Custody, Access and Parenting Arrangements

Determining where your children will live, who will see them and who will make decisions about their upbringing are some of the most important and difficult choices you will have to make.

At Calgary Family Law Associates, our role is to help you make those decisions in a cooperative, productive manner where you put the needs of your children first. Although you are no longer a couple, you are still parents, and it is usually best to work together.

If it is not possible to work together, our lawyers can represent your interests in court. We will ensure that your rights are respected and that your children's best interests remain the priority.

On July 1, 2020, the Divorce Act amendments will come into effect, and some of the significant changes are as follows:

  • Child-centric language will be used. "Parenting Order", "Parenting Time", "Parental Decision-Making Ability" will replace words like "Custody" and "Access."
  • Factors are listed that the Court must consider to determine the "best interests" of a child.
  • Family Violence has an expanded definition.
  • There are also changes to how mobility applications are considered.

The Best Interests Of The Children

Issues to be settled, whether separating parents are married or not, are the same. They include:

  • Who will live with the children: The children may live with you or their other parent, or share their time between you.
  • Who can see the children: If you do not live with your children, you and your children still have a right to see one another. Other relatives, including grandparents, may also wish to have parenting time or contact time.
  • Who can make decisions: These include decisions about the children's education, health and religious upbringing. Decision-making or guardianship may be shared.
  • Who will support the children: Support is determined by taking into account the parents' income and whom the children live with.

There may be many additional matters to discuss. For example, one parent may wish to move far away, or travel extensively with the children. Decisions may need to be made about the role of stepparents, especially unmarried stepparents, or new partners of the separating parents. On occasion, we also have clients who want to terminate the parental rights of the other parent or their own, or who wish to discuss issues of paternity.

Contact Calgary Family Law Associates

Contact us at 587-316-1125, or contact each lawyer individually. You can also fill out our online form if you need to make decisions about child custody, child access or other matters relating to your children following a separation or divorce. We serve clients in Calgary and surrounding areas of Alberta.