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.

You have questions about Alberta law. We have answers.

Q: Can I get financial support?
Financial support is available through the Legal Services Centre of Legal Aid. It is the frequent starting point for individuals requiring financial assistance in resolving legal issues. The Legal Service Centre provides legal information and referrals to all Albertans. For qualifying individuals, they assist with preparing court documents, advice and legal representation through an assigned lawyer.

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