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Calgary Child Custody Lawyers

What is Child Custody?

Simply put, child custody decides who is in charge to take care of the children of the marriage during or after the divorce. There are four types of child custody:

  1. Joint, 
  2. Sole,
  3. Shared and
  4. Split 

You can apply to court for one of the custody options that would be appropriate depending on the circumstances or proceed by mutual agreement. 

What is Child Access? 

Access is the legal term for the right of the child and parent to spend time together. Although parents may not have a role in making final decisions, a parent with access has the right to receive information about the child’s education, health, and well-being.

Other family members, like grandparents, can also have the right to access. Usually, access is called “parenting” with the child. 

How to Apply for Child Custody

You can apply to the Provincial Court or the Court of Queen’s Bench. Your application needs to be supported by your Affidavit which will be reviewed by the court. Once you file the Application and Affidavit with Court, you need to serve all filed documents upon the opposing party.

Upon hearing both parties, the Judge may grant you with an appropriate custody and parenting time arrangements.  The Court Order must be followed by both parties until subsequent Order or mutual agreement by the parties. 

What to Expect during Child Custody Negotiations 

The first thing you need to understand is that the child custody should always work for the best interest of the child, not yourself nor your ex-spouse.

Always think about the best option for the child regarding child’s well-being, financial and educational support. If you are attending one of the mediation sessions or negotiations, then please contact us to discuss in detail.  

How can Our Child Custody Lawyers Help?

The legal staff at Shim Law always give maximum effort, passion and support to each and every one of our clients.  With that said, our lawyers can:

  • help you to make the right decision, 
  • come up with the best possible parenting arrangements,
  • prepare legal documents,
  • attend a hearing or trial and
  • negotiate or mediate with you

We can also assist you in drafting or reviewing your application and affidavit. Our assistance can be full representation or on a limited scope of services depending your needs and financial situations.  

Child Custody FAQs

What is child custody, and what does it entail? 

Child custody is a legal concept that determines which parent or guardian will have primary responsibility for the care, upbringing, and well-being of a child after a divorce or separation. It encompasses various aspects, including physical custody (where the child lives) and legal custody (who makes important decisions regarding the child’s life). 

What types of child custody arrangements are common in Calgary? 

In Calgary, as in most jurisdictions, several common child custody arrangements exist: 

Sole Custody: In this arrangement, one parent has primary physical and legal custody of the child. The non-custodial parent may have visitation rights. 

Joint Custody: Both parents share legal custody and are involved in major decisions affecting the child’s life. Physical custody may be shared equally or divided based on a specified schedule. 

Shared Custody: This arrangement involves significant and relatively equal time spent with both parents, ensuring that the child maintains a close relationship with each. 

How do courts determine child custody in Calgary? 

Courts in Calgary make child custody decisions based on the best interests of the child. While there is no fixed formula, factors considered include: 

The child’s age, needs, and preferences (if mature enough to express them). 

The relationship between each parent and the child. 

Each parent’s ability to provide a stable, loving, and supportive environment. 

Any history of abuse or neglect. 

The child’s adjustment to their current living situation and community. 

Courts aim to create arrangements that prioritize the child’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. 

Can child custody arrangements be modified in Calgary? 

Yes, child custody arrangements can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances that warrants a modification. Such changes could include a parent’s relocation, a change in the child’s needs, or a parent’s inability to fulfill their custody responsibilities. To modify custody, both parents may need to agree to the changes or seek a court order. 

What is the difference between legal custody and physical custody? 

Legal custody pertains to decision-making authority over significant aspects of a child’s life, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Physical custody refers to where the child lives and spends their time. 

How is child visitation or access determined in Calgary? 

Child visitation, often referred to as access in Canada, is determined based on the best interests of the child and the specific circumstances of the family. Visitation schedules can range from supervised visits to regular, unsupervised visits and can be detailed in a parenting plan or court order. 

Can grandparents or other relatives seek custody or visitation rights in Calgary? 

In Calgary, Alberta, grandparents and other relatives may have the ability to seek custody or visitation rights if it is in the best interests of the child. However, they must demonstrate a significant connection to the child and that granting access would benefit the child. 

Can a child’s preferences be considered in custody decisions in Calgary? 

Yes, the child’s preferences may be considered in custody decisions, particularly if the child is mature enough to express their wishes. However, the weight given to the child’s preferences depends on their age, maturity level, and other factors relevant to their best interests. The court will always prioritize the child’s well-being above all else. 

How can parents resolve child custody disputes in Calgary without going to court? 

Parents in Calgary have various options to resolve child custody disputes outside of court, including negotiation, mediation, and collaborative law processes. These alternative dispute resolution methods allow parents to work together with the assistance of professionals to create a mutually acceptable parenting plan that reflects the best interests of the child. 

What role does a family lawyer play in child custody cases in Calgary? 

Family lawyers in Calgary play a vital role in child custody cases by providing essential guidance and advocacy. They assist parents in understanding their rights and responsibilities, negotiating custody agreements, representing them in court if necessary, and ensuring that the child’s best interests are protected throughout the legal process. Additionally, lawyers can help parents navigate the complex legal procedures, paperwork, and court requirements associated with child custody disputes. 

About Shim Law

Shim Law is a multicultural law firm that provides legal services to clients in Calgary and around the world. With lawyers fluent in up to 20 languages, we can provide accurate legal representation regardless of language barriers. Our practice areas include family law, real estate law, and more.

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