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Family law in Canada: Access for noncustodial parents

Most every parent has the right to spend time with his or her child. If parents don't share joint custody of their children after they divorce, the noncustodial parent typically has the right to see their kids or to have access to them as stipulated by family law in Canada. Access, as granted by the courts or spelled out in a parenting plan, also gives the parent the right to be informed about their children's lives.

If the parents have an amenable relationship regarding their children, then they can probably work out what reasonable access looks like and come to an agreement regarding a parenting plan. These kinds of arrangements can evolve as life circumstance change. If parents can't agree, a judge might have to decide for them,  but rarely does a judge deny a parent access to his or her children. If the judge believes the child may be put in harm's way by spending time with a parent, supervised access is usually ordered.

Child support payments and access rights do not go hand in hand. If a parent is ordered to make child support payments, yet doesn't see his or her children, those payments still must be made, according the law. If a custodial parent keeps his or her former spouse from seeing their children, a judge will try to ascertain why and could order access. If the order is not upheld, the custodial parent could be held in contempt of court.

A lawyer can often help his or her client to iron out these kinds of family law issues in Canada. A lawyer will work together with a client for the best interests of the children involved. Often, having a lawyer's advice will smooth out any contentious issues. 


Source:, "Access", Accessed on Dec. 18, 2017

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