Child Access and Parenting Time

In British Columbia, different laws apply to families following divorce or separation. The federal Divorce Act applies to once-married couples. The provincial Family Law Act applies to both once-married and common-law couples. As a result, many terms are used to describe who spends time with your children and when. In practice, parents can make many kinds of arrangements that are in the best interests of their children.

The family lawyers at Peterson Stark Scott in Surrey will help you make sense of child access and parenting time. When you are facing relationship breakdown, legal agreements will affect you and your children for the long term. Our guidance and advocacy will help make sure those agreements are fair and appropriate for your family.

Spending Time With the Children

Many think of custody when it comes to divorce or separation. Parents may decide on a system of joint custody, where children live part of the time with each parent, or sole custody, where children live only with one parent. Other terms used to describe time with children include:

  • Access: Access is a term used in the federal Divorce Act. It means the scheduled visits or allotted time spent with the children by the parent who has the least amount of time with them.
  • Parenting time: Parenting time is a term in the provincial Family Law Act. It means the time a guardian spends with the children. During parenting time, the guardian is responsible for day-to-day matters and the children's care. Even after separation or divorce, both parents normally remain guardians.
  • Contact: Contact is the time spent with the children by an individual who is not a guardian. This may include a close family member such as an aunt or grandparent.

In some cases, such as family violence, it is not appropriate for parents to negotiate parenting time and going to court is the right option. At Peterson Stark Scott, we are seasoned family lawyers with in-depth experience as family dispute resolution professionals. Whether you need to go to court or participate in mediation or private negotiations, we have the skill and knowledge to assist you.

Book a Consultation with Us

Consult with one of our lawyers about your child custody concerns. Call 604-588-9321 or 604-588-9321 or reach us online.