Ottawa Child Custody And Access Lawyers

Planning for the care of children is a primary objective of most parents choosing to end their spousal relationship. Negotiating an acceptable arrangement regarding parenting time, time with a child and authority over key decisions in a child's life is of utmost concern to many parents when they seek a lawyer. The child custody lawyers at Burke-Robertson LLP help Ottawa parents to understand their options and responsibilities, and represent their clients in achieving an arrangement that meets their interests and their child's.

Understanding Custody and Access

Custody and access is an often confusing and emotionally stressful aspect of divorce or separation. As a starting point, the terminology requires definition. Custody does not refer to where a child resides; rather, it describes who has decision-making authority with regard to the child.

As a result, the term "joint custody" does not refer to equal time spent at each parent's house. It refers to joint decision-making. It is also possible for one parent to have sole custody — which means sole decision-making authority — while the child splits his or her time between each parent's house. Custody and access arrangements, therefore, are flexible and can vary widely from family to family.

In recent years, many professionals in the field, including lawyers and judges, are moving away from the traditional labels of custody and access and using terms such as "decision making" and "children's residency schedule" or "parenting time."

The Role of The Courts

Parents can negotiate a custody and access arrangement in a separation agreement, which is part of the divorce and separation process for many couples. The primary focus of the court in any arrangement will be the best interests of the children. In general, courts favour keeping siblings together in the same home and maximizing the amount of time children spend with each parent.

Advice regarding Children's Residency Schedules ("Access") in Ontario

Practical and effective legal advice is important for any parent experiencing relationship breakdown. Burke-Robertson LLP offers a substantial history of successful representation to Ottawa citizens throughout its more than 100-year history. We are committed to helping our clients solve their immediate legal concerns while offering them sound advice with regard to their family's future.

To meet with one of our lawyers, contact Burke-Robertson LLP at 613-706-0020 in Ottawa or 1-800-419-5581 toll free. The office can also be reached online.