One of the most challenging parts of divorces and separations is transitioning to a “new” life with your children. When dealing with any issues pertaining to children, the law states that the “best interests of the child” is the primary consideration in determining where a child should live, and how much time they should spend with each parent.
Parents often want to ensure that they remain involved in decision making responsibility (also known as custody) of their children, and remain involved in their children’s lives, despite the separation. When there is conflict between the parties, or parents cannot agree on what parenting arrangement is in the child’s best interests, it is critical to hire an experienced family lawyer to ensure your parenting rights are protected.
Continue reading to learn more about parenting, custody, and how we can help you make the process pain-free.
What is Decision Making Responsibility (Custody)?
Decision making responsibility or custody, is the right to make major decisions about a child’s welfare and upbringing. This includes decisions about where the child lives, goes to school, what religion they follow, and medical care.
In some cases, it can also include decisions about what activities the children partake in. It is important for parents to understand the implications of both joint and sole decision-making responsibility before making any agreement with respect to custody. Schedule a consultation with us to learn more.
How is Decision Making Responsibility Determined in Ontario?
When parents separate, it is important to have an Agreement or Order regarding the issue of custody (decision-making responsibility). This makes it easier for parents to do things like register the children in activities, obtain important documents, and make medical or educational decisions. There are numerous ways in which a custody agreement or order can be obtained.
Although one way to get custody is to file an application with the court, this should be used as a last resort, or in extenuating circumstances. Once an Application is filed in the Court, the other parent will then have an opportunity to respond to your application and make claims of their own.
The court will then decide based on what is in the best interests of the child. Factors that may be considered include:
- The parent’s ability to cooperate.
- The relationship between the parents and child.
- Each parent’s home environment.
How Lloyd & Kemper Can Help With Parenting and Decision-Making Responsibility Disputes
If you face a parenting or custody dispute, our family law team can help. We will work with you to develop a strategy that puts your child’s best interests first. We will guide you through the process and help you negotiate with the other parent to reach an agreement that is fair and in your children’s best interests. If negotiations fail, we are prepared to take your case to court and represent your interests fervently.
Lloyd & Kemper has provided quality family law services in Whitby with decades of combined experience. Our experienced lawyers will work diligently to get the best result possible for you and your children. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.