Child Custody

Your legal rights and responsibilities

Separating and divorcing couples have an overwhelming number of things to consider. The most important and compelling of all is usually child custody.

There are lots of questions

  • Who gets custody of the child or children?
  • How is custody determined?
  • Can we share custody?
  • What are our individual and shared rights and responsibilities?
  • What does the law say?
  • Where do we begin to sort this all out?

Our Child Custody Lawyers in Woodbridge and Vaughan are available to answer any questions you may have in this area. If you are considering separation or divorce you need a clear understanding of your legal rights and responsibilities.

What does child custody mean? It may not be what you think…

Parents with child custody have key decision making rights in the care and upbringing of the child.
There are three types of custody:

Sole Custody: One parent alone has the right to make the major decisions affecting the child’s welfare and that parent is generally the child’s primary caregiver. The other parent may still have generous access. This type of custody is fairly rare and may be appropriate where there is a history of violence or abuse between parents and it would be unreasonable for them to be expected to consult each other on decisions affecting the welfare of the child.

Joint Custody: Both parents have equal right to make major decisions affecting the child’s welfare and equal right to obtain information from schools and doctors involved with the children. Typically one parent is the primary caregiver and the other is the access parent. This is the most common form of custody.

Shared Custody: Both parents have equal right to make major decisions affecting the child’s welfare and both parents intend to share equally the parenting time and responsibilities. This is a popular form of custody with “modern” families where both parents have been heavily involved in all aspects of child care during the relationship. It works best where both parents intend to reside in the child’s school district, have work schedules that facilitate equal parenting time and a demonstrated ability and willingness to continue work together amicably to raise the child.

What type of important decisions are involved in child custody?

The parent(s) with child custody have the right to make decisions for the child on key life issues regarding:

  • Schooling
  • Medical and health care
  • Religion
  • Living arrangements including:
  • Whether the child will live with one parent full time or each parent part time.
  • Visiting arrangements and amount of time spent with each parent

Each parent’s responsibilities regarding the child’s upbringing and daily activities

We want to share custody, but we are having communication issues…

For couples who agree on most issues, and wish to communicate, collaborative and alternative dispute resolution techniques can be the answer to a cost effective, timely and agreeable solution.

  • When parents are unable to agree it will be up to the court to make final judgment.
  • When parents do not agree on custody arrangements the court will make final judgment.

Parents with child custody govern decisions which have far reaching implications for the future well being of the child and the family unit. If you have questions in this area, do not hesitate to contact our knowledgeable and experienced Child Custody Lawyers to help sort out the details in your particular situation and the pros and cons of potential choices.


The Hilbing Family Law office is located in Woodbridge at the corner of Weston and Steeles Ave. The Hilbing Law Firm is centrally located to serve clients throughout Toronto, including Rexdale, North York, Etobicoke, Vaughan and Woodbridge.

Child Custody Lawyers Vaughan

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