Passionate Family Law Lawyers Representing Clients in 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). Custody and access 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 custody and access disputes, tailored to the individual needs of the client. We seek to empower clients to make informed decisions regarding custody and 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.

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

Contact Our Custody 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 family law lawyers can protect your custody and access rights. We strive to provide you with the information and resources necessary to make informed decisions about family law matters. In addition to a comprehensive family law kit that all clients are given during their initial consultation, we also offer live webinars on divorce in Ontario and quarterly Ask the Lawyer live webinars. 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.

From the Blog

Latest posts from the Gelman & Associates blog

13

The Importance of Obtaining Independent Legal Advice in a Family Law Dispute

A recent Ontario decision highlights the importance of obtaining independent legal advice prior to signing any legal documents in a family law dispute. Failure to do so can have a significant impact on your legal rights and on your finances post-separation or divorce. What Happened? The parties separated in 2005, after eight years of marriage, …


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04

Involving the Office of the Children’s Lawyer: Custody and Access and the Best Interests of the Child

An Ontario court recently considered a situation where the parties’ custody and access proceedings were adjourned so that the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) could become involved and potentially conduct an investigation under section 112 of the Courts of Justice Act (CJA). What happened? The parties were married in July 2013 and separated in …


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28

Non-Parental Access to a Child: What Will Court’s Consider?

An Ontario court recently examined a request by a non-parent for access to a child, and found that it would not be in the child’s best interests to have continued contact with his mother’s ex-boyfriend (who was not his biological father). What Happened? The man in question (the Applicant) was not the biological father of …


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