Children Overview

If you have children, the most important part about your separation will be the decisions you make about their care. The paramount focus must be about what is in their best interests. With very rare exceptions, this will mean working with your children’s other parent to make sure they suffer as minimally as possible during this challenging time, for both you – and them.

GDE FAMILY LAW can help you decide the major family law issues regarding your children such as:

Custody, or where your children will live and who will make decisions about their life, education, health and religious upbringing.

Access, or contact with non-custodial parents, so that your children can maintain emotional connections.

Child support, provided by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent for the care of their children.

If your children are very young, you will have to deal with their other parent for many years to come. It is vital to start your “new relationship” as separated co-parents appropriately, and ensure that the needs of the children trump all other concern(s).


In the court system, it can be very easy to waste years and end up using your children as weapons. This can be devastating financially and emotionally for the entire family. Our Calgary Child Custody Lawyers try to use mediation or Judicial Dispute Resolution (“J.D.R.”)’s whenever possible to attempt a more constructive and “client controlled” result. If matters can be brought outside of the litigation process, we tend to settle issues such as custody and access more quickly and cooperatively, resulting in, ideally, a more stable relationship between parents for years to come.

There are many types of custody arrangements:

Sole custody: The child lives with one parent, who has responsibility for his or her care and makes all major decisions about his or her upbringing.

Shared custody: The parents share both care and responsibility for the child.

Joint custody: Parents share decision making with respect to major decisions in the child’s life such as religion, health education

Split custody: If there is more than one child, each parent has custody of at least one child.

We also work with Parenting Coordinators who have experience helping parents put their children first. We will work together to create a “Parenting Plan” that will facilitate issues to be dealt with efficiently and with a minimum amount of conflict as the children grow and your family’s needs change; and possible outside of the traditional litigation process.


Contact GDE FAMILY LAW at 403-475-9525 for information on how you can get your children through your separation and divorce in a more constructive and healthy way, serving everyone best for years to come.