Top Child Custody Lawyers in Vancouver
Thomas and Associates will help create a plan that will work for you and your children.
Over the years, our child custody lawyers in Vancouver have handled several complex cases. We will use our combined 38 years of experience in custody matters in evaluating the specific facts of your situation and in providing legal advice that is tailored to meet your family’s needs and goals.
When a couple decides to end a marriage and children are involved, parents must determine where the children will reside and how much time the children will be allowed to spend with each parent. In some cases, child custody issues are simple and handled amicably though mediation. In other, more complex cases, child custody issues must be addressed in court, so that a judge can determine what is in the best interests of the child.
At Thomas and Associates, our child custody lawyers understand that the health and well-being of your children are of the utmost importance to you. If you are contemplating divorce and would like legal guidance to protect your child’s future, call our legal team today.
Types of Child Custody:
Split Custody: This is when one parent has custody of some of the children, and the other parent has custody of the remaining children.
Sole Custody: Sole custody is when the court gives one parent physical and legal custody of a child. The child lives with one parent who maintains authority to make all the decisions about upbringing and welfare.
Joint Custody: Joint custody can refer to either physical or legal custody. It’s when both parents participate in raising a child while living separately.
Shared Custody: A situation where a child spends about an equal amount of time in the care and home of each of the two separated parents, and the parents share the legal rights regarding the child.
Parenting Plans are very important. A parenting plan is a written document that provides a framework of how parents will raise their children after divorce or separation.
When creating the parenting plan, many factors come into play. This includes the child’s relationship with each parent, parenting ability, the child’s connection to siblings, location, physical environment, and more. In the end, the child’s ultimate well-being takes precedence over most other concerns.
The Parenting Plan lays out how much you see your children and how present you are in your children’s lives. It is vital to protect your rights as a parent and ensure you continue to have a major role in your child’s upbringing.
Hiring Parenting Coordinators:
Parenting coordination is an alternative dispute resolution process. Parents can meet with a parenting coordinator for help with following the parts of their court order, family arbitration award, or separation agreement that are about parenting.
Parents can agree to use a parenting coordinator, or a court can appoint a parenting coordinator. You cannot be forced to use it. A parenting coordinator is a person who helps parents resolve day-to-day conflicts about their parenting arrangements or parenting orders.
For example, if your court order says that your children must spend an equal amount of time with each parent over the summer, a parenting coordinator can help you figure out a summer schedule.
A parenting coordinator doesn’t decide major issues like custody or access. But they can decide other issues such as:
- Small changes to a parenting plan such as vacations and holidays;
- Scheduling activities and arranging for pick up and drop off to extracurricular activities such as ballet, hockey, or tutoring;
- Children’s travel and passport arrangements; and,
- How your children’s clothing and school items are moved between your and your partner’s homes.
A parenting coordinator helps you communicate with each other to try and resolve your parenting issues. If you cannot agree, they can decide for you. Their decision is based on information they get from the parents, professionals such as doctors, teachers, counsellors, etc., and, if necessary, your child.
The parenting coordinator cannot make major decisions. Their job is to help you follow the parts of your court order, family arbitration award, or separation agreement that are about parenting.
Parenting coordinators are trained to:
- Understand the needs of children;
- Help each parent discuss their parenting issues; and,
- Help parents to manage and keep children out of conflicts.
Child Custody Decisions
If parents are unable to reach an agreement, a court can decide for them. In making its decision regarding custody, the court will consider the Divorce Act and the best interests of the child.
Custody determinations can be made on an interim and final basis. On an interim basis, the court is generally not inclined to disrupt the status quo parenting arrangement unless there is evidence that the status quo is not in the child’s best interests.
Why Choose Thomas and Associates?
Over the years, our child custody lawyers have learned that no one approach is appropriate for every client. In fact, each case is unique. We always encourage the matter to be handled fairly, respectfully, and honestly with the best interests of your children in mind.
Our team of child custody lawyers work closely, carefully and intelligently to obtain a solution that is in the best interests of you and your children.
Thomas and Associates takes the time to understand your goals and your story, so that we can guide you to the most favorable outcome of your child custody case or other legal matters. We give clients the information they need to make good decisions, and we keep them well informed as their child custody case progresses.
“I have been working with Sabina Beesley since April 2015 as my legal counsel for the legal documentation to move to the USA with my children, a complicated Custody Hearing and the finalization of my divorce. Throughout this time Mrs. Beesley has been professional, kind and expedient in all matters related to my case. Her logical rationale, excellent communication skills and impeccable organization made the hearing fall in my favour. I would not hesitate to recommend Mrs. Beesley for any type of Family Law case. I have no doubt that without her services during an extremely difficult time things could have gone much differently.”