Child custody is when you have the right to see, care for, and make decisions for your child. Most of the clients that come into our family law firm list this issue as their top concern. Division of property is often ranked the second highest. Whoever has custody of the child can make important decisions for the child.
If you are not given custody of the child, you will often have the right of “access.” This basically means you have the right to see your child. How often, where, and supervised or non-supervised are to be decided in an agreement or by a family law judge.
There are different kinds of custody that can be decided upon. Please speak to your lawyer during the consultation to get an understanding of each.
There are three ways that you can get custody of your children:
A family law judge decides
When parents cannot agree on how they are going to raise their children after separation, judges or arbitrators have to decide which parent should have custody.
You have an agreement that decides before you get married
Often, two partners will negotiate and enter into a contract prior to their marriage, setting out rules about their marriage, and agreeing on their respective rights and obligations during the marriage or at separation. In Canada, we refer to them as marriage contracts or domestic contracts.
You come to a friendly agreement during the divorce process
In some situations the decision of child custody can be amicably decided by parents at the time of separation.
Book a Meeting with a ClearWay Lawyer
Family law child custody issues can be stressful. 70% of people in Toronto with family law issues are self-represented. We encourage you to book a meeting with one of our family lawyers before deciding to self-represented or have a lawyer take charge of your child custody issue instead.
It only costs $100 to book a one hour meeting with one of our family lawyers. We are located at 1235 Bay Street in unit #700. Prepare a list of questions for our Toronto lawyer and get answers.
If you decide to self-represent in your child custody case, our law firm also offers legal coaching. This is a valuable service when your ex-spouse has hired a lawyer and you are going up against that lawyer in court. Our lawyer or paralegal can help work with you a few days prior to your court date to help you prepare. You only pay for the time you need.
Why You Need a Child Custody Lawyer in Toronto
Our Toronto child custody lawyers often get asked what responsibilities the family law court will look at when deciding who get’s access to the child. The family law judge will want to look at which parent is best suited to make the following decisions and handle the following parenting responsibilities:
- Daily decisions regarding the child
- Where the child will live
- Protecting the child’s money and financial interests
- Keeping the child out of legal problems
- Keeping the child healthy
- Making religious and political influence decisions
- Deciding which school the child will go to. Deciding on English or French school.
- Outside of school activities
- Applying for a health care card, SIN number, bank card, and passport
- Managing information (Health, school, etc…)
Another major factor in the family law judge deciding on which parent gets custody of the child is the parents circumstance (financially, stable job, education etc…) and the parents intentions of what to do with the child.