When couples in British Columbia with children get a divorce, there are multiple options for child custody and parental contact that could come into play. The National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth provides a number of statistics related to child custody arrangements.
Of the cases included in the survey, mothers were most likely to gain exclusive custody. While 12.8 per cent of cases resulted in shared custody, fathers only gained exclusive custody 6.6 per cent of the time and mothers gained exclusive custody 79.3 per cent of the time. The numbers also differ based on the age of the child. While the mother gained custody in 80.6 per cent of cases in which the child was five years of age or younger, when the child was between six and 11 years old, the mother gained custody only 74 per cent of the time.
When it came to contact with the non-custodial parent, of the 86.2 percent of children who lived with their mother only, 14.8 per cent of children never visited with their fathers. Another 24.6 per cent of children who lived with their mothers visited with their fathers irregularly, and 46.8 per cent saw their fathers at least every two weeks. In the 7.3 per cent of cases where the father gained custody, only .7 percent of children never saw their mothers, 2.2 per cent of children saw their mothers irregularly, and 4.4 per cent of children saw their mothers at least every two weeks.
Couples going through divorce may not be sure what living arrangements would be best for their children. Individuals may want to work with a lawyer to come up with the best possible child custody agreement.
Source: Canada Department of Justice, “Selected Statistics on Canadian Families and Family Law: Second Edition“, July 31, 2014
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