Providing expert legal services for civil, family, construction, wills and estates and business law.

What to Know about Child Custody in Canada

Providing expert legal services for civil, family, construction, wills and estates and business law.

child's hand on parent's

What You Need to Know about Child Custody in Canada

When parents separate or divorce, decisions must be made about the care of their children. In Canada, the term “custody” is used to describe the legal relationship between a parent and child and the right to make decisions about the child’s care. But child custody can be a complicated matter. And if you’re in the middle of fighting for custody over your child, it’s important that you know what you’re getting into.

How Is Child Custody Determined in Canada?

The best interests of the children are the paramount consideration in making any custody and visitation determination.

The Canadian legal system recognizes two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make major decisions on behalf of the child, such as decisions regarding education, religion, and medical care. Physical custody refers to where the child will live on a day-to-day basis.

In many cases, parents are able to reach an agreement on custody and visitation without the need for a court order. However, if the child’s parents are unable to agree, the court will make a determination based on the best interests of the child.

What Factors Are Considered When Determining Child Custody in Canada?

There are many factors that are considered when determining child custody in Canada. Some of the main factors include the child’s age, the child’s gender, the child’s relationship with each parent, the parent’s work schedules, the parent’s ability to care for the child, and the child’s preference.

The child’s age is an important factor in custody determinations because younger children generally need more care and supervision than older children. For example, a toddler will need more supervision than a teenager. The child’s gender is also a factor because boys and girls often have different needs. 

The child’s relationship with each parent is also an important factor. The court will look at how close the child is to each parent and whether each parent has truly been involved in the child’s life. The court will also look at the child’s relationship with siblings and other relatives.

The parents’ work schedules are also a factor because the court will want to know who will be available to care for the child. The parent’s ability to care for the child is also a factor. The court will look at the parent’s financial resources, their housing situation, and their ability to provide a stable home environment.

The child’s preference, that is, if the child is old enough to express a preference, is also a factor. The Canadian courts will take the child’s preference into account, but it is not the only factor that the court will consider. 

In general, the court will try to make a custody determination that is in the best interests of the child. The Canadian courts will look at all of the factors listed above and any other relevant factors to make a custody determination.

Final Thoughts

It is important to note that child custody in Canada is a complex issue. There are many factors to consider when making decisions about child custody, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every family is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It is important to seek professional help to ensure that the best interests of the child are taken into account.

Gain custody of your child with the help of Pathfinder Law. We are a child custody lawyer in Abbotsford that takes a collaborative approach to family law that minimizes conflict by swiftly arriving at a fair, practical settlement for all kinds of family-related legal matters. Book a complimentary consultation now!

Disclaimer – The information contained herein is of a general nature. It is not intended to be legal advice and it is not intended to address the exact circumstances of any particular individual or entity. You should not rely on or act upon such information without receiving appropriate professional advice and without a thorough examination of your particular situation.