Family Lawyers in Coquitlam, Vancouver & Lynden, BC
There are many difficult challenges to navigate during a separation between married couples and common-law partners. Beyond the division of assets and property and other numbers that can be put on paper exist important family matters that need to be resolved. One of the subjects that have to be faced when separating is determining parental custody over children.
At Norton Law, we are here to help parents (both mothers and fathers) in determining child custody and access arrangements. Services we help in this field of family law matters include:
- Custody agreement
- Parenting plan
- Visitation schedule
We’re here to help you with your custody and access needs in order to get the most time with your children and support the role of parenting in your children’s lives and development.
We can help negotiate your parental custody agreement and parenting access and visitation plans during this difficult and challenging chapter in your life and your family’s.
Types of Child Custody
What is custody?
Custody is a general term describing where the children will live, who makes decisions and when about the child’s upbringing, development and who has responsibility for the child’s care. The person who has custody or primary care of the child makes these decisions.
By law, parents both have equal decision-making with respect to children unless otherwise agreed to in a parenting plan or ordered by a court. Parents may agree to share custody of the children or, alternatively, a court may grant custody of the children to more than one parent. Shared custody (or shared parenting) refers to an arrangement whereby both parents share the decision-making of the children while neither parent has the children for more than 60% of the time.
Parents might have a week on/week off parenting schedule, or perhaps they alternate days on a weekly rotation.
Week 1: Mom has the children 3 days and Dad has the children 4 days, and on Week 2: Mom has the children 4 days and Dad has the children 3 days. In essence, they flip the days during Week 1 and 2.
These are examples of shared custody arrangements. Parents are expected to maintain as much consistency and routine between households as possible.
Primary care is when the children live with one parent primarily (more than 60% of the time) but the parents make joint decisions about issues like the children’s education, health care and religious upbringing ( if applicable). However, day-to-day decisions are made by the primary care or custodial parent.
Joint custody refers to an arrangement where one parent is the primary caregiver (has the children more than 60% of the time) but decisions regarding the children’s education, health, etc. are discussed between the parents and a decision made. Typically, in situations where there is no agreement on those issues (health, medical, dental, religion, education) the primary caregiver will make the final decision. However, it is expected that the parties will consult with one another on these issues with the expectation that parents will work together to come to a decision on these issues.
Sole custody refers to one parent being the custodial parent and making all decisions with respect to the children. The non-custodial parent, in this case, would have parenting time or access to the children but would not share in any joint decisions regarding the children.
Contact a Family Custody Lawyer
Norton Law has over 40 years of experience helping British Columbians with their particular family legal issues with a personalized approach. Our team of experienced family lawyers will help you not only pilot through the family law system, but empower you with legal advice and help you identify what types of custody might be appropriate for your particular situation and keeping the best interests of your children in mind.
Our top priority is representing our clients and their interests regarding their family law matters.
Our clients benefit from the legal advice and options presented to them for their family and children’s wellbeing. We understand the many issues encountered and may occur through their cases and family matters that may impact their custody agreements and matters.
To learn more about child custody agreements and how we can help, call us at (855) 810-5286 to book a consultation with one of our British Columbia family lawyers.