Either way, they are often fraught with tension and conflict. It is essential that you have a lawyer on your side who will work with you to keep your expectations reasonable and your position workable.
Important considerations include the age(s) of the child(ren), the status quo living situation of the children, and the children’s own wishes. By working with a skilled family law lawyer, you can work towards attaining a custody and access schedule that works for both parents and is in the children’s best interests.
Should your former partner not be willing to negotiate on such issues, you have recourse to the courts where you can request an enforceable order for access. The success of such a request will depend on the particulars of your case, and resources such as the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, custody assessments, and parenting coordinators may be available to help the court determines the best custody and access arrangements.
The Divorce Act and the Children’s Law Reform Act are the two statutes that govern custody and access in Ontario. Your custody and access lawyer will know which legislation applies to your unique situation and under which statute to seek relief from the courts.
If you and your former partner live in different municipalities, your lawyer will assist you in determining which court has jurisdiction in your matter, and which factors the court will consider in determining custody and access. The distinctions between sole, joint, and shared custody will be explained, as well as the viability of preparing a parenting plan, as an alternative to court.
You will want a knowledgeable and helpful lawyer to help you navigate this area of the law and to lessen your anxiety.
The child custody lawyers at Epstein & Associates are well versed in family law. We can help you create a viable parenting plan that works for both parents and is in the children’s best interest. Please contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss custody and access in Newmarket, Barrie and Richmond Hill.