While humanitarian and compassionate grounds have a significant bearing on the outcome of child custody in Canada, cases can be emotionally challenging and legally complex. However, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of obtaining the desired outcome.
At Nanda & Associate Lawyers in Mississauga, our family lawyers are fully aware of what’s at stake for everyone involved, and while our priority is serving the client’s needs, we also take heed of the immense emotional burden that’s placed on the child. Sometimes, with family law, it can feel like the best thing to do is find a quick solution, but our experience has shown us that you should always choose efficacy over efficiency.
One might think that the worst-case scenario is having to hire litigation lawyers for a court date, but truly, there’s nothing worse than agreeing to a legally enforceable contract that’s not only unfair but also goes on to erode the relationship you have with your children. Part of the point of civil litigation is lawyers can help you lay out the facts and your personal experiences so a reasonable judgment can be passed.
The verdict won’t be designed to establish which party was in the wrong or who deserves what, but simply what’s best for the child.
Family matters are about as personal as it gets, which means that the people involved see things with a touch of bias. This isn’t a bad thing, but it can lead to decisions being made out of spite or even guilt. The procedural fairness of a courtroom can be the safest way to pursue the right thing. Still, we know that with raising children, there are some things only their carer can know, and these factors can be difficult to communicate in a setting that feels formal and clinical.
That’s why we make it our job as leading family lawyers to make sure that your message and intentions are made abundantly clear and that you’re equipped with all the right tools to fight for your child’s custody in Canada. Our team is always up to date with the latest in the legal world, and our versatile team includes excellent personal injury lawyers and the top immigration lawyers in Toronto. This means we’re constantly learning and have access to a wide range of resources, including brilliant legal minds, that help us find tactical solutions to delicate problems.
In 2019, amendments to the Divorce Act introduced a revised definition of the “best interests of the child,” while the 2021 amendments to the Child, Youth, and Family Services Act emphasized the importance of considering the child’s interests in custody decisions. To navigate this process successfully, it is essential to consult with lawyers at the first sign of a legal dispute, gather supporting evidence, maintain effective communication with your ex-partner, and be prepared for court proceedings.
Consulting with a Lawyer
Engaging the services of an experienced family lawyer is paramount when dealing with child custody in Canada. A lawyer will provide vital guidance on the relevant laws and regulations, your rights as a parent, and the legal processes involved. They can represent you in court, negotiate with the other party, and help you understand the possible outcomes based on your specific circumstances.
A professional will assess your case, identify legal issues or concerns, and devise a strategic plan tailored to your situation. They will help you navigate the complexities of the legal system, ensuring you are well-informed and prepared at every stage of the custody process.
While it’s nearly impossible to put something this major completely out of your mind, having a civil litigation lawyer you trust at the helm can make it easier for you to keep a steady hold on your own life and continue to fulfil your daily activities. Along with that, you need to think about keeping your home ready for your child, and that’s done far better when you think positively.
Presenting compelling proof is crucial for demonstrating your capabilities as a parent and supporting your case for child custody. Collecting relevant documentation that highlights your involvement in your child’s life and showcases your ability to meet their physical, emotional, and psychological needs can significantly strengthen your case.
To build a strong portfolio, consider including the following types of documents:
School reports and records
Academic performance records, teacher evaluations, and attendance reports can demonstrate your child’s progress and your involvement in their education. While a pedagogical evaluation might not be the most accurate way of assessing one’s well-being, it certainly shows that the child in question has received a certain amount of support.
Medical and healthcare records
Provide medical records that reflect your child’s overall well-being and any specific needs they may have. This can include records of regular check-ups, vaccinations, specialist consultations, and any ongoing treatment. If these aren’t shown in court, it can be taken as a sign that healthcare has been neglected by one or both parents. This may not be the case, but neither party can assume that the court will give them the benefit of the doubt.
Solicit letters from friends, family members, teachers, coaches, or other individuals who can vouch for your parenting skills, dedication, and positive impact on your child’s life. Showing that you’re integrated into a community means that you’re able to safely provide your child with exposure and interaction with healthy influences. Unlike the other documentation, it also carries a somewhat personal element.
While records and medical history might reflect that the standard of childcare meets the bare minimum, character references vouch for the love and care you show every day. This is something that immigration law firms in Mississauga will also do for permanent residence applications or removal order appeals.
Keep a record of your interactions with your child, including phone calls, text messages, and emails. These can show consistent communication, as well as your efforts to maintain a healthy parent-child relationship.
Develop a detailed parenting plan that outlines your proposed custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and any additional provisions that demonstrate your commitment to providing a stable and nurturing environment for your child. Depending on the exact circumstances, a willingness to allow the other parent space in the child’s life can show that you’re putting your little one’s needs ahead of yours.
Effective Communication with Your Ex-Partner
Maintaining open and respectful communication with the other party is essential for promoting stability and cooperation in a child’s life. According to law firms in Mississauga, demonstrating your willingness to work together can positively impact the court’s perception of your ability to effectively co-parent.
Here are some strategies for effective communication:
- Prioritize discussions about your child’s well-being, needs, and development. Avoid personal attacks, blame, or rehashing past conflicts.
- Use methods of communication that minimize conflict, such as email, text messages, or dedicated co-parenting apps. These platforms provide a written record of conversations and can help maintain civility.
- Show a willingness to accommodate changes in schedules or unforeseen circumstances, demonstrating your commitment to the best interests of your child. Cooperating with your ex-partner can foster a sense of stability, which is especially helpful considering it’s long-term.
Understandably, family law cases are far more emotionally charged than a shareholder dispute, but it’s essential to remain calm during discussions with your ex-partner. Avoid friction and focus on finding practical solutions for the benefit of your child.
Being Prepared for Court
Navigating child custody in Canada requires careful consideration, preparation, and the support of a knowledgeable family lawyer. Being well-prepared is key to presenting your case effectively. Here’s what you can do:
Familiarize Yourself with The Legal Process
Understand the procedures and protocols of the court where your case will be heard. Consult your lawyer to gain clarity on what to expect during the court proceedings.
Organize Your Evidence
Compile all relevant documents and evidence supporting your case in a logical and structured manner. Work closely with your divorce lawyer to construct a persuasive argument that aligns with the best interests of your child. Clearly articulate your desired outcome and be prepared to present your case concisely and coherently.
Anticipate and Prepare For Questions
Be prepared to answer questions posed by the judge and the opposing party’s lawyer. Familiarize yourself with the evidence you have presented, and be ready to provide additional information or clarification when required.
Maintain a Respectful Demeanor in Court
Present yourself professionally and respectfully throughout the court proceedings. Follow the instructions of the judge, address them appropriately, and avoid any disruptive behaviour that could negatively impact your case. Although it’s not a matter of business, lawyers will explain that you simply can’t let personal feelings get the best of you.
At Nanda & Associate Lawyers, we know how to help families build legally sound futures that give them the rights and freedoms they deserve. Not only do we assist with family law, but we also help with Canadian spousal sponsorship and wills and estates, and when it comes to real estate, our lawyers in Ontario can handle your commercial lease!
Click here to book an appointment with our highly skilled team, and we’ll help you find an effective solution.
Disclaimer: This article is only intended for educational purposes and shouldn’t be used as a substitute for legal advice.