Child Custody Laws in Canada (Update 2024) - Zukerman Law

Child Custody Laws in Canada (Update 2024)

In Canada, the best interests of a child will always be considered before anything else when it comes to guardianship arrangements. There is actually a structured set of criteria that the court abides by. The criteria can be things like the child’s relationship with a parent and how the child’s emotional state would be affected without the parent in his or her daily life, each parent’s ability to care for the child in question and the child’s own stated wishes in some cases.

Do mothers automatically get primary guardianship?

Mothers don’t automatically get sole or primary guardianship rights in Canada, but they are viewed, in most cases, as the primary caregiver and are more likely to obtain those rights. It’s normal for a judge to want to keep a mother in that role, since she’s the one most likely to have been at home with her children. Changing this dynamic can disrupt a child psychologically and physically.

Can guardianship arrangements be changed later?

If a mother is awarded guardianship on a more regular basis because of this, it doesn’t mean custody arrangements can’t be altered in the future. Custody arrangements can be amended at a later date, especially when there is a major change, like the changing of jobs or a move to a new area, that could affect the child.

If you’re concerned about not receiving enough time in your parenting arrangement or want to make sure your case is fair when you have your custody hearing, your lawyer can help you go over your case and negotiate the time you want with your children.


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.