Child Custody in Calgary Divorce Cases: Part 2
February 3, 2016
Though a divorce is ultimately a positive step towards the life you want and deserve, the divorce process itself can be very stressful. Calgary divorces that involve children can be especially difficult, due to the disruption to children’s everyday routine and disagreements that may arise over custody, support, and parenting from each parent during the divorce process. Some basic information about how custody is governed by the Courts in Calgary can make the process much easier to follow.
As you'll recall from Part 1 of this article, the primary goal of the Calgary Courts as well as the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act is to protect the best interests of the children affected by a divorce. In many cases, this means giving the parents joint custody—barring any evidence that one of the parents is somehow unfit or would endanger the children, the Courts recognize that maintaining strong relationships with both parents is ideal.
Of course, there are cases where joint custody is not practical, and in some Calgary divorces the couple might agree that one parent should assume full or sole custody. Arrangements other than joint custody exist.
Custody, Access, and Parenting in Calgary Divorces
In most cases, there are two pieces of legislation that help the Calgary Courts determine the best course of action or children involved in a divorce: the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act. The Divorce Act applies to married couples and the Family Law Act generally applies to common-law couples.
The Divorce Act specifically states that custody and/or access can be granted to multiple parties; parents can share custody and more than one involved parent can be given access rights.
The Family Law Act speaks in terms of guardianship and parenting orders, and defines the responsibilities and constraints of the Courts in Alberta when it comes to ensuring that the best interests of the children are met through parenting arrangements, and that the rights of the parents are protected, as well.
As with other issues in Calgary divorces, attempts should be made for the parties to agree upon the terms of custody, access, and parenting time between themselves, possibly with the assistance of a mediator, rather than resorting to the Courts to order a plan for you. When this is not a feasible option, our Calgary divorce lawyers are here to guide you through the Court process.
Contact a Calgary Divorce Lawyer for Assistance with Your Custody Questions
We'll look at a few more details of child custody in the third installment of this article. For now, if you have specific questions regarding custody in your Calgary divorce case, please contact our office today.
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