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Navigating Child Custody and Access in Ontario: Legal Rights and Responsibilities

Understanding Child Custody and Access in Ontario

In Ontario, child custody and visitation rights are a matter that needs to be discussed when parents split or divorce. This entails deciding how each parent will spend time with their child and how parenting duties will be divided. Let's examine the main facets of parenting time, access, and custody in Ontario.

Children's Law Reform Act

Although the Divorce Act has changed, the terms "custody" and "access" are still used under the Children's Law Reform Act (CLRA). When two people live together as common-law partners or are not officially married but have children together, the CLRA is applicable.


- Sole Custody: Legally, only one parent is able to make important choices about the raising and care of their kid. When there is a parent-child dispute, suspicions of abuse, or when one parent is judged unsuitable, this may be approved.


- Joint Custody: Despite living apart, parents share decision-making authority when it comes to their child's upbringing. Cooperation is necessary for joint custody to function well, and good communication between parents is ideal.

- Shared Custody: When a child spends at least 40% of their time with each parent, this is referred to be a scenario. Child support obligations are impacted.

- Split Custody: Each parent may have primary custody of one or more children if they are parents of several children.


- Visitation Rights: The other parent is usually allowed access rights to spend time with the child when one parent has sole custody. Weekends, evenings, holidays, and vacations may fall within this category.

- Supervised Access: Access visits may be overseen by a third party or agency if there are safety concerns.

Divorce Act

When two people who are lawfully married are divorcing or have previously gotten a divorce, the Divorce Act is applicable.

Parenting Time

-"Parenting time" is a term that has replaced "access" and describes the time when a parent is in charge of looking after their child. Making daily decisions while the child is in their care is part of it.

Decision-making Responsibility

-"Decision-making responsibility" takes the place of "custody" and refers to the power to decide on matters pertaining to the child's welfare, including religion, healthcare, and education.

Best Interests of the Child

- The child's best interests are the main factor taken into account while deciding on custody, access, parenting time, and decision-making authority. The child's needs, each parent's bond with them, their opinions and preferences (if age-appropriate), and any history of family violence are all relevant factors.

Seeking Legal Guidance

At RRM LAW Firm, we have helped many parents understand their child support rights and obligations. Our knowledgeable staff can respond to a range of inquiries, such as:

- Who is responsible for paying child support and why?

- If my ex has a significant income, why should I still contribute financially?

- How much child support am I required to pay, and for how long?

- After paying child support for a decade, when can I stop?

- The other parent hasn't fulfilled their child support obligations; what actions can I take?

- I never had a relationship with the child's other parent and expressed disinterest in parenting; am I exempt from child support?

Our Approach

We collaborate extensively with customers to comprehend their goals for child support and offer advice on how much is suitable. Among our offerings are:

- Assessing your child support goals and advising on the suitable amount

- Maintaining regular communication to keep you informed of case developments

- Negotiating with the other party or their legal representative on your behalf

- Preparing and reviewing court documents, representing you throughout the legal process

- Assisting in enforcing child support obligations if the other parent fails to comply

At RRM LAW Firm, we're dedicated to providing you with competent and knowledgeable guidance as you manage complicated child support concerns.

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