Custody/Access/ Parenting

One of the most important issues for parents when they separate is understanding how their separation will affect their children and making appropriate arrangements for them. Upon separation, the ideal situation will always be for parents to reach an agreement on parenting issues. If you are unable to reach an agreement regarding parenting, either parent can apply to the court to have the issues decided. In all cases, the court will decide parenting issues based on what is in the best interests of the children. Every case will be decided on its own particular facts; however, there are several guiding factors in our law to assist the court in determining what is in the best interest of the children.

Emotions generally run high between spouses during separation and when communication is low, an experienced family lawyer can assist you in attempting to negotiate a parenting schedule with your spouse. If a parenting schedule cannot be reached and it is necessary to have the matter decided by a court, an experienced family law lawyer can effectively represent you in court. For instance, experienced family law lawyers are aware of the factors the court will consider in assessing custody and parenting issues and can assist you by ensuring that the court is fully aware of your position and the arguments which support it.

To speak to one of our experienced family law lawyers, please call (902) 492-7000 to arrange a meeting.

Legal Custody - Decision Making After Separation

Custody or in other words, decision making for the children. When custody is referred to, it means decision making for the children. The courts are generally moving away from using “custody” language and instead refer to who will be making the decisions for the children. There are several different types of arrangements for making major decisions in relation to the children. Joint custody or shared decision making occurs when both parents make the decisions relating to major decisions together including health, education, extracurricular activities, religion, culture, and general well being.

In certain circumstances, such as when the parents cannot agree to anything, one parent may make the decisions in relation to the children, this is often referred to as sole custody. In other circumstances a parallel custody arrangement occurs when one parent makes decisions about certain issues such as health and religion, and the other parent is responsible for making decisions about education and extracurricular activities.

Parents in a high conflict separation can put a lot of emphasis on who has custody of the children. An experienced family law lawyer can assist you in determining what type of decision making arrangement works best for you and your family.

Parenting Time - Where Will the Children Live?

When parents talk about custody of their children, they are typically referring to where the children will live. This is now legally referred to as parenting time. There are several different types of parenting arrangements relating to parenting time with the children. In some cases, one parent has primary care of the children, which means that the children live with that parent over 60% of the time and with the other parent less than 40% of the time. In other situations, parents enter into a shared parenting arrangement, which means that both parents have the children at least 40% of the time. When determining a parenting schedule, the best interests of the child are the paramount consideration. There are several factors that should be considered when determining what the best interests of the children are. An experienced family law lawyer can help determine a parenting schedule that is in accordance with the best interests of your children.


Relocation/mobility cases are some of the most litigated cases in family law. When one parent wants to move with the children and the other does not agree the issue often makes its way into a courtroom. Like other family law issues in dealing with parenting arrangements, the best interests of the child are always the paramount consideration in the determination of any relocation/mobility case. For married/divorced parties, the Divorce Act governs relocation/mobility cases. When the parents were not married, the Parenting and Support Act applies. Under both Act, there are certain notice requirements that a party must provide the other party if they intend to move. Further, each Act provides a list of factors that the court considered when determining whether a parent’s application to move will be permitted. If the parties do not consent to the move than either party may apply to the court to address the issue.

When one parent wants to relocate with the children it can be a highly emotional time as the other parent would likely have significantly less time with the children in many cases. If you have questions about relocating or preventing someone from moving away with the children, contact an experienced family law lawyer at Singleton & Associates to discuss your options.