Toronto Child Custody and Access Disputes Lawyer
One of the most physically and mentally draining aspects of separation and divorce can be a dispute over child custody and access. Questions about the divorce process, uncertainty about which parent will get custody, and worrying about the outcome can seem never-ending. As such, the emotional state of both parents can run high and lead to disagreements about custody and access.
Regardless of the current child custody and access agreement, by law, you must follow the agreement until a modification can be ordered or agreed to. The requirement applies to both child custody and access agreement agreed upon by the parents, as well as court-ordered agreements.
The last thing you want to do is become your own worst enemy by ignoring the agreement and breaching the terms. When a breach occurs, courts will not look favourably at that parent. It is vital to avoid engaging in activities that could affect your child custody and access agreement.
Doing so could jeopardize your custody of or access to your minor children. Any type of behaviour that draws the attention of the Children’s Aid Society or causes the other parent issues with having access to their minor children would be on the top of the list.
It is important to stress that if the other parent is not paying child support payments, you cannot withhold access to the children. Child support issues are a separate matter entirely.
Requesting a Modification to the Child Custody and Access Agreement
Each parent has a legal right to apply for a modification to an existing child custody and access agreement based upon material changes in circumstances. Custody variations can occur if recent changes have a potential or actual negative impact on the child’s well-being and development. Judges typically use a legal test to determine whether the requested modification is in “the best interests of the child.”
Some common reasons parent use include, but may not be limited to:
- Physical, Sexual, or Emotional Abuse
- Inability or Unwillingness to Provide Medical Care
- Substance Abuse
- Denying or Restricting Access
- Not Discussing Major Decisions Regarding the Children (Joint Custody)
- Not Sharing Vital Information about the Children
- Influencing the Children to Alienate the Other Parent
If either parent fails to live up to their responsibilities, then a modification can be requested to either change custody or access – whatever will be in the children’s best interests.
How a Toronto Child Custody and Access Lawyer Can Help
Your Toronto child custody and access lawyer can help you determine if you have grounds to request a modification or if you need to appeal an existing order to a higher court. In addition, parents need to provide a stable environment for their children and be consistent in addressing their children’s needs.
At Davies Law Firm, we will guide you through the legal process to determine if you need a modification. Our child custody lawyer helps protect your interests and the interests of your children. A child custody and access battle is not one you should experience without the help of a lawyer with knowledge and expertise in child custody and access matters. Please feel free to contact us for a consultation today.