British Columbia parents may be interested in an article discussing the types of child custody available through the court system. Knowledge of these different arrangements may be useful when negotiating a custody agreement with a former spouse.
Under the federal Divorce Act, when a couple who has a child together divorces, they will apply for custody of that child during the divorce process. The term custody refers to the right to spend time with a child and the right to take part in the major decisions in a child’s life. There are three major types of custody. The first is sole custody, which allows only one of the child’s parents to make important parenting decisions. The child generally lives with that parent most of the time as well.
Another type of custody is known as joint custody. Joint custody involves both of the parents in the major decision-making and parenting time to varying degrees. The amount of parenting time does not have to be equal in these arrangements. Decisions about the child’s upbringing, however, generally require the consent of both parents. When each parent spends at least 40 percent of the time responsible for the child, this is known as shared custody. Lastly, split custody is a situation where there is more than one child, and some live with one parent while others live with the second parent.
Decisions regarding child custody and living arrangements are either made through agreement by the parents or by a court. The court seeks to serve the best interests of the child. A lawyer may be able to help throughout the child custody process, either by negotiating an agreement on behalf of one parent or representing them in front of a judge.
Source: Family Law in British Columbia, “Custody“, September 15, 2014
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