Child Custody

The Basis of Child Custody

The parent who has custody of their children has the right to make the important decisions regarding the wellbeing of the children. Some of these decisions are medical treatment, education and religion.

Best Interest of the Child

Child custody issues are always determined with one primary goal in mind – to do what is in the best interest of the child.

Different Types of Child Custody

There are four different types of child custody in Canada. The first one is sole custody whereby one parent alone has custody of the child. Another type of custody, joint custody, is where both parents share custody of the child. A third type of custody is shared custody. In this case, both parents have joint custody of the child and each spends at least 40% of the time with their child. One final type of child custody is split custody. This is a rare type of custody. Split custody takes place when one parent has custody over some of the children while the other parent has custody over the others. Courts are quite hesitant to award custody in this manner as they don’t want to split up brothers and sister.

Access (Visitation)

Access (also known as visitation) is the time a person can spend with their children. Only in matters where there are serious concerns about abuse or parenting abilities will a court refuse to allow visitation rights or limit access to the child. In cases such as these, the court may decide that supervised access, which often occurs in the presence of a social worker, is the best thing to order.

Along with visitation rights to the child, the access parent is automatically allowed by law to inquire about their children’s health, education and welfare.

Primary or Principal Residence

The primary, or principal, residence is one where the child lives. In other words, this is where the child spends most of his/her time. For example, parents may have joint custody of the child but the child may spend the majority of the time with the mother or father, thereby having his/her primary residence with that parent.

Other Articles about Child Custody

  • Common Child Custody Concerns – Perhaps the biggest thing that parents fear with regard to the issue of child custody is the possibility of having their children testifying in court.
  • Child Custody Assessments – A child custody assessment is an investigation by a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker.
  • Age of Child and Custody – One of the most common questions parents ask is at what age can their children choose the custody and access arrangements.
  • Making Visitation Easier On the Children – Here are some ways to try and ease the visitation process and make it a little less painful for the kids.
  • Divorce and Relocating Children – Even if you have sole custody of your children you still must obtain the permission of the other parent before moving.
  • Joint Custody – “Joint custody” means that both parents have the right to make these decisions for their children.
  • Avoiding Summer Visitation Problems – When summer is coming, divorced and separated parents frequently run into problems with their custody and visitation situations during vacation periods.
  • Relocation Issues – What happens when one parent wants to move away with the children?