Friday, 30 November 2012

Will a Judge always let the kids live with the Mother after a separation?

Years ago, it used to be assumed that the children were always best taken care of by their mother.  This was particularly thought to be true when the children were young.  This presumption was called “the tender years doctrine.”  Courts used to support this social assumption and, if a parenting application were to be heard, a judge would typically order that the children should live with their mother rather than their father.
This is no longer the default presumption.  In Canadian family law, the best interests of the children are the most important considerations.  Therefore, custody, parenting or access arrangements ordered by the courts are usually constructed to support the children’s best interests, which will depend upon their individual circumstances.
From a legal perspective, in most cases, it is assumed that the children’s best interests are best fostered by having a good relationship with both parents.  The judge may consider many factors in deciding how much time the children spend with each parent, such as the age of the child, the amount of time each parent spent with the child before the application, and any other relevant considerations. 
Gender is not a relevant consideration and there is no legal presumption that females are naturally better parents than males.
Don’t forget that you and the other parent, together and outside of court, can determine a parenting schedule that works best for your children.  If you can come up with an agreement, this can be made into a legally binding court order without having to litigate in court.
For even more family law tips & information, listen to Lisa's Radio Program, “Family Law Answers for Real Life” on demand at:

You should consult with a qualified attorney in your jurisdiction to receive specific legal information on your unique situation.

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