Child Custody and Types of Parenting Arrangements

When separating from a spouse, consider how this will impact the children and prepare for their needs.

For a married spouse who has filed an application for divorce, child custody issues fall under the Divorce Act, which is the federal legislation. The Children’s Law Reform Act governs custody and access issues for couples who are living together or married, but separate.

Custody and access are terms that are often confused with one another but have vastly different meanings. A person who has legal authority over a child can make decisions about their health, education and welfare. A person with access to a child has time alone with them, but not decision-making power.


Types of Parenting Arrangements

A key aspect of parenting arrangements is who will make important decisions about the child.Various types of parenting arrangements can be used to deal with custody of a child.

  • Sole custody is when one parent has the legal authority to make decisions about a child. The other may have visitation time.

Joint custody is when both parents share legal custody and make decisions in the best interest of their child.

  • Split custody means that there is more than one child and each parent has sole custody of at least one child. 
  • Shared custody means that a child spends at least 40% of the time with each parent.

Custody refers to time with each parent for child support.


Best Interests of the Child Principle

The court must take into consideration the best interests of the child when deciding which parent to award custody too. The factors involved in determining the best interests of a child are for the child’s development, success and happiness.

Factors considered in parenting arrangements are listed below:

  1. a) The child’s relationship with each parent;
  2. b) Any special needs the children may have;
  3. c) The age and stage of development of the children;
  4. d) The child’s views and preferences, if they can be reasonably ascertained;
  5. e) The length and time the child has lived in a stable home environment; and
  6. f) Each parent’s ability to parent the child.

The court also cannot consider the past conduct of each parent in making a determination about the best interests of the child unless it relates to their ability to parent or family violence.

The Mississauga family lawyers at Tailor Law understand these concerns and are here to help families find suitable solutions to their legal issues.

If you are looking for more information about the types of parenting arrangements and finding one that may be suitable for you and your child, do not hesitate to contact us and one of our specialists in Family Law can discuss your matter in more detail over a free consultation. You can reach our office at 905-366-0202 or contact us through our website here.

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