Children and parenting 

"To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today."
- Barbara Johnson
At Shanahan Family Law

We understand that parenting and timesharing arrangements are emotionally and mentally draining.

Yet they are essential to the emotional health of each child involved in a separation.

Our divorce lawyers are parents too, and we know first hand what parenting entails from the emotional, spiritual, and academic development of raising children to the logistical difficulties of commuting to and from school, and extra-curricular and social activities.

We understand that the arrangements made must take the “big picture” into consideration, including the transition from one home into two homes, the working hours of each parent, the work related travel schedules, and so on to develop an agreement that is fair to both parties and most importantly, the children.

Child Custody

At Shanahan Family Law we talk about timesharing and parental responsibility with regard to children. Timesharing relates to the schedule that both parents will enjoy with their children.

Parental responsibility involves making major decisions that directly affects children such as, education, medical and health care, religious upbringing, and extra-curricular activities.

Our family lawyers emphasise parental involvement as appropriate on a case-by-case basis. The child custody and timesharing schedule must be one that is clearly outlined and that can be implemented without having an adverse effect on the children.

We routinely mediate and litigate disputes concerning parenting matters. Where possible, we will guide clients towards resolving disputes amicably with consent orders. Sometimes that’s not possible though and court proceedings are required.

Shanahan Family Law Children and Parenting Custody

Factors considered in a custody determination

Neither parent has superior rights to the children regardless of their age or gender. The Court’s main goal and focus is to look after the child(ren)’s best interests. In order to determine this, the Court considers the following factors.

Each parent must demonstrate his or her ability to:

  • Continue a healthy and caring parent-child relationship in respect to the timesharing schedule as set forth by the parents of the child and the Court
  • Communicate any and all changes to the timesharing schedule as they arise
  • Consider and make decisions based solely on the child’s needs as opposed to the parent’s needs.
  • Implement and maintain a consistent routine for the child including any and all daily activities and schedules.
  • Participate and encourage the child in his or her school and extracurricular activities.
  • Maintain a healthy and abuse-free environment.
  • Recognize the needs of school-age children as well as pay attention to travel times and schedules adhering to the time-sharing plan.
  • Maintain and continue the child’s living arrangements and routines as consistently as possible.
  • Communicate with the co-parent as often as necessary in regards to the child’s needs and schedules.
  • Make an effort to remain informed of the child’s school activities and performance, social stability, health care, daily activities, and so on.
  • Maintain mental and physical health of each parent for the child.
  • Meet all the child’s needs during crucial development stages.
  • Consider any other relevant factors by the Court.
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