Family Lawyer Winnipeg Blog

Shared Custody

What is Shared Custody and How is it Determined?

Custody of a child can be done in several ways after a divorce. When the parents are directly involved with their child, then the term shared custody will be concerned. Some people can mix joint and share custody, but they are not the same and still have some significant differences.

When parents or any legal guardians want to have shared custody, they may wonder how shared custody is calculated. Several factors will be considered to calculate child custody. In this writing, we will briefly discuss the shared custody and how it is determined. So keep reading!

What is shared custody?

In simple words, when both parents have legal rights to their children, it will be considered shared custody. Both sides will get the same time and privileges to take care of their child.

It can be in their own home or separated home. This works when both parents set their schedules.If they do not have any schedules, the court will determine the parent with primary custody.

The court will also set up a schedule for the shared custody. Shared custody does not mean only the take care of a child’s rights. It is also very important when it is time for important decision making for the child. (i.e., education, religion)

When custody is shared, both parents need to work together to seek their child’s best interest. That is why shared custody only appropriate for certain circumstances. It is important to know if you want shared custody or joint custody. So shared custody can be applicable for you;

  • When one of the parents travel frequently
  • When one side is not financially stable
  • Sickness, when one parent is sick, injured, or any other circumstances that prevent child care.

How does shared custody work?

As long as the term shared custody is concerned, this allows the parents to share their child custody. Sometimes the custody is equally divided, or sometimes it is almost equal. For some issues like time management, sickness, or many more, the child spends time with each parent.

The law will recognize both parent’s homes as the child’s legal residence. The parents need to decide to share their assets, property, and time with their child.

However, it is not the primary goal for the shared custody. There are also some circumstances when an important decision of a child comes.

Both sides of the parents should work equally in those circumstances. If any of the parents are unwilling to do so after the custody is determined, the central court will take legal action against them. But according to Canadian law, both parents have the same rights to their children in shared custody.

How is shared custody determined?

In shared custody, both parents get equal or almost equal rights to share their child custody. But sometimes, the situations are not always the same. There are some cases and circumstances where one side of the parents is not that financially stable to take care of his or her child.

In that case, child custody will determine several factors. When shared custody is concerned, both sides of the parents will be agreed on this, there will come several factors to calculate the child custody. Generally, the court decides these kinds of issues. These factors are following;

  • Parents annual income/ financial stability
  • Ability to take care of the child
  • Physical abilities (i.e., not sickness or physical inabilities)
  • child’s interest
  • primary take caregiver
  • Accessibility or flexibility of the parents

1. Parent’s annual income:

To get shared custody, it is so important to make sure of the court’s financial stability. If one of the parents does not have enough income to take care of their child, the court will not approve the shared custody. When the parents sign the custody agreement, they have to mention their annual income and financial stabilities.

2. Ability to take care of the child:

The ability to take care of the child does not mean only financial abilities. It has more wide-angle aspects. For example, some parents are not mentally stable for taking care of their children. So this point is concern that the parents have to able to take care of their children.

3. Physical abilities:

To get shared custody, it is also very important to be physically capable of taking care of their children. In some circumstances, parents have to face some fatal accident or anything like this, causing permanent damage to them or fatal injury. If it is so and they are not physically incapable, the court will not approve shared custody.

4. Child’s interest:

One more important thing that needs to be mentioned, which is the child’s interest. In some cases, the child wants to be with their mother and sometimes with their father.

It all depends on their interest. Sometimes as a primary caregiver, a child is more emotionally connected with his mother. So child’s interest is also significant to determine custody.

5. Primary caregiver:

When it is time to determine child custody, there will be some factors. For example, how many hours the child spends with their parents and who was the primary caregiver. All these things will be considered as long as the shared custody is determined.

6. Accessibility or flexibility of the parents:

Last but not least point is the accessibility or flexibility of the parents. Sometimes, one of the parents travels a lot. This is why they do not get enough time to take care of their children.

But when they want shared custody of their child, the custody agreement will ask for all this thing. Then based on the custody application, the court will judge if the parents are eligible for shared custody or not.

Final Thought:

Deciding child custody can be a complex process. Sometimes, it is involved with parents’ and children’s emotions. Acceding to your situation, the court will determine if you are eligible for the shared custody or not. Because in shared custody, you must have to take part in the custody.

In some cases, the whole court process can be seemed a little bit difficult for a parent. So you can hire a child custody lawyer to assist you in this regard. A child custody lawyer also can help you to set a schedule for both of the parents. Hopefully, now you have the idea about what is shared custody and how does it determine.

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