Fast Facts on Child Custody, Parenting and Access

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Photo of parent holding the hand of a child, arranged by the lawyers at The Family Law who regularly handle family law legal services related to child custody, child support, spousal support, family violence and property division.#1: Child Custody and Parenting are effectively the same thing.  Custody is a term under the Divorce Act of Canada.  Parenting is a term from the Family Law Act.

#2:  "Parenting time"  addresses not only which parent is with the child, but also the time period when they are together.

#3: The term "Custody" often only addresses who has decision making power regarding the child.

#4: The decision on who should be the custodial parent is made by The Courts, based on past de facto custody ("status quo"), parental suitability and parental circumstances.

#5: If both parents are equally suited to be custodial parents, the Courts may award "shared" custody between both parents.  

#6: Failing to hire a lawyer to represent your interests creates a status quo that will make your position less favorable in the eyes of the Court.

#7: Parents almost always get access as this is almost always in the best interest of the child.  The only way to restrict access is by proving the visit would truly put a child in physical danger.

The Family Law Firm - in the media

Listen to two radio segments from The Ryan Jespersen Show on 630 CHED, originally recorded on September 12, 2016.  Edmonton family lawyer Jennifer Galarneau, co-founder of The Family Law Firm, participated in an on-air discussion regarding divorce, separation and whether the family law system fails Fathers.

Part 1

Part 2

On December 20, 2016, Co-founder Jennifer Galarneau participated in an on-air discussion regarding child custody challenges during the holidays. Listen to the radio segment from The Ryan Jespersen Show on 630 CHED.

You have questions about Alberta law. We have answers.

Q: What is a Retroactive Support?
A: A party can apply to the Court for Child Support that should have been payable in the past, but was not paid. Generally, the Courts will go back 1-3 years. The Court has the ability to Order support retroactively beyond three years, but that is usually contingent on the "blameworthiness" of the payor. Applications for Retroactive Support can be made regardless of past Court orders (unless a retroactive claim has been heard for that same time period already) and regardless of previous payments.

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