Separation and divorce takes its toll on children, particularly because it often means they have reduced time with one parent. The courts look on custody and visitation as two separate elements of a separation and divorce. How much time each parent gets to spend with the children is referred to as access, also known as visitation. Custody usually refers to the living arrangements of the children.

Parents that have visitation rights with their children are also entitled to be kept up-to-date about the child’s health, education, etc. When considering the visitation arrangement, it is important to put the child’s best interests first. If your case ends up in court, this is what the courts will focus on when determining the outcome.

In Canada there are three types of access or visitation awarded to the non-custodial parent.

  • Reasonable Access is a flexible arrangement that works for parents who are able to co-operate with one another. There are no set dates or time for visitation and the custodial parent does not block access for the other partner.
  • Fixed Access is a more rigid, scheduled visitation agreement. There are set dates and times for the non-custodial parent to visit the children.
  • In situations where there is concern for the children’s safety while they are with the other parent call for Supervised Access. This is when there is another adult present for the entire visitation between the non-custodial parent and children.

While visitation issues often deal with the parents of the children, access agreements can also lay the groundwork for the children to visit other relatives including grandparents, aunts or uncles, etc.

We appreciate that visitation is a sensitive issue and needs to be handled carefully and skillfully. As experienced family lawyers we are committed to walking alongside families as these agreements are negotiated. Our team will work to minimize the negative impact of court proceedings on you and your family while maximizing the positive results.

Please call us for a free consultation today. Our lines are open 24-hours, every day of the week, 1-888-524-8475

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