What Are A Father’s Right For Child Custody in Ontario

father and son standing in the middle of a wheat field

What Are A Father’s Right For Child Custody in Ontario? 

There are no specific rights for fathers in Ontario because any decisions by court are in the best interest of the children. The Ontario Family Law system doesn’t inherently favor mothers over fathers when it comes to child custody or decision-making responsibility and access decisions. At the same time, it is difficult for fathers to get sole custody because it is historically assumed that children do better living with their mothers. If you are a father fighting for joint or sole custody, read this article for clarity. 

What Rights Do Fathers Have?

Fathers have the same rights as mothers regarding child custody, access, and support. These rights include:

  • Custody and Decision-Making: Fathers can seek either sole or joint custody, which involves making key decisions about the child’s welfare, including education, health care, and religion.
  • Access and Parenting Time: Fathers are entitled to seek parenting time that reflects the best interest of the child, which could range from supervised visits to equal shared parenting, depending on the circumstances.

Seeking 50/50 Custody

Many fathers pursue an arrangement of equal (50/50) custody. While the law does not guarantee this arrangement, it is a feasible outcome if both parents agree and it serves the child’s best interests. The court considers various factors such as each parent’s relationship with the child, their parenting abilities, and their capacity to provide a stable environment.

father and son using tablet at home

Do Adoptive Fathers have the same rights?

Yes, adoptive fathers have the same responsibilities and rights as biological fathers in the eyes of the law.

How to improve your odds in custody battles?

To improve their chances in custody disputes, fathers should:

  • Maintain detailed records of involvement in your child’s daily life
  • Demonstrate a stable and supportive home environment
  • Stay actively engaged in your child’s academic and extracurricular activities
  • Avoid conflicts and communication breakdowns with the other parent

Can my child’s mother deny access to meet?

No, in Ontario, laws are made to support the child’s best interests. This means, your child’s mother cannot deny access unless the family court has ordered that. 

Can I ask for amends to my visitation rights?

If you are able to prove that your child will benefit from spending more time with you, then yes, you can submit a request to the court. You can also file a petition to change child custody or decision-making responsibility rules. As a family law firm in Brampton, we ask our clients to focus on how it will be beneficial to the child and not on why the other parent gets more time. 

If you have more questions, our family lawyers are here to support you. Book a free first consultation with us today. (up to 15 minutes only).

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