Custody, Access, Parenting and Guardianship Arrangements

From the moment we bring children into this world, we have a duty to make sure that we provide for them, take care of them, and incentivize them, so they will succeed and one day take care of us. When there is a relationship breakdown between the parties, children often suffer the most. They may be exposed to arguments, parental substance abuse, changes in their daily routine and distancing from other family and friends. 


Whatever the case is, upon a dissolution of a relationship, it is important to PROTECT THE INTERESTS of the party that stands to lose, but even more importantly, ensure that the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD ARE met.

Let us relieve you from bearing this burden and ensure that you receive adequate custody, access and parenting arrangements  upon dissolution of marriage or common law relationship. 

Within the Divorce Act, central concepts related to parenting are custody and access. Sole or joint custody refers to which parents have the decision-making authority. Some of these decisions relate to non-emergency medical care, non-emergency dental care, religious upbringing, education and child’s daily activities. Another concept of custody under this legislation relates to the physical location of the child’s residence, which factors into how much time the child spends with each parent and Child Support calculations.

Further, other custody concepts include split custody and shared custody. 

Split custody refers to where there are multiple children, and where one or more children reside primarily with one parent, and one or more children reside primarily with the other parent. Shared custody on the other hand, occurs when one spouse exercises the right of access or has physical custody of the child for not less than 40% of the time during the calendar year. 

Access refers to the right of a child to see a parent. The Maximum Contact Principle is utilized by the Court, which reads that each parent should have as much contact as is consistent with the best interests of the child. Custody covers all the decision-making powers, but access grants the requesting parent information as to the health, education and welfare of the child. 

Within the Family Law Act, central concepts related to parenting are guardianship, contact, and parenting. Guardianship refers to the rights and responsibilities that a guardian would have in relation to a child. Contact governs the relationship that a non-guardian can have with the child. Parenting relates to the amount of time that a guardian has with a child and the allocation of guardianship.

The Court always considers the Best Interest of the Child, when applications for entering into or varying, contact, access and guardianship orders are made. The best interest criteria are listed in section 18(2) of the Family Law Act. 

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