Parenting and Access
These issues are dealt with under the provisions of the Divorce Act or the Family Law Act.
The Divorce Act makes reference to “custody” and “access”, whereas the Family Law Act makes reference to “parenting” and “contact.”
Married parents are able to bring applications under the Divorce Act for Custody and Access Orders, or the Family Law Act for Parenting Orders. Unmarried parents are able to bring applications under the Family Law Act.
Access or contact may be applied for by non-parents (grandparents, etc.) under both the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act.
Under both Acts, the Court will make its decision on the basis of what is in the best interests of the children.
In most situations, the Court would expect that both parents will remain involved with their children. However, in certain circumstances of high conflict, sole custody or the granting of full parenting responsibilities to one parent may be ordered.