child support. Child support is typically determined based on a formula that our Lawyers can assist you with when determining the amount of child support you may be required to pay.

In Ontario, the base amount of child support is calculated in accordance to the Child Support Guidelines. Factors that are taken into consideration when calculating joint custody child support:

  • Income of Parents: If the parenting time allocated to the child is similar along with the incomes of both parents, then the parents may conceptually decide together that no child support is needed from either parent. In such circumstances, the parents may decide to come up with an agreement instead. This decision is ultimately up to a judge for the final say as they determine where the best interests of the child lay. If there is a difference in the income amount or parenting time, child support will be owed and calculated based upon the Child Support Guidelines.
  • Parenting Time: To help calculate child support, courts will look at the number of overnight stays each parent has with the child. They will also look at time spent with each parent that does not include overnight times but still requires expenses equal to an overnight stay. Time is often calculated by the number of hours a parent is responsible for the child, not physically with the child.
  • Special circumstances along with the needs, and means, as well as the current living conditions of each parent, are considered. Factoring into these special circumstances are costs related to travel or housing, that may have an increase due to the joint custody. Such detailed information is used and factored into the child support calculations. The amount of child support differs based on the specific case at hand.

Child custody can often have legalities and technicalities involved. It is important to have an experienced legal attorney handle your case, so all issues are addressed. We will work with you on handling your case and obtaining the type of child custody that you are interested in considering your specific situation at hand.

Let our experienced legal attorneys in Family Law handle your case! Do not hesitate to call Minhas Lawyers today!

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