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Things to know about custody and access

When it comes to matters of child custody and access, there is a lot you need to know. As long as you are on the same page as the court, as long as you know what is expected of you, you are in position to make informed decisions.

If you are granted custody by a court order, it typically means that your children will live with you. This gives you the right to make a variety of decisions regarding their care, unless directed otherwise by the court.

Joint custody is a situation in which both parents have the right to make decisions regarding the care of the children. Furthermore, this means that the children may spend time with both parents.

In order for a joint custody arrangement to work, both parents must be willing to communicate with each other and work together to ensure the best interest of the children.

In the event that you do not have custody, you still have the right to spend time with your children, as long as the court does not prohibit you from doing so. An access arrangement should be created, showing your rights.

Matters of child custody and access are not always as confusing as they sound. As long as you understand what the court expects, you should be able to make decisions that benefit you and your children.

It is important that you know your rights in Ontario, as this will ensure that you don't miss out on spending time with your children and/or making key decisions in regards to how they are raised.

Source: Ministry of the Attorney General, "What You Should Know About Family Law in Ontario," accessed April 20, 2016

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