Child Custody Lawyers
in Edmonton & Leduc
When parents separate or divorce, one issue is typically at the top of their list to resolve quickly. “Who gets custody and what are my rights?”
The word custody however means the arrangement in which the parents share responsibility for important decisions in their children’s lives (such as those surrounding medical treatment and schooling). Both parents have joint legal custody of their children. It is only in very rare and specific circumstances that an Edmonton Court may decide that in the best interests of the child, one parent should be awarded sole custody of the child(ren).
We are here to help you understand your legal rights and achieve the best possible outcome for you and your Edmonton family. We specialize in both child custody and child support legal services.
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- Bon Accord
- Fort Saskatchewan
- Spruce Grove
- St. Albert
- Stony Plain
- Strathcona County
- Sturgeon County
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Child Custody Lawyers FAQs
In more common scenarios, when former spouse ask us about their child custody rights, we clarify the distinction between custody and access time. Parenting time is what most parents are concerned about when they are seeking a child custody lawyer. When one parent has the child(ren) on a day-to-day basis, it does not mean they have full or sole custody of the child(ren). It simply means that they are the primary caretaker of the children but both of you will be legally responsible for joint decision-making such as for medical treatments, schooling and their practices of religion if any.
The parent who is not the primary caretaker is considered the access parent. An access parent may have time defined on the weekends from Friday evenings to Sunday evenings including statutory holidays and defined time during holidays. The access time might be every week or every other week.
A child custody lawyer can help you obtain the parenting time you deserve to have with your child(ren). When the parents separate, initially one parent might have the child primarily on the weekdays from Monday to Friday, but the other parent wishes to have equal or shared parenting.
As child custody lawyers, we can assist you with working towards a plan where you are able to maximize your contact with the child(ren) involved. The Court will always consider what is in the best interests of the child(ren). If you are a hard-working, dedicated parent, and not a risk to the child(ren), the Court is of the general opinion that having maximum time with both parents is in the best interests of the child.
An effective and efficient means of resolving the issues of child custody and parenting is always outside of Court. However, we recognize that during a high-stress and emotional situation like this, one parent may be reluctant to cooperate and share parenting. In situations like this, as your child custody and parenting lawyer, we can assist you with advocating your position in Court. As child custody and parenting lawyers, we have experience in both the Provincial Court and the Court of Queen’s Bench. I have conducted trials in the Provincial Court and various parenting applications at both levels of the Court.
It is often the case that a parent may not obtain a parenting order that favours them because of self-representation or misleading allegations by the other parent. It is important and vital that you obtain a child custody and parenting lawyer to represent you in these matters. We pride ourselves in strong oral advocacy skills required to provide you with an effective voice in Court.
Prior to granting a divorce in which children are also involved, Alberta courts will require parents to submit a parenting plan agreement. This is a legal document that outlines how the children will be raised, where they will live, who has custody over them, and who has access to them following a legal divorce proceeding. There are several different custody arrangements that parents may choose when creating their parenting plans, which we have provided below for reference.
Joint Custody - This arrangement gives parents equal rights when making important decisions regarding their children, regardless of which parent the children are primarily living with. It does not mean that children will spend 50% of their time with each parent.
Shared Custody - A shared custody arrangement divides the children’s time equally between parents. More often than not in shared custody arrangements, parents also have joint legal custody of the children.
Split Custody - In instances where there are multiple children, certain children may live primarily with one parent, while the other child(ren) lives with the other.
Sole Custody - Sole custody is when a child lives primarily with one parent, and that parent has final decision-making authority on all matters involving the child(ren). The other parent may still have access to the child(ren) and have certain decision-making rights when visiting.
Parenting arrangements can also affect the amount of child support that is paid. When one parent is the primary caretaker, the access parent is obligated to pay the full amount of child support as per the Federal Child Support Guidelines. The calculator can be found by clicking here.
However, if the parents have a shared parenting regime, then the Federal Child Support Guidelines state a different method of calculating child support. Child support is then calculated by calculating both parents' income and offsetting the amount.
For example, if the parties have one child and Parent A has an income of $80,000, Parent A has an obligation to pay $698.00/month for child support. If Parent B has an income of $50,000, Parent B has an obligation to pay $412/month for child support.
Because the parents have a shared parenting regime the child support obligations are offset from one another ($698-$412). Therefore, Parent A pays child support to Parent B in the amount of $286/month.