Separations, Children and Custody

April 2011

When parents separate, a commonly held belief is that mothers receive preferential treatment over fathers when it comes to custody of the children…or that, at the very least, courts are inclined towards the mother when it comes to custody.

Both of these views are false.

While in the past, courts may have relied upon the “tender year’s doctrine”, to find that children should be cared for by the mother, in the current day and age parental gender is not relevant. The focus is on the best interests of the child.

Similar to this, there is a common thought that the courts lean in the direction of joint custody.  This is also incorrect.

The courts determine custody, and in turn access, based on what is in the best interests of the children, nothing more or less. The best interests of the children are determined by the facts and circumstances of each case, with no preference for joint custody, mothers or fathers.

The information provided above is only a basic overview with respect to custody and access. It is not meant to be legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice, it is merely provided as information. For questions about custody, access, or any other family law matter, please contact me to arrange an appointment.

Author

Ken practises family law and estate litigation. He attended Laurentian University where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts (Hon.), with distinction, in 2006. Ken attended the University of Western Ontario and obtained his Bachelor of Laws in 2009. While in law school, he was on the Dean’s Honour List. More →