Are you looking for the types of child custody? The term “child custody” is used to describe parental rights and childcare responsibilities. You’ve probably heard the different types of custody thrown around.
However, do you really know the difference between legal custody and sole physical custody?
Which type of child custody is better for your situation? How does joint custody work exactly?
If you’re in a battle for child custody it is helpful to have this information. This article will explain these topics as it breaks down the various types of child custody.
Having custody means making major decisions. Parenting arrangements can be hard to negotiate, and sometimes it’s helpful to have the help of a family lawyer. If you are trying to find an experienced lawyer, contact us.
We can connect you to the best family lawyers. The lawyer can help you with:
- sole physical custody
- making major decisions
- custody arrangements
- sole legal custody
- explaining the Divorce Act
- shared custody
- split custody
- getting court-ordered custody
- joint physical custody
- getting custody of the child
Different Types Of Child Custody
Child custody laws govern the legal authority of a parent to make decisions that affect a child. It also discusses getting to see the child face to face.
Child custody laws exist to provide a legal structure for families that have separated. Divorced parents will generally work together to have a friendly relationship and shared custody.
But sometimes the animosity between separated partners leads to problems. There is a propensity to involve children in marital and divorce disputes which requires the courts to get involved.
To serve the best interests of the child, it is sometimes the duty of the courts to step in. They might decide which parent is entitled to legal and physical custody.
They will see if there is room for compromise and settlement between the partners. When a couple is married and living together, co-parenting is tough enough.
However, when parents are divorced, it can be extremely hard. When deciding on custody, courts must juggle various factors. Further, custody decisions can always be reviewed when court as circumstances change.
Type Of Child Custody and Physical Custody
If a court has granted physical custody to a parent of a child, the parent has the right to live with the child. In some provinces, joint custody is possible when a child is staying for significant periods of time with both the mother and the father.
Court orders usually involved shared physical custody. But keep in mind, the total amount of time spent with each parent can vary.
Joint physical custody will only be granted in certain situations. This often happens when the child’s parents plan to live relatively close to one another.
If the parents live too far apart, the child’s strain can play a role in awarding physical custody to one parent or to the other.
Sole physical custody is the term used when a child lives with one parent primarily. The other parent has limited rights of visitation or custody. For example, a mother may have sole physical custody.
This might happen when the child spends every day with her and sees the father only for a few hours at a time.
Sole Legal Custody
Legal custody of a child means the right and responsibility to make decisions about the care of a child. The parent with a child’s legal custody will have the authority to decide which school to send the child to.
They might also decide which religion the child will follow. Further, they might decide what kind of medical care the child will receive. Parents often like to collaborate to make shared decisions on the education of their children.
Do you believe the other parent in the joint legal custody arrangement makes it difficult or impossible to make decisions? Are they doing this just to spite you? You can go back to court to try to get your child’s sole legal custody.
However, many family courts are trying to refrain from granting sole legal custody. They sometimes feel it is preferable to have both parents seeking the child’s interests rather than just one.
Joint Physical Custody
Sometimes a child’s parents do not live together. However, they share responsibility for making decisions. They might work together to house the child. Further, they might engage in the child’s joint legal or physical custody.
In this situation, working together to provide consistency in schedules is very important for both parents. Therefore, the child can spend as much time as possible with each parent.
During divorce proceedings, sole physical custody is often awarded. This often happens when it can be shown that one parent is unfit. This is often due to financial, drug or alcohol issues.
Sometimes one parent is living with a new partner who is considered unfit. The new partner might not be able to take care of or be around the child. In this case, the other parent may also be granted sole physical custody.
Recently, courts have allowed joint legal custody even if one parent is given sole physical custody. Even if the sole physical custody is granted, visitation rights are often awarded.
Making decisions about your children can be hard during a divorce. The number of people living in Canada who are either separated or divorced is shocking.
The emotional turmoil parties go through during the process of splitting up becomes amplified when the welfare of children must be taken into consideration.
Unless parents can reach an agreement about child custody and access or visitation, a court must intervene and make the decision for them after a hearing at which all parties have an opportunity to be heard and present evidence.
At the very least, a judge would want to schedule a case conference before deciding custody issues. But there could be circumstances under which a court might grant temporary child custody.
Making Decisions About Your Children- What is child custody and access?
Making decisions that affect the lives of your children is relatively easy when parents live together.
A divorce or separation can result in one of the parents moving out of the home. An agreement must be reached regarding how that same decision will be made.
Get legal advice from an attorney about the types of child custody.
As a general rule, the parent granted custody has the legal right and responsibility to make decisions about important matters concerning the children of the couple, including:
- Residence location
- Medical care and treatment
It is important for children to have both parents involved in raising them. Some parents opt for split, shared and joint custody arrangements. This can allow both parents to share in the decision-making process.
When a child resides with only one parent, maintaining the child’s relationship with the other parent can be a challenge. Access or visitation is granted by agreement of the parties or by court order to the noncustodial parent.
Depending upon a child’s schedule and where the parent being granted access resides, a schedule of days and times for the noncustodial parent to visit with the child is essential to their relationship.
Obtaining temporary child custody
The best method of resolving conflicts about child custody is with a negotiated agreement. This is reached between the parents. It is normally done with the assistance of lawyers representing and advising each of them.
If an agreement cannot be reached, one or both parties may file an application. This is done with the family court in Ontario asking a judge to decide custody.
Child custody cases in Ontario begin with an application, a Form 8, filed with the family court. The process takes time before the case is scheduled for a conference in court.
A motion is a written request to the court asking it to grant some form of temporary relief before the case is ultimately decided by the court.
The law requires proof of the existence of hardship or urgency requiring action be taken by a judge immediately instead of awaiting the conference date normally assigned to a case.
There are many types of child custody, so speak to a law firm.
Making Decisions About Your Children- Custody Decisions
It is essential for parents to keep in mind that the criteria judges use in making custody decisions. This includes those regarding requests for temporary child custody, are in the best interests of the child.
Factors a judge may take into consideration to determine what is in a child’s best interests include the following:
- Love, affection and emotional bonds between the child and each parent
- Preferences, if any, of the child
- The amount of time a child has lived in a stable environment
- Parenting abilities of each of the parties
- Plans parents present for the child
- Stability of the parent and the home where a child will reside
- Relationship between child and parent seeking custody
Courts take a lot into consideration when granting permanent or temporary child custody. They look at evidence of a parent’s past violent or abusive behaviour.
Do they want to know if it was directed toward the other parent? Also, was it directed at the child or another member of the household?
Get advice and guidance from a lawyer
Petitioning for temporary child custody is too important to attempt without legal advice. You need representation from a lawyer. They should be thoroughly familiar and experienced with family law matters.
A lawyer’s evaluation of the facts and circumstances may provide options for resolving child custody issues.
Grandparent Rights to Access
Are you curious about grandparents’ rights to access children? In family law proceedings grandparent rights to access are often ignored throughout the custody and access discussions.
Parties typically have their hands full trying to figure out what their share of the children’s time will look like and grandparents can be left out of the equation entirely.
However, if you are a concerned grandparent you can still have a voice in your grandchildren’s family law proceedings.
Do you want to play an active role in your grandchildren’s access and custody discussions? Then you will have to bring your own court motion. It will have to be added to the existing family law file of your child and their former spouse.
You are going to need to provide information to the court. It will need to show that you are more than just an extended family member. You will show you spend lots of time with the children on an annual basis.
If you are simply concerned that you will not get to see your grandkids around the annual holidays, you should discuss this issue with your son or daughter.
They can keep you in mind when they put forward their proposals for custody and access.
There might be different types of child custody for grandparents. It depends on the situation.
Grandparent Rights to Access
Do you want the court to specifically grant you scheduled access with your grandkids? Then you will need to provide evidence that you have been an active caregiver for them in the past.
This can include times where you have cared for the child instead of having them attend daycare.
Further, it might include times where the parents had you care for the children while they went on vacation or had work commitments.
Were there any periods of time where either parent was incarcerated or in the hospital for long-term treatment?
The family courts will really only consider granting you specific access time with your grandkids. This might happen if you can show that you have been an active caregiver.
You will show you acted in place of the children’s parents. Further, that you did this more than just the odd time here or there.
The court’s first priority is to ensure that the parents both have as much time with the children as possible. This is true despite the children living in separate households.
The addition of a third party claiming access time can be confusing and disorienting for young children. The children are already trying to cope with their parents separating.
If you feel that you have a case for access or custody of your grandchildren you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible in order to get their opinion on the matter.
There are many types of child custody, so find a law firm for legal advice.
Author: Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law