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You and your partner have just decided on a divorce but don’t know how to approach child custody arrangements for your kids. A written arrangement should be your first approach in this situation! Below are 5 statistics you should keep in mind when writing up your custody arrangements.
How is Child Custody Decided?
You have just decided to get a legal separation between you and your spouse but don’t know how to arrange your child’s permanent residence. According to Stats Canada, there are 3 common ways in which you can decide:
- 52% of Canadians choose written arrangements in which they have a legal professional or family lawyer draft up their legal separation agreement with the primary residence of the child included into the agreement.
- 32% of Canadians choose verbal arrangement and just state what their options are to each other. Verbal arrangements are hard to track and may lead to future problems if not properly initiated.
- 9% of Canadians have no arrangements so we assume the Court Decides.
We would suggest written arrangements when writing up your separation agreement as this will give physical proof of your decision and will be easier to manage. Having a lawyer draft your agreement would help mitigate any possible problems you may have in the future.
Who receives child custody?
If no definitive decision is made then you will need a court order to determine where your child’s arrangement will be. It will be in the child’s best interest and the relationship he or she has with each parent.
In most cases that involved a court order to arrange permanent child custody – the permanent residence of the child was given exclusively to the mother 79.3% of the time (based on a study by Stats Canada). Exclusivity to the father was given at 6.6% of the time and shared custody at 12.8%.
Taking your case to court is time consuming and costs more money which is why written arrangements between the parents (and a lawyer) would be the most effective.
Child Support Recipient Payment
After the parent plan has been established, the parents must consider how the child support arrangements will be done. “Parents will typically pay child support if their child primarily resides with the other parent, while they will most likely receive payment if the children lives with them” (Department of Justice, 2013).
According to Stats Canada, 64% of non-resident parents (or the parent not living with the child) paid child support and 92% were fathers. In most cases, 75% of child support recipients claimed they received the full amount while 8% of the receivers stated they received less than half.
Child Support Payment Schedule
Child support payment can range from $1,000 to over $10,000 annually, with the most common rate being $3,000 to $4,999.
The payment schedule can be determined by a written arrangement or through a court order. Typically, 55% of payment schedules are based on a monthly basis but can also be paid at a bi-weekly (29%) schedule manner as well. Payment schedules rarely affect the total amount the receiver will claim.
Parent Satisfaction with Child support Arrangements
After all the paperwork, child support and arrangements have been set, a study was implemented to measure the satisfaction level of each parent based on how they feel about their arrangements.
According to Stats Canada, 74% of legally separated or divorced parents were “satisfied” with the child support arrangements. Parents felt more satisfaction with more time and the more frequency they saw their children.
Child Support and Arrangements can be complicated and confusing at first but with the right help, you can end up with a satisfied schedule for you and your child. Please refer to one of our family law professionals for more information.
Source: Statistics Canada and Department of Justice