How To Get Full Custody Of A Child As A Mother - Zukerman Law

Can You Win Full Custody as a Mother in British Columbia? What You Need to Know!

Child custody arrangements are often an emotionally charged aspect of separation or divorce. While shared custody is frequently the ideal scenario, there are situations where following full custody (also known as sole custody) may be in your child’s best interests.
This blog post is designed to be a resource for British Columbia parents, especially mothers considering full custody.
We’ll delve into the factors the court considers when making custody decisions, ensuring you understand what strengthens your case for full custody. Most importantly, we’ll guide you in building a convincing argument that prioritizes your child’s well-being.
Whether you’re actively considering full custody or simply seeking information, gaining a clear understanding of the process empowers you to advocate for your child’s future. So, let’s embark on this journey together and explore the essential aspects of seeking full custody of your child in British Columbia.

How to Get Full Custody of a Child as a Mother in BC

How to Get Full Custody of a Child as a Mother in BC

While the idea of mothers automatically receiving full custody might be a misconception, British Columbia law prioritizes what’s best for the child in custody arrangements. This means mothers can certainly pursue sole custody. However, they’ll need to present a compelling case demonstrating this is their child’s optimal solution. Here’s a breakdown of the key factors the court considers when evaluating sole custody applications:

  • Your Fitness as a Parent: The court will meticulously assess your abilityto provide your child a safe, nurturing, and stable environment. This evaluation encompasses factors such as your financial stability, living situation, and capacity to meet your child’s physical and emotional needs. Documentation supporting these aspects strengthens your position.
  • The Other Parent’s Capacity for Custody: If the other parent struggles with substance abuse, exhibits abusive behavior, or has a documented history of neglecting their parental responsibilities, presenting such evidence can be crucial. The court will consider the other parent’s ability to provide your child a safe and healthy environment.
  • Stability and Potential Benefits of Sole Custody: The court prioritizes arrangements that promote stability and routine in a child’s life. If shared custody disrupts their well-being or creates an unstable environment, sole custody might be considered. Evidence supporting this, such as documented disruptions caused by shared custody, can be helpful.
  • The Child’s Wishes (For Children Over 12): While not the sole determining factor, the court will consider the expressed wishes of children over the age of 12. However, the court will also weigh these wishes against the child’s overall best interests.
  • Impracticality of Shared Custody: In some cases, geographical distance or the parents’ inability to co-parent effectively can render shared custody impractical. Evidence supporting this, such as relocation plans or documented communication difficulties between the parents, can be valuable to the court.

You can build a strong case for sole custody by gathering demonstrable evidence that addresses these factors. Remember, the paramount concern throughout this process is your child’s best interests. The evidence you present should clearly demonstrate why sole custody serves your child’s well-being more effectively than shared custody.

What Factors Does the Court Consider When Awarding Custody in BC?

What Factors Does the Court Consider When Awarding Custody in BC?

While seeking sole custody might be your goal, it’s crucial to understand the broader legal landscape of child custody decisions in British Columbia. The court’s paramount concern is the best interests of the child. Here, we’ll explore the key factors the court meticulously evaluates when determining custody arrangements:

  • Parental Fitness: The court will assess each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs. This evaluation considers factors like financial stability, living situation, and capacity to meet the child’s healthcare and educational requirements.
  • Child’s Best Interests: This is the primary consideration. The court will prioritize the child’s safety, health, and overall development throughout their upbringing. Evidence demonstrating how your parenting fosters a nurturing and secure environment strengthens your case.
  • Parent-Child Relationship: The relationship quality between each parent and the child is a crucial factor. The court will examine the level of involvement, emotional bond, and history of caregiving each parent provides.
  • Ability to Make Decisions: The court evaluates each parent’s capacity to make sound decisions in the child’s best interests. This includes educational choices, medical care, and other important aspects of the child’s life. Demonstrating your responsible decision-making strengthens your position.
  • Stability and Routine: Children thrive in a stable environment with consistent routines. The court will consider which parent can provide a secure and predictable environment that fosters the child’s well-being.
  • Child’s Preference (Over 12): If your child is over 12, the court will consider their expressed wishes regarding custody arrangements, although they are not the sole determining factor. The court will weigh these preferences against what they deem to be the child’s overall best interests.
  • Parental Conduct: Any history of abuse, neglect, addiction, or other harmful behavior by either parent will be carefully examined. The court prioritizes a safe and healthy environment for the child.
  • Geographical Considerations: The court considers the proximity of parents’ residences and the practicality of shared custody arrangements. For example, significant geographical distance might influence custody decisions.
  • Special Circumstances: Situations such as one parent living in another country, abandonment, documented abuse, or a parent’s incapacity due to illness can significantly influence custody decisions.
What Rights Will You Have When You Get Sole Custody in BC?

What Rights Will You Have When You Get Sole Custody in BC?

Obtaining sole custody signifies a significant decision and comes with a comprehensive set of rights and responsibilities:

  • Decision-Making Authority: You’ll have the sole right to make crucial choices regarding your child’s upbringing. This encompasses their residence, religious or cultural background, educational path, extracurricular activities, and healthcare decisions.
  • Day-to-Day Management: You’ll be responsible for all day-to-day choices concerning your child, including what they eat, wear, and how they spend their free time.
  • Legal Representation: You gain the legal right to act on your child’s behalf, such as applying for passports or licenses and even suing others in their best interests.
  • Medical Access: You’ll have sole authority to access your child’s medical and dental information, ensuring you can make informed decisions regarding their health and well-being.

While sole custody empowers you with significant decision-making authority, it’s crucial to remember the underlying responsibility: prioritizing your child’s best interests in every choice you make.

Secure Your Child's Future: Legal Guidance for Sole Custody

Secure Your Child’s Future: Legal Guidance for Sole Custody

Child custody disputes can be emotionally charged and legally complex. If you’re considering pursuing sole custody in British Columbia, having a qualified family lawyer by your side is essential. Zukerman Law in Surrey, BC, offers experienced and compassionate legal representation. Their team can guide you through the legal process, advocate for your child’s best interests, and help you achieve a positive outcome for your family. Contact Zukerman Law today to schedule a consultation and discuss your specific situation.

author

Stuart Zukerman

Stuart Zukerman, a graduate of the University of British Columbia, has over 32 years of experience in litigation with a focus on Family Law, Personal Injury, Wrongful Dismissal claims, and Collaborative Divorce & Mediation. He has extensive trial experience in divorce, child custody, spousal support, asset division, and ICBC injury claims. As an accredited Family Law Mediator, he helps resolve disputes without court intervention. Stuart has also authored papers on family law and lectured at CLE courses.