Mississauga Child Custody Lawyer
If you are separating, divorcing or ending a relationship with someone you have a child with, deciding issues of child custody and access are probably foremost in your mind. Whether working together with your co-parent on a parenting plan or litigating an emotional, high-conflict custody dispute in court, the Mississauga child custody lawyers at Zagazeta Garcia LLP can provide you with the advice, technical assistance and legal representation you need to achieve a custody plan that respects your rights as parent and is in the best interests of your child or children.
Types of Child Custody in Ontario
Ontario family law recognizes different forms of child custody, including joint custody, sole custody and split custody. Also, both physical custody and legal custody may be addressed. These terms are discussed in more detail below:
Joint Legal Custody – Both parents share in the right and responsibility to make decisions about the child’s upbringing in areas such as medical care, education, religion, extracurricular activities and other subjects.
Joint Physical Custody – The child resides with each parent at least 40% of the time. Custody may be split evenly between the parents, or one parent may be the primary custodial parent, with the other parent having less custodial time. You will also hear of this type of custody referred to as shared custody.
Sole Custody – The child resides with one parent the entire time, although the other parent may be granted access or visitation rights, either supervised or unsupervised. The sole custodial parent may have sole legal custody as well, although the noncustodial parent may have the right to receive information about the child’s health, education and welfare. Courts tend to grant some form of access unless it would not be in the child’s best interests.
Split Custody – If there are multiple children, split custody would be where one child lives with one parent and the other child lives with the other parent. While the policy of Ontario family law is generally to keep children together, there are situations where due to age, gender or other reasons, a child prefers to live with a particular parent.
When deciding which type of custody to order or which parent to grant custody to, the court looks at a number of different factors, above all with the best interests of the child foremost in mind. These factors include:
- The emotional bonds and relationship between parent and child
- Which parent has historically been the child’s primary caregiver
- Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs
- Each parent’s ability to spend time with the child
- The need for stability and continuity in the child’s life
- Whether either parent would interfere with the relationship between the child and the other parent
- The logistics of the parenting plan
- If the child has special needs
How Our Mississauga Family Lawyers can Help
The best custodial arrangement is the one that the parents work out and agree on together. Our experienced Ontario family lawyers can work with you to create a detailed parenting plan covering when the child stays with each parent as well as how major decisions will be made. The family court is likely to approve a written agreement prepared by the parents, provided it covers all necessary issues and appears complete and fair.
If you and your co-parent are not able to work together, the family court will decide custody based on the evidence presented to it by the parties. We provide strong, insightful representation geared toward achieving a result in child custody that meets your needs and those of your children.
Help is Available from Experienced Mississauga Child Custody Lawyers
For help with child custody in your Ontario divorce or other family law matter, call Zagazeta Garcia Lawyers LLP in Mississauga at 905-232-0398 for a no-cost, confidential consultation about your rights and interests in this vital area.