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child custody and access

Passionate Family Law Lawyers Representing Clients in Child Custody and Access Disputes

When a couple agrees to separate or divorce, one of the most important issues to be decided is each person’s custody and access rights with respect to their child(ren). This arrangements will have a tremendous impact on your child(ren)’s well-being. In addition, such decisions may influence spousal support, child support and the division of property. For these reasons, it is beneficial to receive legal advice about custody and access arrangements early in the process of separation, in order to ensure you understand and protect your legal rights.

At Gelman & Associates, we provide effective legal representation during child custody and access disputes, tailored to the individual needs of the client. We seek to empower clients to make informed decisions regarding custody and child access, while also aggressively litigating on their behalf when necessary. Our lawyers strive to provide exceptional legal counsel as well as a positive customer service experience for our clients. It is our job to put you at ease and ensure your rights are protected while navigating through the often-intimidating family court system.

Find more details about child custody (now known as “decision-making responsibility” per the Divorce Act changes in March 2021) by reading our guide.

Read More Details on Child Custody

The Difference Between Custody and Access

In family law, “custody” refers to a parent or guardian’s legal responsibility to make decisions for a child related to health, education and religion. In comparison, “access” refers to the time spent with the child.

Most custodial and access arrangements are made between the parents themselves with the assistance of professionals. If parents are unable to agree on custody and access, either on their own or with the assistance of lawyers or mediators, then the courts will do it for them. In deciding custody and access disputes, the courts will consider the child’s “best interests”. Some common factors considered by family law courts to determine what is in a child’s best interests include:

      • wishes of the child (if old enough to capably express a reasonable preference);
      • mental and physical health of the parents;
      • religion and/or cultural considerations;
      • need for continuation of stable home environment;
      • age and sex of the child;
      • adjustment to school and community; and

  • DOs in Family Law Cases

    • Obey and respect court orders.
    • Cooperate when it comes to disclosing your financial situation.
    • Respect the other party’s desire to continue having a relationship with the kids.

  • DON'Ts in Family Law Cases

    • Withhold information or fabricate lies.
    • Move or conceal assets or funds.
    • Involve your children in the fight.

Contact Our Child Custody Lawyer and Access Lawyers at one of Our Offices in Aurora, Barrie, Downtown Toronto, Mississauga, North York and Scarborough

Contact Gelman & Associates to learn how knowledgeable child custody lawyers can protect your rights. We strive to provide you with the information and resources necessary to make informed decisions about family law matters. To help you maintain positive mental health during a difficult period, we also offer our clients a free consultation with a psychological professional.

Conveniently located in six offices throughout Ontario, our offices are easily accessible by transit and off-highway. In order to be available to clients and prospective clients, our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM. Call us at (416) 736-0200 or 1-844-736-0200 or contact us online for an initial consultation.

FAQ’s Child Custody & Access:

Reasonable access to a child is a parent’s right to visit their child/ren at a given time and to enjoy activities with them. It is also the right of a parent to be free from the control of the other parent during the visitation and spend the entire time allotted to them without any form of intrusion.

Under certain circumstances, it is possible to legally prevent your child/ren’s father from seeing or contacting them. It may be necessary if he presents a potential danger to your child/ren. If you were never married to the father of your child and there is no court order saying otherwise, you can do anything you want until paternity is confirmed.

“There is no fixed age for when a child can say which parent they want to live with after a divorce. However, by law, a child must be 16 years old to decide on this matter. The exception to this is when there is a court order stating that a child/ren must live with one parent until they turn 17 or 18.

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