Child Custody & Access

The process of a divorce is incredibly stressful on its own. Maintaining your children's well-being under such circumstances is even more stressful. We understand that the well-being of children is often any parent’s first priority when they separate from their partner. As your family lawyer, this priority passes on to us.

The law recognizes that children may benefit from having as much contact as possible with both parents. Ideally, parents should share the parenting decisions related to their children, as well as time spent with their children. This is where issues of custody and access arise.

Most people are unaware that custody and access are actually two separate terms, mistakenly used interchangeably. “Custody” is a legal term that refers to the right to make major decisions that impact the child, such as religion, medical treatment, education, and where the child will live. "Access" (also known as “parenting time”) on the other hand, refers to the time that the child spends with the parent with whom they do not primarily reside with.

Types of Custody

Sole Custody

When a parent has sole custody of a child, they are solely authorized to make major decisions for the child, without needing approval of the other parent. Legally, this means that only one parent has the responsibility to unilaterally make the decisions about the child’s care and how the child will be raised.  Usually, the child lives primarily with the parent who has sole custody.

Joint Custody

Under a joint custody arrangement, both parents legally have an equal say about the major decisions affecting their child. Where there is a joint custody arrangement, neither parent has the right to unilaterally make major decisions about the child’s care. Furthermore, the child may either live only with one parent or there may be a shared custody arrangement. Both parents legally have an equal say about the major decisions affecting their child and there is an assumption that the parents can come to decisions regarding the child together.

Shared Custody

Under the Child Support Guidelines, shared custody exists where a child lives at least 40% of the time with each parent. The 40% time can include weekends, overnights, and parts of vacations. Please note, that this only refers to the residential agreement, and should not be confused with “joint custody,” which refers to legal custody of a child or children that is shared by both parents after divorce or separation.

Split Custody

Split custody refers to a custody arrangement in which the children are essentially split up, with some of the children living with one parent, and some of the children living more with the other parent. This can only exist where the parents have more than one child together and is uncommon.

What is Access?

Issues of access go hand in hand with custody. For instance, if only one parent has sole custody of the children, the other parent is normally granted the right of access (sometimes called visitation). Additionally, if both parents have joint custody, but the child’s primary residence is only with one parent, the other parent is granted the right of access. Most access visits are unsupervised but they can also be supervised, depending on the best interests of the child.

If parents can come to an agreement on how to split their time with their children, this can potentially prevent disputes regarding the sharing of the child’s time. Where parents cannot agree on the major decisions involving their children or on how the child’s time should be divided, a court can make an order to provide the parties with a solution.

If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers regarding any issues regarding child custody or access please contact us at (416) 840-1475 or schedule your free initial consultation here

 

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✨How to Prepare for Your First Consultation with Horra Family Law✨

When you're preparing for your first consultation with Horra Family Law, it helps to have a few key items prepared to ensure none of your time is wasted, and you receive the best experience possible.

Make sure you're on track for your initial consultation by preparing the following, ahead of time:

Be honest: Remember that all conversations you have with your lawyer are always confidential. With this in mind, it’s important to share all relevant details pertaining to your case with your lawyer so that they can help you as best they can.

Bring copies of relevant documents: Make copies of all relevant documents pertaining to your case and bring them to your consultation. The more information, the better.

Take notes: Write down questions, and have a space ready to record notes on information or contacts your lawyer provides you with during your consultation. Keeping your thoughts organized on paper will also ease the stress you feel.

At Horra Family Law, our hearts stand behind all of the work we do. Notably, our signature family focused approach stems from our combined experience and knowledge as lawyers and as family members.





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Maybe you’re in a season of transition, grief, conflict, illness, new challenges, or just trying to get by. Maybe you can’t imagine how this particular season could be a blessing in disguise.

Whatever season you’re in, there’s one way to do your season well: embrace it. Now, embracing your season doesn’t mean you have to love it; it simply means letting it be.





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💫The only way to move forward is to choose to put yourself first, live a life that you love and let go of the things that don't bring you joy. You may never have closure, however you can have healing and move on.





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Mid-week/mid-day selfie break!

Happy Wednesday!




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✨FaceTime Access ✨

With the progression of technology, virtual access has provided new means of maximizing contact between parents and their children.

Programs such as Skype, Zoom and Facetime have allowed their users to view each other while having a conversation.

When a virtual access schedule is implement, the details depends on each case such as length and time of the call and the child’s age. Virtual access is not a substitute to physical visits. A young child may not have the attention span to have meaningful virtual access as opposed to an older child who is use to technology and has the capacity. Virtual access can offer parties an additional method of exercising access during the week where physical access may be impossible or the distance between the children and parents is far. It also allows the children and parents to see each other as opposed to speaking on the telephone.





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Happy Monday!! Let’s do this!





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#thursdaythoughts





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COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption to education. During this time, teachers have gone to incredible lengths to help their students keep learning.

Today is the start of in person school for many children. To every teacher, we have two words for you: Thank you!

All the children benefit from their teachers superpowers every year!

We hope all the teachers, teaching staff, and children have a great school year! ❤️




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