Decisions about your children are among the most important you will have to make. It’s vital that you have advice from an experienced, knowledgeable source.
Child support is fairly simple to determine, and can be resolved without going to court in most cases. With the use of the federal Child Support Guidelines, we can determine quickly what the amount of support should be. Although there may be some room for discussion when it comes to extracurriculars and other individual matters, with our experience we can usually settle questions of support efficiently, saving you time and aggravation.
Residency And Responsibility
It is usually more challenging to determine who will live with the children, spend time with them, and have the privilege and responsibility of making decisions regarding their health, education, religious upbringing and other major areas.
BC’s Family Law Act and the Divorce Act refer to these matters by different terms, and you will hear words like guardianship, parenting time, contact, custody and access used. The guiding principle under both acts is the same: the best interests of the children. Generally, maximizing the time that children spend with both parents is considered to be in their best interest.
We will look at various factors when working out a solution, including:
- The preference of the children, as older children’s opinions must be taken into account
- The history of who has taken care of the children in the past
- The parents’ ability to cooperate
- The lifestyle of each parent, including who has the marital home
Many lawyers want to be cheerleaders, and encourage an all-or-nothing approach for their clients, even if that means going to court. We don’t feel that’s in your children’s best interests.
We believe it is almost always preferable for you to resolve disputes through a separation agreement, rather than have a stranger in court impose decisions on you both. Since the courts will generally push for maximum contact with both parents anyway, we would rather help you to resolve disputes realistically and efficiently, through negotiation or mediation.