Going through a separation is both complicated and distressing; all the more so when children are involved. If you want to ensure the best possible outcome with respect to your dependents’ needs, guidance from an experienced professional is essential. As a child custody and support lawyer in midtown Toronto, I can help you establish and secure a parenting plan that supports your children’s well-being.
In family law, child custody refers to the parents’ (or guardian’s) legal authority to make major decisions on behalf of their children. You may choose to seek sole custody, in which case you’d act as the final decision-maker. Or you may be agreeable to joint custody – also referred to as split custody – which would give you and your spouse an equal say in such decisions.
Child access, on the other hand, refers to child visitation, specifically the time you and your spouse get to spend parenting your children. It might be in their best interest to reside with one parent primarily and visit with the other on weekends. Or it might make better sense for your children to alternate between your two homes, spending equal time with each of you.
Child support is paid to the parent with whom the children reside. The amount paid is based on Child Support Guidelines, the number of children being supported, and the non-custodial parent’s income. That said, the calculation can be anything but straightforward.
Self-employment, which makes income difficult to calculate, and shared parenting arrangements, where children reside at least 40% of the time with one parent, can complicate the child support calculation. Special or extraordinary expenses, such as school fees, extra-curricular fees and uninsured health costs, may also be payable. In these circumstances, negotiations may become complicated and costly if not handled professionally from the start.
Attaining your desired outcome in any child custody, child access or child support case requires strong but sensitive negotiation skills. I can help you make sense of your options, determine the best course of action, and execute it with strength and tenacity.