Child Custody & Access Lawers Markham
Child custody and access matters are considered family law matters in Ontario. Custody and access issues can arise for various reasons including during a divorce proceeding or when a cohabitating couple with children splits.
Custody is the term used to describe which parent will have the responsibility to make major decisions for their children. Some custody arrangements are shared joint custody, which gives each parent an equal right in decision making responsibilities.
Other custody arrangements are sole custody, where one parent is given the sole responsibility for major decisions and shared custody where decision making, and access is shared equally between the parents. Major decisions can include healthcare, education, and religious beliefs.
What Does Access Mean?
Child access is the process of deciding how much time each parent will have access to their children. In a sole custody arrangement, one parent is typically the custodial parent and has the children the majority of the time. The non-custodial parent has an established visitation schedule both parents agree on, such as every other weekend, school holidays, and so on.
In shared custody arrangements, typically both parents split child access as equally as possible so the children live with one parent 50% of the time and the other parent 50% of the time.
How Are Custody and Access Arrangements Determined?
The courts encourage the parents to attempt to work out their own child custody and access agreement. If they are not able to do so with the help of their Markham family law lawyers, then the courts will get involved and decide for the parents. The court’s objective is to do what is in the children’s best interests, not the parents.
Do I Need a Parenting Plan?
Parenting plans can be incorporated into the separation agreement during a divorce or separation to minimize conflict. It is highly recommended if you want to include a parenting plan, that you have your divorce lawyer review it to ensure it is in your best interests.
For further information about or assistance with child custody and access matters in Markham, do not hesitate to contact us.