The Right Custody Decision for Your Child
When you’re going through a divorce, there are tons of issues to deal with. In addition to the practical issues surrounding the dissolution of marriage, there are emotional considerations that demand your attention. At some point, your mind must clear enough to consider the available custody options for your child and how to obtain the custody option you want. Your best bet for gaining custody of your child is to hire a lawyer who is well-versed in family law. The lawyers at Verhaeghe Law Office have extensive experience in Family Court and welcome you to call 587-410-2500 for a consultation.
How to Decide and How to Follow Through
Regardless of what YOU want, the most important consideration in deciding custody arrangements is the best interests of the child. Shifting gears from the division of assets to custody issues is very important. You know what you want, but what is best for your child? The first step is educating yourself on the types of custody that may be granted.
Types of Custody
- Sole custody means that the child lives with one parent full time and that parent makes all of the decisions regarding the child’s life.
- Joint custody is where the child lives primarily with one parent, but both parents cooperate to make major decisions regarding the child.
- In split custody, one parent has full custody over some of the children, and the other parent has full custody over the other children.
- In shared custody, both parents retain legal and physical custody of the children. The parents work together in all decision-making, and the children live in equal amounts of time with each parent.
Factors Affecting Custody Decisions
The Canadian courts will decide custody based on the best interest of the children. The judge will consider the parent-child relationships; parenting abilities; each parent’s mental, physical, and emotional health; the parents’ and child’s schedules; support systems; sibling issues; and, if over age 12, the child’s wishes.
For a moment, put aside the emotional factors driving you to seek custody. Think pragmatically about the situation. Do you work full time? Are you busy during non-working hours? Are you willing/able to change your schedule to meet the demands of children, including their sporting events, school extracurriculars, and more? Are you close to your children emotionally? Answer these questions honestly. It’s tough to do. You WANT to be with your child, but realistically, if you can’t/won’t change your lifestyle to allow for their needs to come first, are you really the best choice for sole custody?
Take a look at all of the custody options with your children in mind. Even if your divorce is acrimonious, you both probably want the best for your kids. Seeking custody just to take it from your spouse is not a good reason to do it. You never want your child to feel like they are just one more factor causing trouble between you.
If you’ve decided you want to pursue sole custody, behave appropriately. Build strong relationships with your children. Attend all school events and show interest in their activities. Be respectful of your spouse. Watch your behavior — behave as if the judge is watching you at all times — and be the best person you can be. Pay child support if ordered. Follow all rules set forth during the proceedings. Any evidence, including disparaging remarks on social media, angry phone calls, or inappropriate behavior, will likely come into play during the custody hearings.
Remember to put your children’s best interests first during your quest for custody. Consult one of the lawyers at Verhaeghe Law Office by calling 587-410-2500 today. We’ll help you do the right thing for you, your spouse, and your children.