Child Custody Category - Lawyer Abbotsford

Separation Agreements in British Columbia: A Guide to Safeguarding Your Future

Facing the end of a relationship can be an emotionally challenging and complex experience. In British Columbia, many couples opt to enter into a separation agreement to address various legal and financial concerns, such as property division, spousal support, child custody, and parenting arrangements. A carefully drafted and legally binding separation agreement helps both parties navigate the dissolution of the relationship while safeguarding their rights and interests and ensuring the welfare of their children.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of creating a concise and enforceable separation agreement, covering the key aspects that should be included and the significance of engaging a skilled family lawyer to guide you through this journey. We will also emphasize our commitment to providing expert advice and support as your family law partner, ensuring your separation agreement is tailored to your unique circumstances and protects your rights and interests.

Key Elements of a Solid Separation Agreement

Drafting a robust separation agreement requires careful attention to several essential topics that will dictate the terms of your separation. Ensure that the following elements are addressed in your agreement:

– Property division: Reach a fair and equitable distribution of both assets and debts acquired during the relationship. Consider the distinction between family and excluded property, as well as any necessary valuation or appraisals of significant properties.

– Spousal support: Determine if one spouse is entitled to financial support from the other, based on factors such as the length of the relationship, roles during the relationship, income differences, and financial need.

– Child custody and parenting arrangements: Establish clear and workable arrangements for the care and upbringing of any children involved, considering both physical and legal custody, as well as decision-making authority.

– Child support: Calculate appropriate financial support for children in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines, factoring in each parent’s income, parenting time, and any special or extraordinary expenses.

Addressing these topics in a comprehensive and legally binding manner is crucial to ensuring that your separation agreement protects your rights and interests.

The Importance of Legal Advice and Representation

Having a skilled family lawyer on your side is invaluable when crafting a separation agreement. Here are some benefits of engaging a legal professional during this process:

– Expert guidance: Family lawyers have in-depth knowledge of the legal landscape surrounding separation and divorce in British Columbia, providing essential insight and advice to help you make well-informed decisions.

– Tailored solutions: Leverage our expertise to create a separation agreement that is specifically designed to address your unique needs, goals, and circumstances.

– Avoiding pitfalls: Legal representation minimizes the chances of overlooking crucial aspects or making costly errors in your separation agreement, potentially saving you significant financial and emotional stress.

– Mediation and negotiation: Our skilled negotiators facilitate productive discussions and compromise between parties, fostering an amicable and mutually beneficial resolution that avoids protracted disputes.

Tips for Successfully Drafting a Separation Agreement

As you approach the task of creating a separation agreement, consider these tips to help pave the way for a successful outcome:

– Prioritize clear communication: Engage in open and honest dialogue with your spouse, striving to ensure that both sides have a clear understanding of each other’s expectations and concerns.

– Be prepared to compromise: Recognize that finding common ground may involve making certain concessions or adapting your preferences to accommodate your spouse’s needs.

– Keep your children’s welfare at the forefront: If children are involved, prioritize their best interests and develop parenting arrangements that reflect their needs and well-being.

– Document everything: Record discussions, agreements, and decisions in writing to minimize misunderstanding and create a paper trail for future reference.

– Maintain a respectful and cooperative approach: Strive to maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect and demonstrate a willingness to cooperate throughout the process.

Enforcing and Modifying Separation Agreements

Once your separation agreement has been drafted and signed, it becomes a legally binding contract enforceable in the courts. To ensure compliance, it is crucial to follow the terms and conditions stipulated in the agreement closely. However, circumstances may change over time, necessitating modifications to the agreement. In such cases:

– Seek legal counsel: Engage a family lawyer to assess your case, explore your options, and provide advice on the next best steps.

– Communicate with your former spouse: Open a dialogue with your former partner to discuss the proposed changes and seek their agreement.

– Engage in mediation or negotiation: Work with skilled negotiators or mediators to find a mutually agreeable solution that reflects the new circumstances.

– Formalize modifications: Once an agreement on the changes has been reached, document the modifications in writing, sign the amended agreement, and have it witnessed to ensure its legal enforceability.


Creating a comprehensive and enforceable separation agreement is not only vital to safeguarding your rights and interests during this challenging period but also to laying the groundwork for a brighter future. By carefully examining the essential aspects of your separation and engaging the support of a skilled family lawyer, you can craft a separation agreement that truly addresses your unique needs and circumstances.

Trust in our expertise to guide you through the complexities of this emotionally charged process and help you emerge stronger and more resilient. Reach out to us at Pathfinder Law to begin your journey toward crafting the ideal separation agreement in Abbotsford that’s tailored just for you.

Child Relocation After Divorce: Legal Considerations and Processes in British Columbia

The end of a marriage or long-term relationship can bring about numerous life changes, including decisions around relocation. For parents, the prospect of moving within or beyond British Columbia after divorce brings about unique and complex implications, all linked to ensuring the best interests of the child are kept at the heart of any decision. Navigating the legal considerations surrounding child relocation after divorce requires a deep understanding of the applicable regulations as well as the complexities involved in negotiating custody and parental rights.

In this article, we will explore critical aspects of child relocation following divorce in British Columbia. We will examine the factors that courts consider when deliberating on relocation petitions, the legal framework governing these decisions, the role of consent between the parents during the relocation process, and the potential need for mediation or litigation. Furthermore, we will discuss the importance of engaging accomplished family law attorneys to assist you in navigating these complexities and protecting your rights as a parent during this time of transition.

1. Best Interests of the Child: Determining Factors and Court Considerations

When deliberating on child relocation petitions following a divorce, the best interests of the child remain the paramount criterion. British Columbia’s Family Law Act specifically outlines factors that courts must consider when determining the child’s best interests, including but not limited to:

– The child’s health, emotional well-being, and educational needs;

– The child’s views and preferences, given their age and maturity;

– The impact that relocating may have on existing custody arrangements and maintaining a healthy relationship with both parents;

– The history of care, involvement, and support provided by each parent;

– The reasons for the proposed relocation and potential challenges or advantages that might arise from the move.

2. Legal Framework Governing Child Relocation in British Columbia

The Family Law Act in British Columbia governs the circumstances and processes surrounding child relocation after divorce. A crucial aspect of this legal framework involves differentiating between situations where parents share guardianship and those where one parent has sole guardianship:

– Shared Guardianship: In cases of joint guardianship, the relocating parent must provide written notice to the other parent at least 60 days before the intended move. The non-relocating parent then has 30 days to file an objection to the proposed relocation. If an objection is filed, the relocating parent must obtain consent from the other parent or a court order approving the move.

– Sole Guardianship: If one parent has sole guardianship, they can generally relocate with the child without needing the other parent’s consent. However, the non-guardian parent can still file an objection, and the courts retain the authority to intervene if they believe the relocation is not in the child’s best interests.

3. Consent, Mediation, and Negotiation: Navigating the Decision-Making Process

Reaching a mutually agreeable decision regarding child relocation after divorce can require extensive communication and collaboration between parents. The role of consent in the relocation process is significant, as obtaining the other parent’s approval can expedite the relocation process and minimize potential hardships.

If parents cannot reach an agreement through direct communication, they may consider engaging in mediation or negotiation with the assistance of skilled family law attorneys. This process allows both parties to work together, in good faith, to explore potential solutions and determine whether the proposed relocation aligns with the child’s best interests.

4. Litigation: Navigating the Courts When Agreement Seems Unattainable

When parents cannot reach a consensus about child relocation, or if there are substantial disagreements about the child’s best interests, litigation may become necessary. In these cases, the court will consider all relevant factors presented during the litigation proceedings and make a determination based on the child’s best interests.

Family law courts in British Columbia may grant permission for the relocation or impose certain conditions or restrictions, such as modified access schedules or parenting plans. Ultimately, the court’s decision will hinge on ensuring that the child’s safety, well-being, and interests remain the primary focus.


Navigating the complexities of child relocation after divorce in British Columbia necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the legal considerations and processes involved. Successfully addressing the challenges that arise during this transition often requires the support and guidance of skilled family law attorneys, such as those at Pathfinder Law, who are committed to protecting your rights and ensuring the best possible outcome for your family. Trust our experience in family law in Abbotsford and our dedicated team of legal experts to provide the necessary expertise, representation, and compassionate support during this difficult time. Our unwavering commitment to client success and our steadfast advocacy will help you face the challenges and opportunities associated with child relocation head-on, empowering you to make informed decisions for your family’s future.

A Guide to Child Custody and Access in British Columbia: Protecting Your Children’s Best Interests During Divorce

The separation of a family due to divorce is an emotionally challenging and complex process, particularly when it involves the determination of child custody and access arrangements. As decisions surrounding the care, upbringing, and living arrangements of children carry substantial consequences for their well-being and the family’s future, it is imperative for parents to understand the legalities of child custody and access in British Columbia.

In this article, we will provide an in-depth examination of child custody and access laws within the province, offering insights into the factors influencing the court’s decisions, the various custody and access arrangements, and the importance of developing a parenting plan. Keep reading and understand how the skilled family law attorneys at Pathfinder Law can offer invaluable support and representation throughout the custody and access process, ensuring that your children’s best interests are protected and prioritized at every turn.

1. Factors Influencing the Court’s Decisions on Custody and Access

When determining child custody and access arrangements in British Columbia, the primary consideration is the best interests of the child. The provincial Family Law Act outlines several factors that the court takes into account when deciding custody and access, including:

  • The child’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs;
  • The child’s views and preferences, if appropriate;
  • The nature and strength of the child’s relationships with parents and other significant individuals;
  • The ability and willingness of each parent to facilitate and encourage the child’s continued relationships with the other parent and other important people in the child’s life;
  • The history of care and involvement of each parent in the child’s life;
  • The potential impact of changes in the child’s living arrangements;
  • The quality and stability of each proposed living situation;
  • Any history of family violence or substance abuse;
  • The ability and willingness of each parent to cooperate regarding decisions about the child’s care and upbringing;
  • And any relevant civil or criminal proceedings involving either parent or the child.

2. Different Types of Custody and Access Arrangements

In British Columbia, custody and access can come in various forms:

  • Sole Custody: One parent has sole decision-making authority over the child’s care, upbringing, and daily activities. The child typically resides primarily with the custodial parent, while the non-custodial parent may have specified access or visitation rights.
  • Joint Custody: Both parents share decision-making authority regarding the child’s care and upbringing, and may also share physical custody, meaning the child spends significant time living with both parents. This arrangement is also known as shared custody or shared parenting.
  • Split Custody: In cases involving multiple children, each parent has custody of one or more children, with the children alternating residence between the two households.
  • Access and Visitation: Access refers to the right of a non-custodial parent or other significant individuals (e.g., grandparents) to spend time with and maintain a relationship with the child. Visitation agreements may vary, ranging from specific schedules to reasonable access determined by mutual agreement between the parties.

3. The Importance of Developing a Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is a detailed, written agreement outlining the arrangements and expectations related to the care, upbringing, decision-making, and division of responsibilities regarding children following a separation or divorce. Developing a comprehensive parenting plan allows parents to establish a consistent, predictable routine for their children while minimizing potential conflicts and misunderstandings. Key components of a parenting plan may include:

  • Allocation of Decision-Making Authority
  • Scheduling and Division of Parenting Time
  • Communication Protocols
  • Dispute Resolution Mechanisms

4. How Pathfinder Law’s Family Law Attorneys Can Help with Child Custody and Access Matters

Navigating the complexities of child custody and access in British Columbia requires skilled legal guidance and support. At Pathfinder Law, our team of experienced family law attorneys can assist you with all aspects of the custody and access process, offering services such as:

  • Legal Advice and Representation
  • Advocacy in Court
  • Negotiation and Mediation

Securing the best outcome for your children during the divorce process is of paramount importance, making it essential to partner with a compassionate and skilled family law attorney who can provide support and representation throughout the custody and access journey.

At Pathfinder Law, our team of divorce lawyers in Abbotsford is committed to protecting your children’s best interests, offering the guidance and advocacy necessary to navigate this challenging time and secure a stable, healthy future for your family. Trust in Pathfinder Law to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your child custody and access case, enabling you to embark on a brighter, more harmonious future for you and your children. Contact us today.

Child Custody and Access in British Columbia: A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating child custody and access matters in British Columbia can be emotionally and mentally exhausting, as both parents strive to ensure the well-being and best interests of their child. Understanding the legal landscape associated with child custody and access is an essential step for parents undergoing separation or divorce, as it empowers them to make informed decisions and advocate for their desired arrangements. This comprehensive understanding requires a grasp of the various types of child custody, the factors that influence access arrangements, and the importance of prioritizing the child’s best interests.

In this article, we will delve into the complexities of child custody and access in British Columbia, providing information on key aspects such as sole and joint custody, decision-making responsibilities, access arrangements, and the central role of the best interests of the child standard. Furthermore, we will emphasize the important role that legal representation plays in guiding parents through the labyrinth of child custody and access disputes, advocating on their behalf, and pursuing the most favourable outcomes possible.

Child Custody and Access in British Columbia: A Comprehensive Guide

  1. Understanding the Types of Child Custody

The legal framework of child custody in British Columbia recognizes two main types of custody arrangements: sole custody and joint custody. It’s crucial for parents to understand the differences between these custody types when negotiating custody agreements or participating in court proceedings:

  • Sole Custody: Under sole custody arrangements, one parent is granted exclusive decision-making authority for the child, including decisions related to the child’s education, healthcare, and upbringing. The other parent is typically granted access to the child according to an agreed-upon schedule or court order.
  • Joint Custody: In joint custody arrangements, both parents share decision-making responsibilities for the child. Joint custody can take various forms depending on the needs and best interests of the child, such as shared parenting, where both parents hold physical custody or parallel parenting, where each parent exercises decision-making authority during their time with the child.

It’s important to note that child custody and physical residence are distinct aspects of the parenting arrangement. A joint custody arrangement, for example, doesn’t necessarily imply an equal 50/50 split of the child’s time between the parents.

  1. Decision-Making Responsibilities and Parenting Time

Child custody arrangements determine decision-making responsibilities and parenting time, both of which are crucial elements of the child’s life following a separation or divorce:

  • Decision-Making Responsibilities: Custodial arrangements allocate responsibility for making significant decisions in the child’s life, such as those involving education, healthcare, religion, and extracurricular activities.
  • Parenting Time: Parenting time, previously known as “access” or “visitation,” refers to the scheduled time allocated for each parent to care for and spend time with the child. Parenting time arrangements may be flexible and open or adhere to a structured schedule.
  1. The Best Interests of the Child Standard

The best interests of the child standard are the cornerstone of child custody and access determinations in British Columbia. As outlined in the Family Law Act, the best interests of the child guide every aspect of custody and access arrangements, focusing on factors such as:

  • The child’s emotional, physical, and developmental needs, as well as any special requirements;
  • The history of each parent’s care for the child, including the duration and quality of the relationship that has been established;
  • The child’s views and preferences, considering the child’s age and maturity;
  • The ability of each parent to communicate, cooperate, and effectively address the child’s needs;
  • Any history of family violence or other risks to the child’s safety and well-being;
  • The capacity of each parent to foster and maintain the child’s relationship with the other parent.
  1. The Role of Legal Representation in Child Custody and Access Disputes

Engaging the services of a knowledgeable family law attorney is crucial for parents dealing with child custody and access disputes in British Columbia. Legal representation can:

  • Provide guidance and clarity: Family law attorneys can help parents understand their rights and responsibilities, as well as the various factors that may influence custody and access arrangements.
  • Facilitate Negotiation and Mediation: Attorneys can represent clients in negotiations and mediation processes, working towards collaborative resolutions that prioritize the best interests of the child.
  • Advocate in Court Proceedings: In cases where amicable resolutions cannot be reached, a family law attorney can advocate for their client and the desired custody arrangement in court, presenting evidence and arguments to establish the arrangement’s alignment with the child’s best interests.


Understanding the complexities of child custody and access in British Columbia is vital for parents facing the challenging process of separation or divorce. By comprehending essential aspects such as types of custody, decision-making responsibilities, parenting time, and the best interests of the child standard, parents can approach custody negotiations and disputes informed and empowered. 

Pathfinder Law’s dedicated team of experienced family law attorneys is committed to providing guidance, support, and representation in child custody and access matters, ensuring that our clients’ desires and their child’s best interests are prioritized throughout the legal process. Trust our compassionate and knowledgeable child custody lawyers in Abbotsford to advocate for you and your child during this challenging chapter in your lives.

Navigating Child Custody and Access Issues During Divorce in British Columbia

Amid the labyrinth of emotional and practical challenges that divorces present, navigating child custody and access issues can be one of the most strenuous experiences for families in British Columbia. Separating parents often grapple with the heartrending decision of how to create and maintain an optimal environment for their children as their family dynamic changes. As these situations can be incredibly complex, both legally and emotionally, it is crucial for parents to understand the various factors and processes involved in determining child custody and access arrangements in British Columbia.

In this article, we will explore the key aspects of child custody and access during divorces, outline the various types of custody and access arrangements, and discuss the factors considered by the courts in determining what is in the best interests of the child. Our focus is to provide insights that can help divorcing parents navigate these complicated processes and make well-informed decisions that prioritize the well-being of their children. Furthermore, we will underscore the importance of seeking experienced legal representation from a reputable family law firm like Pathfinder Law, which can provide personalized guidance and compassionate support throughout the custody resolution process.

Navigating Child Custody and Access Issues During Divorce in British Columbia

1. Types of Child Custody and Access Arrangements

There is a diverse range of child custody and access arrangements available for separating parents in British Columbia, designed to cater to the unique needs and circumstances of each family. The principal custody and access types include:

– Joint Custody: Both parents share decision-making authority on significant issues concerning their child’s life, such as education, health, and religious upbringing.

– Sole Custody: One parent is granted the sole authority to make major decisions about the child’s welfare, often with access rights granted to the non-custodial parent.

– Shared Parenting: Both parents share physical custody and decision-making authority equally, with the child splitting their time between both households.

– Split Custody: In families with multiple children, the siblings are divided between the two parents, each having full custody of one or more children.

2. Determining the Best Interests of the Child

In British Columbia, courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody and access arrangements during a divorce. Factors considered by the courts include:

– The child’s emotional, physical, and educational needs

– The existing bond and relationship between the child and each parent

– The ability of each parent to provide a stable, nurturing, and loving environment

– The child’s expressed preferences, if they are of an appropriate age and maturity

– Any history of family violence or abuse

– The ability of the parents to cooperate and communicate effectively in matters relating to their child

3. Managing Child Custody Disputes and Negotiations

Reaching a fair and amicable conclusion on child custody and access arrangements requires negotiating skills and patience. Various methods can be employed to facilitate effective communication between parties and resolve disputes, such as:

– Mediation: A neutral third party, often a trained mediator, assists the parents in reaching a mutually agreeable settlement on custody and access issues.

– Collaborative Negotiation: Parents and their respective lawyers work together cooperatively, sharing information and collaborating on problem-solving to reach a settlement.

– Court Intervention: If negotiations or mediations are unsuccessful, parents can turn to the court system, where a judge will make a decision based on the best interests of the child.

4. Modifying Custody and Access Arrangements

Life is ever-evolving, and circumstances may change, necessitating the modification of existing custody and access arrangements. Parents may need to seek a variation of the current order due to reasons like:

– Relocation of a parent

– Changes in the child’s needs or preferences

– Significant alterations in a parent’s lifestyle or circumstances that impact their ability to provide care

– Emergent concerns about the child’s safety or well-being

How Pathfinder Law Can Support You Through Child Custody and Access Matters

1. Tailored Legal Guidance

The dedicated family lawyers at Pathfinder Law can provide personalized legal guidance and advice, ensuring that your unique needs and circumstances receive the attention they deserve during the custody resolution process.

2. Effective Negotiation and Mediation Support

Our experienced legal professionals can assist you in navigating the complexities of child custody negotiations and mediation, representing your best interests and working toward amicable solutions.

3. Compassionate Representation in Court

If court intervention becomes necessary, you can trust the skilled attorneys at Pathfinder Law to compassionately represent you in custody and access hearings and advocate for your rights.

4. Assistance with Custody and Access Modifications

Our attentive legal team can guide you through the process of modifying existing custody and access arrangements, ensuring your child’s best interests are prioritized in the face of changing circumstances.


Navigating child custody and access issues during divorce in British Columbia can be a daunting and emotionally charged endeavour for separating parents. However, with a firm understanding of the various factors and processes involved in determining child custody and access arrangements, parents can make well-informed decisions that prioritize the well-being of their children. Partnering with the experienced family lawyers at Pathfinder Law can provide invaluable support and guidance throughout the custody resolution process, ensuring the protection of your rights and interests and working toward fair and reasonable outcomes. Turn to our dedicated team of child custody lawyers in Abbotsford for compassionate counsel and comprehensive legal support in all your family law matters.

Family Law 101: Understanding Your Legal Rights and Obligations

When it comes to family law, it’s essential to understand your legal rights and obligations. Family law deals with issues such as divorce, child custody, support, and adoption. These are highly emotional and sensitive topics, and it’s essential to understand the legal framework that governs them. In this blog, we’ll provide an overview of family law in Abbotsford and the rest of the country and help you understand your legal rights and obligations.

Marriage and Divorce

In Canada, marriage is a legal contract between two people. When a couple decides to get married, they enter into a legal relationship that comes with certain rights and responsibilities. When a marriage breaks down, the couple may choose to get a divorce. To be granted a divorce in Canada, the couple must have been separated for at least one year, and one of the spouses must apply for a divorce. In some cases, couples may apply for a divorce on the grounds of adultery or cruelty.

Child Custody

When a married couple with children decides to separate, deciding who will have custody of the children becomes a crucial matter. The Canadian courts prioritize what is best for the child when determining custody arrangements. Custody can be divided into two categories: physical custody, which concerns where the child will reside, and legal custody, which pertains to the right to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. Occasionally, parents may share both physical and legal custody.

Child Support

When parents get divorced, one parent may be required to pay child support to the other parent. The amount of child support is calculated based on the income of the paying parent and the number of children involved. Child support is intended to cover the child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter.

Spousal Support

In some cases, one spouse may be required to pay spousal support to the other spouse after a divorce. Spousal support is intended to provide financial assistance to the spouse who may have given up career opportunities to care for the family. The amount of spousal support is calculated based on factors such as the length of the marriage, the income of both spouses and the standard of living during the marriage.


Adoption is the legal process of becoming the parent of a child who is not biologically related to you. In Canada, adoption is governed by provincial and territorial laws. The process of adoption can be lengthy and complex, and it’s essential to have legal representation. Adoption requires the consent of the birth parents, and in some cases, the child may have a say in the adoption.


Family law is a complex and emotional area of law that deals with sensitive issues such as divorce, child custody, support, and adoption. Understanding your legal rights and obligations is essential when dealing with family law issues. By understanding family law in Canada, you can make informed decisions that protect your rights and the well-being of your family.

If you need legal advice or representation in family law matters in Abbotsford, Pathfinder Law is here to help. Our experienced team of lawyers can provide you with comprehensive legal advice and representation in a wide range of areas, including child support. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a skilled child support lawyer in Abbotsford. Let us help you navigate through the complexities of family law with professional, efficient, and results-driven legal services.

Why Is Biology Not A Tie-Breaker in Child Custody Cases?

Should the biological parent always be given preference over other guardians regarding custody?

In BJT v. JD, 2022 SCC 24 [BJT], the Supreme Court of Canada found that judges are not obligated to use biology as a tie-breaker when two prospective custodial parents are otherwise equal (para 87).

Biological Father

The biological father in BJT was unaware that he was the father when the child safety authorities took the boy away from his mother when he was 6 years old because the mother couldn’t care for him.

There were reports of the father abusing the mother and her elder son from a prior relationship (the child’s half-brother).

Despite this, the father was permitted to spend time with the child under his supervision and worked with specialists to enhance his parenting and interpersonal skills.

The Grandmother

The boy’s mother and maternal Grandmother moved in with them when he was a little. During his early years, she looked after him and supplied for his financial needs.

She was asking for recognition as the youngster’s legal parent at the hearing since she had taken on the role of a foster parent following Prince Edward Island legislation after the boy was brought into custody.

The hearing judge rules in favour of the Grandmother:

Even though the child’s requirements might have been met equally by either parent, the judge found that the Grandmother’s care was in the child’s best interests since she would foster his bonds with his extended family more successfully.

She would arrange for the boy to visit his father in Alberta and keep in touch with his mother and half-brother in Prince Edward Island, even if the child’s father was unwilling to make the same arrangements.

Appealing Defence of the Father 

The father, in the appeal, brought up the “parental presumption principle,” which stipulates that a biological parent should be favoured over a non-parent in circumstances where all other factors are equal, or the non-parent is slightly superior.

The Court of Appeal also reached the same decision, stating that the child should live with the father.

Grandmother Wins at the Canadian Supreme Court

The Grandmother then appealed to the highest court in our nation. The “parental presumption theory” should no longer be taken into account when deciding on child custody disputes, according to the Supreme Court of Canada.

When the hearing judge’s decision was upheld, the Grandmother ultimately received custody of the kid.

Does biology win out in the end? No.

In the 1985 Supreme Court case, King v. Low, custody was granted to adoptive parents over the child’s biological mother due to the youngster’s stability and relationship with their adoptive parents. This decision rejected the presumption that children are better off with a biological parent.

The court determined that, besides the security that comes from knowing your “roots,” biology is not a relevant consideration in child custody disputes when alternative options, like access or parenting time, will give the child the same links.

According to the BJT case, a child can have an equal level of attachment to people who are not their biological parents and the same level of ability to care for them (para 104).

Regulation of Child Custody

The child’s best interests must be considered while deciding who gets custody. Although a judge may take biology into account, it is one element of a highly contextual and fact-driven assessment.

According to Section 16(2) of the federal Divorce Act of Canada, “the court shall pay primary attention to the child’s physical, emotional and psychological safety, security, and well-being” while making parenting or contact orders.

Our province and territory have similar laws. The Family Law Act of British Columbia’s Section 37(2) lists the criteria that must be considered when making decisions of this nature. 

These considerations cover the child’s emotional health, physical condition, and opinions, if applicable, in addition to the parties’ ability to care for the child and any potential consequences of family violence on any future arrangements. 


The court’s ruling means that when deciding child custody cases, judges can no longer consider a parent’s biological sex as a determining factor. This is a noteworthy change from the previous status quo, where biology was often seen as the deciding factor in child custody cases. The new ruling is seen as a victory for equality, as it ensures that both parents will be treated equally in the eyes of the law.

Pathfinder Law provides clients in Abbotsford and the rest of British Columbia with a wide range of legal services, including civil litigation, construction law, builders liens, employment law, wills, estates business law services, and family law in Abbotsford. Book a complimentary consultation today!

5 Reasons Investing in a Child Custody Lawyer Is a Good Idea

Divorce is never easy, but when children are involved, the process becomes exponentially more challenging for everyone involved. When going through a challenging, emotionally taxing time, it can be terrifying to consider the possibility that you could lose access to your child or stop seeing them as frequently as you would like. Hiring an experienced and competent attorney who will fight for your rights in court is essential if you are going through a divorce or child custody dispute. Learn why investing in a child custody lawyer is a good idea.

1. Aids You in Negotiating a Fair Custody Arrangement

A lawyer can assist you in understanding the process of determining child custody and ensuring your rights are protected. Child custody agreements are complex and involve many different issues.  For instance, a lawyer can assist you in negotiating critical matters such as child custody, visitation schedules, child support, and other relevant concerns on your behalf.

2. Support in Obtaining Child Support

If you seek child support, you will want to ensure you have the best possible chance of obtaining it. Hiring a child custody lawyer experienced in child support law will give you the best chance of success. Your lawyer will know the eligibility requirements for child support and will be able to guide you through the process.

3. Helps in Settling Child Custody Disagreements Out of Court

If you and your spouse cannot decide who should have custody of the children, you might have to take the matter before a judge so that a decision can be made. The process may take a very long time and be very expensive. Both the parents and the kids could end up feeling very anxious about all that’s going on. If you retain legal representation, your attorney will be able to assist you in negotiating a custody arrangement for your kid that is agreeable to both of the child’s parents. In many cases, this can be resolved outside of the need to go to court. Because of this, you will save time, money, and stress.

4. Assist You in Preserving Your Visitation Rights

If you are a non-custodial parent, you may wonder if investing in a child custody lawyer is worth it. The answer is yes! A child custody lawyer can assist you in preserving your visitation rights and ensuring that you have a strong relationship with your child.

5. Guide You in Compiling and Presenting Evidence

When deciding custody, the judge will take numerous things into account. They will consider the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s age and needs, the capabilities of each parent as a caregiver, and the financial stability of each household.  If you hire an experienced attorney for child custody, they will be able to assist you in gathering the evidence required to demonstrate that you are the ideal parent for your child.


Lawyers specializing in child custody cases have the training and experience to guide their clients through the often convoluted and distressing legal process. Plus, they can provide sound advice and encouragement through your case. Are you searching for a child custody lawyer in Abbotsford? Check out Pathfinder Law! When an acceptable compromise is impossible, we have the experience and expertise to represent our clients in court effectively. We also have extensive experience structuring divorce settlements, prenuptial agreements, child custody, child support, and other family law contracts. Contact us today for all your family law needs!