If you’re in the middle of a divorce or separation, determining the respective parental responsibility of both you and your former partner after the divorce or separation is essential. Therefore, you must understand the current legal landscape regarding child custody arrangements and how these laws will affect you.

What is child custody?

Child custody refers to a parent having the responsibility of making decisions on all matters that affect the child. These can include significant things such as the child’s healthcare, education, religion, and day-to-day concerns such as their diet, schooling, and social activities.

Types of child custody

There are four main categories of child custody:

  1. Sole custody
    Under a sole custody arrangement, one parent has the legal responsibility to care for the child and make decisions that affect them. The child may primarily live with a parent with sole custody, but that’s not always the case.
    This custody arrangement is made when one of the parents is better-suited to take care of the child and make decisions that promote their best interests.
  2. Joint custody
    In a joint custody arrangement, both parents bear the legal responsibility to care for the child and make decisions that affect the child together. One parent is not entitled to decide for the child without the agreement of the other. The child can live with both parents or one of them.
  3. Shared custody
    Shared custody is a form of joint custody where both parents make decisions about the child and spend time taking care of the child. In this arrangement, each parent must spend at least 40 percent of the time with the child over a year.
  4. Split custody
    Split custody applies when there are two or more children. In this arrangement, each parent will have custody of at least one child.

What laws apply to your child custody claim in BC?

When it comes to child custody in British Columbia, there are two legislations to consider: The Divorce Act, a federal statute, and the Family Law Act, a provincial statute. If you’re married, you must contemplate the provisions of both statutes. If you aren’t married, only the requirements of the Family Law Act apply.

Does child custody affect child support?

Every parent is responsible for providing for their children financially, even if they do not have custody. As a result, non-custodial parents must pay child support. The amount a parent is supposed to pay as child support is determined by their income and the number of children eligible for child support. To learn more about the child support legislation, child support payments, and how to get started with your child support claim, you should consult a child custody lawyer.

Do you need a child custody lawyer in Surrey?

At Highland Law, our family lawyers help parents navigate complex child custody laws, calculate child support payments and reach an amicable agreement within the confines of the law.

Call us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.