Custody And Parenting Arrangements Law
Custody Cover

Child Custody Lawyer Surrey

The term “Custody” is used the in federal Divorce Act whereas “Guardianship” is used in the Family Law Act. The terms essentially mean the same thing: parental responsibilities and decision making authority for the child.

Parenting time is a separate concept which relates to the amount of time each parent gets with the child. Parenting time will also affect the amount of child support which is payable by each parent.

There are 4 main types of custody arrangements:

  • Sole Custody: This is generally the case when joint decision making would not be possible or practical in the given circumstances. This could be for several reasons including: distance; one parent never being involved in the upbringing of the child; violence and abuse.
  • Joint Custody: This allows both parents to make decisions for the child. This includes decisions regarding medical issues; the child’s daily activities; education; religious upbringing. The court may also grant one parent sole decision making authority in one particular area depending on where the parties cannot agree.
  • Shared Custody/Parenting: If both parents have care of the child for at least 40% of the time, this is a shared parenting arrangement. Each parent can make day-to-day decisions about the child while the child is in their care and control.
  • Split Custody: When there is more than one child of the marriage, the parents may split custody, in other words, each parent would have sole custody of one child. This essentially means splitting up the children and is usually only done in circumstances where there are issues of violence or it would be in the best interest of the children to have them apart.

In determining what the parenting arrangement should be, the lawyer For family court looks at the best interests of the child. The factors considered in determining the best interest of the child are found in the section 37 of the Family Law Act which is as follows:

  1. In making an agreement or order under this Part respecting guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child, the parties and the court must consider the best interests of the child only.
  2. To determine what is in the best interests of a child, all of the child’s needs and circumstances must be considered, including the following:
    1. the child’s health and emotional well-being;
    2. the child’s views, unless it would be inappropriate to consider them;
    3. the nature and strength of the relationships between the child and significant persons in the child’s life;
    4. the history of the child’s care;
    5. the child’s need for stability, given the child’s age and stage of development;
    6. the ability of each person who is a guardian or seeks guardianship of the child, or who has or seeks parental responsibilities, parenting time or contact with the child, to exercise his or her responsibilities;
    7. the impact of any family violence on the child’s safety, security or well-being, whether the family violence is directed toward the child or another family member;
    8. whether the actions of a person responsible for family violence indicate that the person may be impaired in his or her ability to care for the child and meet the child’s needs;
    9. the appropriateness of an arrangement that would require the child’s guardians to cooperate on issues affecting the child, including whether requiring cooperation would increase any risks to the safety, security or well-being of the child or other family members;
    10. any civil or criminal proceeding relevant to the child’s safety, security or well-being.
  3. An agreement or order is not in the best interests of a child unless it protects, to the greatest extent possible, the child’s physical, psychological and emotional safety, security and well-being.
  4. In making an order under this Part, a court may consider a person’s conduct only if it substantially affects a factor set out in subsection (2), and only to the extent that it affects that factor.

It is best to speak to a child custody lawyer for more information about the different parenting arrangements available and determining what a court is likely to order given the particular facts of your case. At Gill & Gill Law, you can discuss your case with our expert child custody lawyer in Surrey.

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