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Joint Child Custody: 5 Rules to Make it Work After Divorce

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Joint custody presupposes that the child lives in turn with his father and mother. This type of care can be decided or requested by the parents, or ordered by the judge. However, the main goal is to preserve the best interests of the child.

This post lists down some rules to make the joint or alternate custody works after divorce in Canada.

1.    The Alternating Residence of the Child can be Decided or Requested by the Parents, or Ordered by the Judge

Joint custody may be Provided for in the Divorce Agreement, in the Context of a Divorce by Mutual Consent, by Both Parents. It can also be requested by a parent, in other proceedings, from the Family Affairs Judge. The judge can also impose this custody on the parents despite a conflict. He will thus decide it at the first hearing, in the interim measures, if he considers that this is the best solution. When the judgment is pronounced, he may reverse his decision or confirm it, depending on the results.

2.    In the event of a Judicial Divorce, the Judge Always has the Last Word

The judge's choice of alternate residence will not be made according to the interests of the parents, but always that of the child. It will consider their age, their ability to adapt, their school pace and extracurricular activities, their performance at school, etc. If the child is a teenager, his opinion will be systematically requested. However, the parent can appoint a

3.    The Joint Custody Infers an Understanding Between the Parents

The constraints imposed on parents will also play a role in their decision or that of the judge. Parents must be capable of communication and agreement on all the choices that affect their child, even in a parallel conflict. It is also vital to ensure their availability and ability to fulfill their duties and respect the rights of each other.

The behavior of the parents is as decisive as that of the child: it is, therefore, imperative to succeed in coming to an understanding with your ex-spouse for alternate residence.

4.    The Rate of Alteration is Mainly Determined by the Age of the Child

The Family law does not set a defined period in the organization of joint custody.

The classic rhythm is a week with his father, a week with his mother. But following the advice of psychologists who have studied the issue, the alternation should be more frequent when the child is young. And as he grows, then it is better to space out the pace of work-study.

Joint custody does not imply perfectly egalitarian sharing of custody between the parents. For example, it is possible to take into account the parents' profession and their possible constraints when deciding on the sharing of custody time.

5.    Sharing of Social Charges and Benefits

Alternate residence presupposes an equitable sharing of the costs for the maintenance and education of the child. But this rule also does not exclude the award of alimony, which will depend on the financial capacities of each parent.

If the parents receive family allowances, they can decide by mutual agreement to appoint who receives them or share them. The solution chosen by the parents is valid for a minimum of one year.

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