Parenting & Child Custody
Putting Your Children First & Pursuing Their Best Interests
What is Custody?
Child custody means the legal rights and responsibilities of the children’s care and upbringing. Parents and guardians should agree to a form of custody that is in the best interests of their children. There are various types of custody, including joint, shared and sole. As child custody lawyers in Calgary, McLean Legal Family Lawyers is here to support you and your family. With us, there’s a brighter future ahead for your children.
Joint custody occurs when children may, or may not, live primarily with one parent, but both parents jointly make decisions for their children. The rights and responsibilities of the children are shared between the parents. Parenting schedules are a separate issue which our lawyers can address for you and your family.
Parenting & Custody Orders
There are various types of Court Orders, including parenting orders that set out the decisions that need to be made for the children, how their time will be divided and who makes the decisions for the children. Consent Orders may be granted when both parents or guardians agree to the formal terms of the parenting, while Contact Orders allow people that are not the guardians of the children to have contact with them (like Grandparents). Our lawyers can help set the roadmap for your children’s future.
Custody agreements and Court Orders should be made in the best interests of the children. Many factors should be considered, including the children’s physical, emotional and psychological safety and their needs and circumstances. The love and affection between the children and the parents or guardians, the stability of the guardians, the children’s views and preferences (when appropriate), and the ability and willingness of the parents or guardians to provide for the children, are other significant factors to consider.
You can apply for custody to establish the rights and responsibilities for your children, obtain a contact order if your children live in Alberta, or your divorce or separation has started. You will need to apply to the Court to be granted custody. This process might be challenging; we can assist you with your application and custody eligibility.
This refers to the time a person spends with their children without the other parent or guardian being present. If you do not have the majority of parenting time with them, your time may be referred to as “contact time”.
Yes, they can be. Parents can discuss and negotiate a new agreement or use mediation to reach a new agreement. However, if a Court Order cannot be agreed, you can apply for parenting time, child support, or spousal or parent support to Court.
Guardians are responsible for the children’s wellbeing, including their physical, mental and emotional development, medical care, and ensuring they have food, housing and clothing. In Alberta, the rights and responsibilities of children are tied to guardianship status rather than parentage, regardless of the guardians’ relationship. In limited circumstances, non-parents can be guardians.