Decision-making / Custody / Access / Parenting Plan/ Primary Residence

The Divorce Act refers to Custody of the children by stating that custody includes care, upbringing and any other incident of custody.  Custody has different meanings depending on the context.  Firstly, that Custody refers to who has primary residence and majority of the day-to-day care and control of the children.   Secondly, Custody refers who has decision-making authority.  With respect to decision-making, a parent may have Sole Custody or Joint Custody.   Sole means that only you get to make major decisions affecting the children, such as medical, educational, religion.  Joint custody means that both parents share decision-making authority over the children.

If you were never married the Divorce Act does not apply, your rights are set out under provincial legislation, the Family Law Act.  The Family Law Act uses the term Guardianship to cover the bundle pf rights and obligations with respect to decision-making and Parenting time for when each parent has time with the children.  Provincial legislation also refers to primary residence, for when one parent has the children the majority of the time.    With respect to decision-making authority, Provincial legislation sets out several different areas in which decisions are made, and asks whether or not each decision-type should be made together or only by one parent.

If you have any questions or concerns about parenting time, decision-making, access to information regarding your children, please contact me to discuss.


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