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Protecting Your Parental Rights

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When parents end a marriage or common-law relationship in which there are minor children, deciding who has custody or parenting rights and responsibilities can be a contentious process. Alberta courts will act in the child's best interest. At Byron & Company, in Fort McMurray, we strive to help our clients reach agreement on the important parental issues without the need to litigate. This reduces stress for all family members and usually saves a significant amount in legal fees.

Understanding The Decisions That Must Be Made

Where parents end a nonmarital or common-law relationship, there are two main aspects regarding parental responsibilities that must be addressed when parents no longer live together: guardianship and parenting time.

In some circumstances, grandparents may petition the court for time with a grandchild if they encounter an uncooperative parent. We can answer your questions about grandparents' rights.

Guardianship simply means the right to make decisions regarding a child's education, religious upbringing, health care and other important aspects of a child's life. Most often, parents share legal guardianship unless they agree to a different arrangement and it is approved by the court.

Parental access or contact refers to how much time a child spends with each parent. Here again, parents often share parenting time, but one parent may be named the primary caregiver. Parents may agree to a parenting time schedule on their own and submit it to a court for approval. If parents cannot reach agreement on guardianship or parenting time, the court will consider a number of factors in order to make a decision that is in the child's best interest. These include:

  • The health and well-being of the child
  • The child's relationship with each parent
  • Each parent's participation in the child's life before the parental relationship fell apart
  • The ability of each parent to care for the child
  • Where the child will go to school

Where parents end a marriage, similar principles apply, but the Divorce Act refers to the decision-making authority as custody.

Protect Your Parental Rights

Our lawyers understand how important the parental relationship is. We will work to achieve your goals in this area, whether that is accomplished through negotiation, mediation or litigation. Call 780-715-1002 or email us to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. We can review the facts of your case, answer your questions and recommend an effective course of action.

Let Us Review Your Legal Issue

Serving Fort McMurray And Surrounding Communities
10011 Fraser Ave.
Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2C8

Phone: 780-715-1002
Fax: 780-715-1099
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