Child Custody & Access Lawers Scarborough
Child custody and access are issues that need to be address addressed if the parties have minor children during a separation and divorce proceeding or when a cohabitating couple splits.
Custody refers to the agreement between the parents in regard to how major decisions will be made and when one parent needs to consult with the other. Access has to do with the amount of time the children will live with each parent.
Courts tend to favor arrangements where both parents get maximum contact with the children and where both parents share in decision making. The courts however recognize that this arrangement is not ideal in a lot of situations and the bests interest of the child is the most important factor. The best interest of the child, trumps the maximum contact principle.
Different Types of Child Custody
To ensure custody and access is in the best interests of the children, parents are encouraged to create a parenting plan. This plan can be part of a marriage contract or cohabitation agreement. Parents can also include the plan in their separation agreement.
There are several different types of child custody which can be confusing for some parents. Parents will have to consider both legal custody and physical custody options when creating the parenting plan.
The purpose of the parenting plan is to provide detailed instructions on issues relating to the children, such as:
- Will parents have shared custody or will one parent be the custodial parent?
- How much access will the non-custodial parent be given?
- How will vacations, holidays, school events, and so on be handled?
- Can parents take the children out of Ontario for vacations?
- How will information be shared between the parents?
- Who is responsible for pick ups and drop off and where will access exchanges take place.
- How will major decisions be handled?
These are just a small sampling of the important questions parents need to answer when creating their parenting plan.
For help with creating your parenting plan and other child custody and access matters, contact our family law firm to speak with our child custody and access lawyer in Scarborough today!