Child Custody Lawyers
Child Custody Lawyers
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Experienced Child Custody Lawyers
What does custody mean?
“Custody” means the legal ability and responsibility to make major decisions for a child’s care and upbringing such as:
- Where they will live;
- Where they will go to school
- What medical treatment they will receive
- What extracurricular activities they will be involved in
- What religion they will practice.
EXPERIENCED IN ALL ASPECTS OF FAMILY LAW: Child Custody LAWYERS MISSISSAUGA, BRAMPTON, TORONTO & SERVING ALL ONTARIOBOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT Call NOW (905) 671-9244
Are courts more likely to award custody to mothers than to fathers? Custody laws do not favor mothers over fathers in Ontario, Canada. Today, most custody laws are gender neutral. Courts and judges always consider the child’s best interests when awarding the custody to either parent.
Does custody always go to just one parent? Custody can be sole, Joint or shared basis. Different types of custody include:
- Sole custody: One person has the responsibility and authority to make major decisions about a child’s care and how they will be raised. Usually, but not always, the child lives primarily with the person with sole custody.
- Joint custody: Two people, usually the parents, share the responsibility for making decisions for a child. It does not necessarily mean that a child will spend “equal” time with both parents.
- Shared custody: Both parents share the responsibility for making decisions and caring for the child. Under the Federal Child Support Guidelines, shared custody is where a child lives at least 40% of the time with each parent.
- Split custody: Parents have more than one child together and each parent has one or more child(ren) living primarily with him or her.
Visitation and Access rights? Who determines how much visitation is reasonable and fair?
If the child lives with one parent, the other parent usually has a right to have contact with the child. In most cases, the parent who does not have custody spends time with the child. This is called visitation or access. Sometimes, other relatives, like grandparents, apply for access.
If there are safety concerns, a parent may not be allowed to have contact with his or her child or the access may be supervised or restricted in some way. A person who has access to a child also has the right to receive information about the child’s health, education and general situation.
Each family’s situation will guide how often access will take place and for how long. If there are no safety concerns, it is usually best for children to spend enough time with both parents to develop and maintain strong and healthy relationships.
How should I start?
Before you start filling in the form, it would be a good idea to read Form 35.1 all the way through. Read the instructions and think about what information the judge will need to decide. This affidavit is your chance to tell the court what your plan is to care for your child is and why it is a good one. This affidavit is about your plan. It is not about the other parent or person who might want custody or access. Focus on how your plan will give your child stability and the best chance to meet his or her potential.
When you have finished completing Form 35.1, it must be sworn or affirmed. This means that when you sign this form, it is the same as taking the witness stand and promising to tell the truth.
How does the Court determine the custody or access to a child?
What factors do courts take into account when deciding who gets custody of the children?
Both the Children’s Law Reform Act and the Divorce Act require decisions about child custody and access to be made based on the best interests of the child. This generally involves a consideration of:
- the ability of each parent to care for the child
- the ties between the child and each parent
- the stability of the child’s current living arrangements
- the strength of each parent’s plan to care for the child in the future
- in appropriate circumstances, the child’s wishes.
The law also states that the Court must consider any incidents of violence or abuse when assessing a person’s ability to parent.
What does “best interests of the child” mean? Is mediation the best approach to solving disagreements about child custody. What factors do courts take into account when deciding who gets custody of the children.
There are many parents who can decide together what is best for their child. They know their child, what he or she needs, and are prepared to work together to make that happen even after they separate or divorce.BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT Call NOW (905) 671-9244
Some parents are unable to agree on custody/access arrangements and need a judge to review the child’s circumstances and make an order. When a judge makes custody and access decisions, the law requires him or her to make the decision based on the best interests of the child.
The judge will decide based on evidence. If you are asking for custody of or access to a child, you must show how what you are asking for is best for the child. The judge will focus on the child, not the adults. The court will weigh the options available and decide about what arrangement he or she believes is best for the child.
Even if you and the other parent agree, the judge will still need to understand why the arrangement you have agreed to will be safe and appropriate for the child.
Can a parent who has custody move the children anywhere? If one parent moves out and leaves the kids with the other parent, does it hurt the moving parent’s chances of getting custody at a later date
When a parent has sole or joint custody of the children, problems sometimes arise when that parent wants to move and take the children with him or her.
The other parent usually will not want the parent who has custody to move to a distant place which makes regular visitation difficult or impossible.
The Supreme Court of Canada has recently determined that a custodial parent cannot automatically move a child anywhere without the other parent’s consent.
Similarly, the Ontario Court of Appeal has also decided that a custodial parent does not have an inherent right to move a child anywhere he or she decides. Under both federal and provincial legislation, the decision to allow a child to be moved must be made in the best interests of the child.
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B.A., LL.B |
Barrister & Solicitor
B.A., LL.B. (HONS) | Barrister & Solicitor