• harjot gill

DEALING WITH CHILD CUSTODY & ACCESS DURING DIVORCE


Divorce is always associated with stressful events in life. Truthfully, divorce does not have to be ugly. It is never pleasant to lose a friend, business partner or co-worker, but you have to deal with it. That's life.


If you are separating from your spouse and you have children, then the chances are that your ex-spouse will always be part of your life. It is more important to make your ex-spouse your best friend. If not, you will spend the next few years battling it out in Court.


We at Trigil Law have prepared a few questions for you to understand the basic terms surrounding the matters dealing with custody and access.


What is the law for custody and access issues?

In Ontario, the Divorce Act and the Children’s Law Reform Act, both govern the matters related to custody and access.


The Divorce Act will apply in the case of separated parties seeking custody and access, along with a divorce. However, if they are not seeking a divorce or the parties are not married, the Children’s Law Reforms Act will apply.


What is the difference between Custody and Access?

Custody refers to the decision making of the child in question. The parent who has custody has the right and responsibility to make major decisions for the child. The decisions must be made in the best interest of the child.


Access includes the right to visit and be visited by the child. The access parent has the right to make inquiries and to be given information as to the health, education and welfare of the child.


When one parent has sole custody, the other parent has access typically.


What are the Major Decisions?

Major decisions concerning the custody of children include education, religion, health care, and extra-curricular activities.


Who may file for custody of a child?

As per the Divorce Act and Children’s Law Reforms Act, anyone can apply to a Court for custody of, or access to, a child. However, under the Divorce Act, a non-spouse may make an application for a custody or access order only with the permission of the Court.


Third parties include step-parent, grandparent, or others.


What is the Maximum Contact Principle?

The maximum contact principle states that a child should have as much contact with each spouse, in the best interest of the child.


In making an order for custody or access, the Court must consider the maximum contact principle.


What is Sole Custody?

Under this arrangement, the parent who has sole custody has the legal right to makes all major decisions for the child. Generally, the child resides with the parent who has sole custody.


What is Joint Custody?

The parties may agree to this arrangement through a separation agreement, or it may be ordered by the Court. Under the Joint Custody arrangement, the parents share the rights and responsibilities of decision making for the minor child, even though they live apart.


The child may live equally with both parents or primarily with one parent. Joint custody is not about the time the child spends with each parent. It is about decision making.


For arrangements where responsibility is shared, the cooperation of both parents is necessary.


What is Shared Custody?

In a Shared Custody arrangement, the child lives with each parent for at least 40% of the time. Shared custody is used to determine Child Support.


What is Split Custody?

In a split custody arrangement, one or more children live with either parent for more than 60% of the time. Split custody is used to determine Child Support.


What is Supervised Access?

Supervised access is ordered in situations where there is a possibility that the child is at risk due to a parent’s lifestyle. Factors that are considered include; addiction issues, health problems or violent behaviour, which may hamper the parent’s ability to care for the child.


Supervised access can take place at an access centre or be supervised by a person other than the parents.


We hope you found the above information helpful.


If you are going through a divorce and wish to deal with it in an amicable matter, then feel free to contact Trigil Law. Our team can help you resolve your matter outside of Court, saving you time, money and stress.


The above information is in no way meant to be legal advice. This information has been created for your reference only. For legal advice, please contact us at info@trigil.ca or (647) 236-3424.

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