RPB Family Law Professional Corporation
(613) 216-5044 ronan@rpblaw.ca

Child Custody Lawyer in Ottawa

Child Custody and Access

How Can We Help

  • N   Negotiate and draft parenting plans. 
  • Travel consent forms.
  • Sole and joint-decision making authority analysis.
  • Mediation.
  • Court litigation.

Practice areas

  • Divorce
  • Separation
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Child Custody
  • Child Access and Parenting Time
  • Separation Agreements
  • Marriage Contracts
  • Cohabitation Agreements
  • Inheritance Protection
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Limited Scope Court Coaching

When spouses decide to end their marriage, one of the most stressful decisions they must make is the parenting schedule and decision-making responsibility (historically referred to as child custody) of the kids. The divorcing couple must determine who will make decisions about the child and who will live with them, which can make divorce proceedings very heated. If you are facing a divorce, contact an Ottawa Child Custody Lawyer today to learn more about your legal options and responsibilities regarding child decision-making responsibility and custody.


What Is Child Decision-Making Responsibility (Child Custody)?

Contrary to what most people believe, child custody does not refer to a parent’s time with a child. Instead, it establishes who has authority to make major decisions concerning the child, such as those relating to:

  •       Education
  •       Health
  •       Place of residence
  •       Religion
  •       Extra-curricular activities

If a parent is given custody of a child – called a custodial parent – they have the decision-making power if there is ever an agreement on important matters such as the ones described above.

It is important to note that most countries, including Canada, have or are revising the term ‘custody’ as used in family law because it is considered polarizing.


The Child’s Best Interest

Usually, divorcing parents will negotiate several matters pertaining to the end of a marriage, such as spousal support, property distribution/equalization, child support, and, of course, child decision-making responsibility or custody. 

When it comes to child decision-making authority and custody, the court will always act in the child’s best interests. The court will usually consider the following:

  •       The relationship between each parent and the child
  •       The child’s preferences (when reasonable determination is possible)
  •       Each parent’s ability to provide a stable life for the child
  •       How long the child has lived in a particular environment
  •       Each parent’s care plan for the child
  •       Each parent’s ability to provide a stable and permanent home for the child


The court may ask the parents to provide evidence relating to these points when determining custody. This is one area where an Ottawa Divorce Lawyer will be instrumental.


Divorce Act Changes Regarding Child Custody

As mentioned, most jurisdictions are revising terms used in family law that are considered polarizing. Canada effected this move on March 1, 2021, by altering two terms defined in the federal Divorce Act. Now, ‘custody’ is ‘decision-making responsibility’ and ‘parenting time’ and ‘access’ have been replaced with ‘contact and parenting time.’

Decision-Making Responsibility 

This refers to the power to make important decisions about your child, have them in your care at times specified in the judgment, and be informed about their well-being.

Parenting Time 

This refers to the time the child is in your care, either in your presence or when they are away, like when they go to school.


Talk to an Ottawa Child Custody Lawyer Today

Family Law in Ottawa can be complex, especially when it comes to matters of child custody. If you are going through a divorce, having an experienced Ottawa Child Custody Lawyer representing you can make all the difference for you and your child.

At RPB Family Law, we are dedicated to helping you make the best out of your divorce by protecting your rights. Contact us online or call us at (613) 216-5044 today to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney and discuss your legal rights and options.

Call Us Now!

(613) 216-5044

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Visit Our Ottawa Office!

376 Churchill Ave N, Suite 302, Ottawa, Ontario K1Z 5C3

Business Hours


Mon - Fri : 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Other times available by request
Operating a virtual office currently due to COVID.

Fax Number:

(613) 703-1982

Our Mission

To provide Ottawa residents with efficient, effective, and reliable legal advice for family law matters.