Mississauga Divorce Lawyer Advising Parents on Custody and Access
If your family includes children, one of the most important issues in your separation or divorce will be child custody. Where will your children live? Who will they share major holidays with? How will vacation time be allocated? Who will make major decisions about them and their care?
If you are contemplating a separation or divorce or have already begun the process, it is crucial to have an experienced family lawyer on your side that understands not only the complex legal issues that inform custody and access matters, but also understands the deeply significant implications that these decisions can have on you and your children.
Ginny Lee, acting in her capacity as of counsel* to Bader Law, has helped numerous clients with custody and access matters over the years. Let her help you through the difficult time of untangling your marriage or relationship, including making important decisions about your children.
Child Custody Disputes
Child custody does not necessarily refer to where a child lives most of the time, or how much time they spend with each parent. Rather, custody is a term used to describe the right to make day-to-day decisions about the care and rearing of a child, including their health care, education, and religious upbringing. Courts are currently moving towards a model of “parenting” terminology as opposed to “custody”.
Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody
In a joint custody scenario, both parents must agree on all major decisions, and neither may make unilateral choices about matters that affect their child. These types of arrangements are best for spouses who agree on child-rearing methods and can cooperate to make important choices.
Where one parent has sole custody of a child, they make all important decisions on the child’s behalf. Although they may be required to discuss the decision with the other parent, they do not typically have to agree on a course of action.
Child Access Disputes
Regardless of how custody is shared, if children will be living with one parent most of the time (called the “custodial parent”) then the issue of access (i.e. physically seeing a child, being able to communicate with them, or being able to obtain information about them) must also be addressed. Access is negotiated between the parents and in the best interests of the child.
Even where a parent does not have custody, their rights to access may permit them to ask for and obtain details about their children’s health, education, and well-being from places like schools and hospitals.
Current agreements and court orders are more often referencing “parenting time” as distinct from “access schedules”, in an attempt to promote cooperative parenting. Where appropriate, this is generally a better, less divisive approach to agreements and at Bader Law, we are supportive of this trend where feasible.
Legal advice for Mississauga area Families About Child Custody & Access
Custody and access disputes can be fraught with challenges and drawing them out longer than necessary can cause serious disruption to your family’s well-being. At Bader Law, of counsel Ginny Lee knows that a timely resolution is in everyone’s best interests, and she works hard to facilitate negotiated agreements wherever this would benefit our clients. To discuss your matter with Ginny Lee, of counsel to Bader Law, contact Ginny Lee by email or by phone at (647) 767-5421.
*Note that Ginny Lee is an independent practitioner and not an employee of Bader Law.