Child Custody under the Divorce Act looks at the question of who makes or is involved in the major life decisions for the child. Generally speaking the Courts in Alberta start with the idea that joint custody is in the best interests of the child but this can be challenged based on the subjective facts in each case.

The issue of parenting looks at the amounts of time each party is spending with the child. A parent who has the day to day care of the child is called the “primary parent”. A division of parenting wherein each parent spends 40%-60% of the time with the child is called “shared parenting”.

When it comes to parenting issues the parties can decide what they feel is best for their child. If there are multiple children there are multiple personalities to consider but as with custody the important answer is to determine what is in the children’s best interest.

While there is no specific age where a child is “old enough” to decide for themselves, the Court will listen to their voices if they feel the child is mature enough. Even if the child is listened to it is important to remember that while the child may have a voice they will not necessarily get to make a choice, as the Court will determine what is in the child’s best interests should the issue come before it.