The Court also has the authority to order sole or joint custody.
“Custody” means the legal ability and responsibility to make major decisions for a child’s care and upbringing such as:
- where they will live;
- where they will go to school;
- what medical treatment they will receive; and
- what religion they will practise.
Different types of custody include:
- Sole Custody Order
- Joint Custody Order
- Shared Custody Order
- Split custody
Sole custody refers to when only one parent can make major decisions with respect to the child. Joint custody gives each parent the right to have an input into major child related decisions. Joint custody does not necessarily mean that parents share equal time with the child. However, sometimes that might be the case. Joint custody refers to the legal decision making and not the residential arrangements.
Shared custody: Both parents share the responsibility for making decisions and caring for the child. Under the Child Support Guidelines, shared custody is where a child lives at least 40% of the time with each parent.
Split custody: Parents have more than one child together and each parent has one or more child(ren) living primarily with him or her.
As outlined in subsection 16(9) of the Divorce Act and subsection 24(3) of the CLRA, a parent’s conduct will only be considered by the court if the conduct is relevant to the ability of that person to act as a parent of a child. Physical violence is an aspect of conduct more likely to be taken into account in custody and access matters.