Parenting time (access) and decision-making responsibility (custody) are usually resolved based on the best interests of the children. Although both parents should be legally equally be able to see their children as much as possible, the courts will look at the most convenient and feasible arrangement that benefits the child. The courts are less likely to split parenting time in half, but rather more likely to focus on the quality of the child’s life and what is feasible depending on the child’s schedule and convenience.
Some important factors in Ontario that the courts consider, according to the Divorce Act and the Children’s Law Reform Act, are:
It is common for spouses or parents to withhold parenting time as leverage for seeking other rights such as support. However, both parents have an equal right to parenting time, and unless a parent fears for the child’s safety, it would be illegal to deprive a child from visiting or spending time with their parent.
If that is happening to you, make sure to contact us at 647 806 9184 or email@example.com to enforce your parenting time through a a court order.
In cases where a parent deprived a child of parenting time, the judge reversed the parent who held sole decision-making responsibility and attributed it to the parent deprived of their child, as long as they were willing to encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent.
In most cases, parenting time issues arise simultaneously with relocation plans or fears of relocation. “Relocation” is when a parent wishes to move a child to a new home in a place where it would negatively affect the parenting time of the other parent or individual. Although a parent may relocate the child with the consent of the other parent who is affected by the relocation, a lack of such consent is not necessarily determinative regarding the legality of the relocation. A court order may still permit the relocation.
When permitting a relocation of a child, the courts will look at the following factors:
The courts will nevertheless always prioritize the best interests of a child or the best interest of a parent. So for example, if a parent wishes to move for job prospects, the courts will prioritize the effect that the move will have on the child’s stable environment, rather than the advancement of the parent.
If you are looking to pursue a relocation or oppose one, we are the family law firm for you. We will structure your case to meet legal requirements in order to achieve your goals.
Every family law case is unique. Despite precedence, family law is one area that is heavily fact-based, meaning, the courts will focus almost entirely on the unique facts of your case, rather than what has been previously decided in other or similar cases -contrary to other practice areas. For these reasons, it is important to seek and work with a lawyer as soon as you foresee a deprivation of your family law rights. The sooner you work with a lawyer, the better chances you have at preparing your case thoroughly and effectively.
You may book a consultation with us at 647 806 9184 or firstname.lastname@example.org or decide to retain us immediately.
February 15, 2022