Many clients come into the family law process not understanding the difference between custody and access, often times the thought process is both these terms are one and the same. This cannot be further from the truth.
Child Custody is most simplistically understood as decision making powers for the child. Here we determine who the child will primarily reside with. As such who will make the decisions for the child and whether or not these decisions will be made unilaterally or jointly. Naturally the decisions made here will not only affect the parents it can have a lasting effect on the children, as such we ensure that significant time is spent with the clients in determining the best course of action and appropriate language is employed in dealing custody matters.
Child Access on the other hand deal with the physical time that a parent has with the child. The law dictates that access to both parents is a right that every child has. However, a determination has to be made with respect to whether or not access is supervised or not based on protection concerns. Will access be overnight due to the child’s comfort level or age which can at times be factors in this determination. What type of access schedule will the parents have. This can be an extremely sensitive area which we concentrate on with our clients to ensure we find the best solution for both our clients and with the children that it will effect in mind.
Child Support and Section 7 Expenses
Many clients will come in having a difficulty in understanding their obligations towards the collection or payment of child support. To determine who pays child support, one must look to where the child lives most of the time.
The amount of child support is determined based on the parents income which is calculated by the Child Support Guidelines.
Confusion will arise if the parties have equal time with the child or if one party makes significantly more money than the other party as to what the amount should be that is paid.
Another issue that will often come up is how the payment is to be made, whether by cheque or direct deposit, and when the payment is to be made, does such a payment occur on a monthly basis or is it a lump sum payment. Also there might be a difficultly in procuring payment from the other party and when and how can the Family Responsibility Office (“FRO”) be brought into the picture to procure the outstanding payments. Our trained child support lawyers can help navigate these complex waters and give clarity to what is required to be paid and how much the payment should be.
Section 7 Expenses
In addition to a child’s basic needs such as shelter, clothing and food, children will be accustomed to participating in sports and summer camps, these financial concerns are dealt with under the section 7 expenses which are separate payments made external from child support obligations.
For all the matters above and more please get in touch with our experienced Family Law Lawyers.Back