Today we provide you with MacLean Law’s Top 3 Child Custody Tips. Emotions can run high when parents are arguing over custody of their children. Both parents might think that that they have a greater right to have primary care of their children, and may believe that the children would be better off in their care. However, courts seriously consider each parents’ conduct when making decisions regarding custody of children, and applicants need to keep certain principles in mind when pursuing their action. The following tips and principles are crucial when you are applying for the primary care of your children. Today, Kaye Booth gives you her Top 3 Child Custody Tips tips to help you and your children move forward successfully after separation. Our child parenting time and child access lawyers can help you reach a sensible solution that focuses on your children’s best interests.
Top 3 Child Custody Tips # 1 1 877 602 9900
- Parental rights take second place to the best interests of your child.
The seminal Supreme Court decision, Young v Young,  4 SCR 3 (which was argued and won by MacLean Law’s founder, Lorne MacLean) made clear that the primary concern for courts in custody matters is the best interests of the children (at para 151]:
The focus must remain at all times on the child, not the needs or interests of the parents, and parental rights play no role in such decisions except in so far as they are necessary to ensure the best interests of the child.
You may feel frustrated that you are not getting the time with or the decision making power over your child that you feel you deserve, but applications to the Court for custody must be framed by what your child needs, not what you deserve. The Court’s first and paramount consideration when making custody decisions is what will most help your child to flourish. As such, when fighting for custody of your child, you must argue that awarding custody to you would be in the best interests of your child.
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- Remember the Friendly Parent Rule.
Subsection 16(10) of the Divorce Act, RSC 1985 c 3 states that courts making decisions about custody must consider each parents’ willingness to maximize the child’s contact with the other parent. This is known as the “friendly parent” rule. Often, the parent who is most willing to make the effort to ensure the child has contact with the other parent is awarded custody. This is because, in most cases, courts assume that maximum contact with both parents is in the best interests of the child.
When applying this rule, courts will consider whether or not a parent has exposed their child to conflict with the other parent, made false allegations against the other parent, or denied the other parent time with the child. As such, it benefits anyone applying for custody to act reasonably with the other parent, allow them time with the child if there are no safety concerns, and not discuss the legal process or any conflict with the other parent with the child. Not only does this help your application for custody, but it also helps to protect your child from the stress of divorce proceedings.
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- Obtain Counsel.
Having a lawyer walk you through the legal processes and the legal principles behind custody gives you an enormous advantage. An effective family lawyer will help you keep the costs of lengthy legal proceedings down, help give the best impression of you to the court, and reduce the emotional trauma on you and your family. It is difficult to represent yourself when emotions are volatile. It is a lawyer’s job to handle acrimonious and hostile situations in a professional and reasonable manner. A lawyer can also help you to access alternative processes to the court, which could save you money and heartache, and keep you in the driver’s seat when it comes to decisions about your child.
If you are currently in the middle of a custody dispute with your ex-partner, you may be feeling frustrated, angry, and confused, and may not know what steps to take next, how to apply the law to your situation, or how to give the best impression of yourself to the court. MacLean Law’s experienced family lawyers are available today to help you through these difficult circumstances. Contact any one of our 7 MACLEAN FAMILY LAW offices to speak to someone and get the assistance you need.
Award-Winning BC and Calgary Parenting Time Lawyers at MacLean Law Can Help 1 877 602 9900
We hope these top 3 child custody tips help you move forward for the benefit of your children. Call us today if you need help and a strategy to make you and your children move on as winners after separation.