Child Custody Lawyers

Our child custody lawyers in Surrey, British Columbia are prepared to help you with all types of child custody agreements and arrangements.

If you are in the process of planning a separation, or filing for divorce in a relationship involves children, it is wise to speak to a child custody lawyer as soon as possible. Even if the separation is mutual, you need someone on your side to explain the long-term legal consequences of any agreement. Whether these agreements are made as part of an alternative dispute resolution process, or in a courtroom, you can trust our lawyers to protect your rights.

If you have any questions about child custody laws or child support laws in BC, please contact McQuarrie to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. You can begin by filling out a short information form right here on our website.

Child Custody Laws in BC

The BC Family Law Act and the Canada Divorce Act are the most important references for child custody laws in British Columbia. The Family Law Act went into effect on March 18th 2013, and established that the best interests of the child were to be considered more important than any other factor when it came to custody disagreements. This changed a lot about how child custody rights were argued in court, and which strategies were successful.

Child Custody Arrangements

Custody refers to the right to make all important legal decisions for a child, including those related to education, medical treatment and living arrangements. In BC, joint guardianship arrangements are most common in amicable separations. Many custom agreements can be created by mediation between the parents, but the following are some of the most common.

  • Shared Custody: When both parents are given the opportunity to share not less than 40% of the child’s time, it is considered shared custody. Both parents have the right to make important decisions for the child while the child is with them.
  • Joint Custody: Joint custody is like shared custody, but is used as a term for arrangements that do not require that the child must spend at least 40% of his or her time with each parent. Joint custody arrangements still allow parents to coordinate care.
  • Split Custody: When there is more than one child, they may be split between the two parents. These arrangements are somewhat rare for younger children unless there is a significant reason that they should be separated. Older children are often free to choose which parent they want to live with.
  • Sole Custody: In these arrangements the children live with one parent, who has the sole power to make the decisions that affect their lives. The other parent may retain the right to visit.

BC Child Support Laws

Child support, or ‘maintenance’, is the amount that one parent is obligated to pay the other for the care of the child.

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