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A NORTHWEST CALGARY LAW FIRM

PARENTING AGREEMENT AND CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER IN NW CALGARY

In Canada, child custody is a crucial aspect of family law that determines who will make important decisions regarding the child's well-being and where the child will primarily reside. It's important to note that Canadian courts prioritize the best interests of the child above all else when making custody decisions.

Even after the end of your marriage through
divorce or separation, your children are important to you. If you’re concerned about child custody or visitation, you can count on Dukeshire Law Office’s child custody lawyer in Northwest Calgary to help you understand the ins and outs of the process. Our child custody lawyer will provide legal guidance to help you establish parenting agreements and visitation schedules that match your children’s best interests.

 

In the Divorce Act, some crucial changes came into effect on July 1, 2020. More child-centric terminology, such as "Parenting Order," "Parenting Time," and "Parental Decision-making Ability," replaced "Custody" and "Access." These changes are sensitive to children as the Court now prioritizes the children's best interests.

 

If you require assistance with parenting agreements in NW Calgary, book an appointment to discuss your case today.

WHAT DOES A PARENTING AGREEMENT COVER?

In the realm of family law, parenting agreements have emerged as a crucial instrument that now encompasses what was previously referred to as child custody and child visitation rights. These agreements serve as legally binding documents with a singular aim: to safeguard the best interests of the children whose parents have gone through the challenges of divorce or separation.
 

It delineates how the parents will manage:

  • Custody: Determining who holds legal custody of the children is a fundamental component of a parenting agreement. This decision sets the framework for significant choices concerning the child's upbringing.
     

  • Parenting time (access): The agreement outlines how parents share their time with their children. It's not just about weekdays and weekends; it also includes planning vacations and holidays, ensuring the children maintain vital connections with both parents.
     

  • Child support: The financial well-being of the child is a paramount concern. The agreement elucidates how child support will be provided, taking into account the child's needs and the parents' financial capabilities.
     

  • Spousal or partner support: Sometimes, spousal or partner support may be part of the equation. The parenting agreement can specify how such support is arranged to ensure fairness and security.

Generally speaking, a parenting agreement should contain:

  • Legal Custody Decision: Defining which parent or both will hold legal custody of the children. Legal custody is the decision-making authority for important matters like education, healthcare, and religion.
     

  • Time Allocation: Detailed plans on how parents intend to spend quality time with their children. This encompasses the weekly routine and special occasions, vacations, and holidays.
     

  • Parental Responsibilities: Responsibilities and commitments are outlined, ensuring both parents understand and adhere to their roles in their child's life. This includes day-to-day care and involvement in educational and extracurricular activities.
     

  • Dispute Resolution: A mechanism for resolving potential disputes is crucial. Parenting agreements can establish a process for handling conflicts that arise in the future, prioritizing the child's well-being.

Every child is unique, so every parenting agreement is different and should incorporate their particular requirements. Please speak to us to learn more about parenting agreements in Northwest Calgary.

 

HOW DOES ONE CREATE A PARENTING AGREEMENT?

Consulting a family lawyer with in-depth knowledge of the legal system is essential to creating an agreement that prioritizes the children’s best interests while representing you. 

 

A parenting agreement needs to address the following:

  • Physical custody: This means deciding where the children will spend most of their time. This factor is specific to your family's dynamics and needs to address your children's unique needs. It might include a weekly parenting schedule and a yearly visitation calendar outlining the access rights of the parent who doesn't have physical custody.

  • Legal custody: This aspect needs to cover the decision-making process around education, upbringing, health, and more. We've discussed decision-making in detail in the sections below.

At Dukeshire Law Office, we recognize the importance of a well-structured parenting agreement that adheres to Canadian legal standards and aligns with your family's unique situation. Our skilled family lawyer is here to provide you with the skill and guidance needed to create a parenting agreement that genuinely serves the best interests of your children while addressing your concerns.

children playing piano

WHAT IS THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD?

When considering a child's best interests, the Court prioritizes their health and well-being. The following aspects are considered when deciding what’s best for your child:

  • Their physical and emotional needs

  • The capacity and intention of each parent to meet their needs

  • The child's preferences

  • The relationship between the child and each parent

  • Physical abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect in the family

  • Whether the parents can communicate maturely

  • The quality of care received by the child so far

  • And more: The list of considerations needs to be more comprehensive, as the court's primary aim is to safeguard the child's best interests. Other factors that may be relevant to a particular case are also considered.

When dealing with child custody and visitation matters, the overriding concern is to ensure the child's well-being and development. This involves a comprehensive assessment of various factors, always with the child's best interests at heart.

WHO DO WE REPRESENT?

Child custody (now known as decision-making responsibility) and access (now known as parenting time) are sensitive issues involving various stakeholders. Every situation requiring our services is unique in its way and includes different people who have a role to play in the children's lives. We have experience representing people with varying relationships to the child, including- mothers, fathers, grandparents, unmarried couples, same-sex couples, and guardians. No matter who is involved in the proceedings, the best interests of the child supersede every other concern.

Two laws govern child custody in Alberta:

  • The Divorce Act is federal legislation that applies to married couples only. Applications can be made for child custody and access. The Divorce Act recently introduced some crucial changes in March 2021.

  • The Family Law Act is for married and unmarried couples with children. Applications can be made for guardianship, parenting time, and contact.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the child access and custody proceedings, the lawyer at Dukeshire Law Office in North West Calgary will advocate for your rights and help you reach a conclusion that respects the child’s well-being.

 

WHAT IS CHILD CUSTODY OR DECISION-MAKING RESPONSIBILITY?

Child custody, or decision-making responsibility, is the rights and responsibilities of your children’s care and upbringing, meaning that the parent holding custody gets to determine how your child is raised. It also dictates with which parent a child lives. There are several types of custody or decision-making responsibilities, including:

  • Joint custody– parents share responsibilities and decision-making. Parents must be willing to work together to ensure the success of this form of custody. A variety of living arrangements are possible with joint custody.

  • Sole custody – children live with one parent with the authority to make day-to-day and long-term decisions. The other parent is given generous contact or access and often has to assume financial responsibilities such as child support. Parents who choose sole custody are usually unable to cooperate amicably. 

  • Shared parenting – means that your children live with each parent at least 40% of the time. Parents can have both joint custody and shared parenting of children at the same time.   

  • Split custody – siblings are separated between parents, with each parent having custody of one or more of your children. 

 

Many important factors determine child custody or decision-making responsibility in Alberta, including the history of the relationship with the child, finances, other commitments of the parties involved, and, most importantly, the child's best interest. Our child custody lawyer in Northwest Calgary can help you determine which type of custody will be best for your child. They will help you attain that custody either through mediation or court proceedings. Parents should agree on the type of custody for the best interests of their child.

 

WHAT IS CHILD ACCESS OR PARENTING TIME?

In most cases, both parents have the right to spend time with the child to different degrees. In cases where a single parent has primary residency, child access refers to the time the child spends with the parent who doesn't. Child access, now known as parenting time, is important because it lets you be involved in your child's life, even if you don't live with them. With child access, you have the right to be informed about the factors involved in the child's well-being.

 

WHAT IS CHILD GUARDIANSHIP?

A guardian is entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining the child's well-being. There can be more than two guardians, each having the right to make crucial decisions concerning the child. By this definition, both parents can be the guardians of the child. However, in many cases, the parents cannot take care of the child. In these situations, the guardians are other central figures in the child's life, like grandparents, uncles, aunts, or even someone unrelated to the child. The child's guardianship can also be temporary or permanent under the court's orders.

 

According to the new changes to the Divorce Law, a person who regularly spends time with the child but doesn’t have the power to make decisions regarding their health, education, and well-being is termed to have ‘contact’ with them.

 

THE ISSUES WE ADDRESS

Child custody is a complicated issue involving a variety of factors. All situations involving child custody and access have their special concerns.  At Dukeshire Law Office we are trained to discreetly handle all kinds of issues when defending your rights in a child custody and access issue and prioritizing the child's well-being over everything else. Some of the issues that come up in these cases include:

  • Who will financially support the child?

  • Who will be responsible for the child's physical and mental health?

  • Who will take care of the child's social welfare?

  • Where will the child spend their holidays?

  • The child's residence

  • The nature of involvement of each party in the child's life

Do you have any questions regarding our child custody and access services in North West Calgary? You can send them to us, and we will reply promptly.

CHILD VISITATION LAWYER IN NORTHWEST CALGARY

The parent your children live with after a divorce for more than 60% of the time is called the custodial parent. Visitation is the time non-custodial parents get to spend with their children. Our child visitation lawyer in Northwest Calgary can help you work toward the visitation rights you desire so that you can still be a part of your children’s lives.

The visitation lawyer at Dukeshire Law Office will help you and your spouse determine a visitation schedule that meets the best interests of your children. Contact us today to speak with legal professional about your child's visitation and custody concerns. We can help you navigate the recent changes and their impact on your child custody case.

CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER NW CALGARY: ENSURING A SMOOTH PATH FOR YOUR FAMILY

At Dukeshire Law Office, we understand that child custody and visitation issues can be emotionally challenging. You're facing a lot of stress, and the last thing you need is to worry about legal fees. That's why we're committed to making this journey as smooth as possible for you, both in terms of your family's well-being and financial concerns.

Regarding child custody and visitation matters in NW Calgary, trust Dukeshire Law Office to provide you with cost-effective, compassionate, and experienced representation. We're here to help you navigate the legal complexities, ensuring your child's best interests are at the forefront while keeping your financial concerns in check.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a dedicated child custody lawyer who will stand by you throughout this journey. Your family's well-being is our top priority.

HIRING A CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER

JOINT, SOLE, OR SPLIT CUSTODY, WE HELP YOU MAKE THE WISE CHOICE FOR YOUR CHILD.

CONTACT DUKESHIRE LAW OFFICE

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