Child Custody Canada


Separation is a painful experience, and more so for the children of the separated and divorced couple.

Even if the separation was done amicably, problems may still arise, especially when it comes to custody of the kids.

This article talks about the child custody laws in Canada to give you more information about the options awaiting you should you separate from your partner.

Child custody – Laws

Child custody Ontario laws do not distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate children, as with the majority of the provinces in Canada. However, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Saskatchewan continue to distinguish the two.

The custody of children of common-law relationships is decided by the courts in the same way as they would decide custody cases of married couples.
Child Custody – Four Types of custody:

Types Of Child Custody

child custody

child custody



* Solo. Solo custody means that only one parent has custody of the child/children.

* Shared. In shared custody, both parents have custody of the child/children, with the kids spending approximately equal amounts of time with both the mother and the father. Shared custody usually denotes physical custody only and not legal custody.

* Joint. Joint custody means that both parents have both legal custody and physical custody of their children. This type of child custody also means that both the mother and the father have the right to make decisions about the upbringing of their kids.

* Split. In split custody, the mother is awarded custody of some children while the father is awarded custody of the others.

How is child custody determined?

The courts do not just follow child custody laws. As with other courts all over the world, Canadian courts determine custody based on what they perceive is best for the children. Some of the factors that they will look into include:

* The financial capacity of the parent to provide for the child/children;
* The relationship between the parent and the child/children;
* The primary care giver of the child/children;
* The amount of time the parent is able to devote to take care of the child/children;
* The child/children’s preference, if he/she/they /are already at the age of maturity; and
* Any special needs the child/children may have.

About child support

According to child custody laws, the non-custodial parent is required to provide financial support regardless of where he or she is living, provided that the child/children continue to reside in Canada.

Financial support is required regardless of whether the courts rule this or not. As such, even those who live abroad are legally obligated to support their child/children if they are not awarded custody.

It’s not required for a lawyer to be consulted with regards to support, since the laws assume that the non-custodial parent is required to provide financial support.

It would be better if you and your estranged partner can come up with an agreement as to how much financial support will be made.

However, a lawyer is needed if the separated couple is having problems with communication and cannot agree with the amount of support the non-custodial parent should give.

What about father’s rights?

In general, the courts do not discriminate between men and women. However, there may be instances where the courts will almost automatically grant custody to the mother.

When the mom is a stay-at-home mother or if she is the primary caretaker of the child/children, since the courts will want to make sure that the kids are well taken care of.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the courts will automatically grant custody to the mother every time. Instead, they will evaluate the situation carefully to see which parent is better equipped to take care of the child/children.

As such, it’s possible for fathers to be granted custody provided that they show proof that they are better qualified to take care of the kids.

Child Custody Lawyers

Canadian child custody laws can be very tricky, which is why you will need to hire a good child custody lawyer if you want to be granted custody of your children.

Do remember that your children are as affected about the separation as you are, so don’t make any moves that can hurt them even more in the process.