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Custody Dispute

Child Custody Dispute Lawyers in St. John's, Newfoundland

Custody of children is a major concern for couples who separate. Most parents only want what is best for their children, but disagreements during a separation can cause problems. At Gittens & Associates, we understand that child custody disputes are often one of the most challenging issues faced by divorcing parents. Call our child custody dispute lawyers in St. John’s if you are going through a separation or divorce.


At our law practice, our primary concern is to protect the best interests of your children during the separation. We will assist you in understanding your rights and settling your custody dispute in Newfoundland. We can guide your through the family law process so that you are prepared for possible outcomes.

Types of Custody

It is common for couples going through a divorce to feel confused about custody. Custody refers to the authority to make decisions on behalf of a child. Parenting or access refers to how the children will spend their time with each parent. The two different types of custody arrangements are:

Sole custody

It gives one parent the authority to make all major decisions affecting the children. The children usually live full-time with this parent. Depending on the agreement, the parent without custody normally has visitation rights.

Joint custody

It refers to the situation where both parents discuss and agree upon major decisions affecting the children. The parents share custody, but the children’s residence and visitation arrangements vary from case to case.

There are various options for custody agreement for Newfoundland families. Some examples are:

Primary residence: In this case, the children spend the majority of time living with one parent and the other parent has access/visitation rights normally with specified time periods.

Split parenting

In this agreement, some of the children live primarily with one parent while other children live primarily with the other parent.

Shared parenting

It can also be referred to as joint physical custody. In this arrangement, each parent spends at least 40% of the time with the children.

Determining Child Custody and Parenting

We have found that every case of child custody in Newfoundland is unique. However, there are several questions judges and lawyers use to determine custody in each case, such as:

What is in the child’s best interests?

What is the relationship like between the parents and the children?

Are there any physical or mental issues that would prevent a parent from being able to take care of the children?

Does either person show a better ability to parent than the other?

What are the employment schedules of each parent?

Who was the primary caregiver before separation?

Issues involving custody and parenting are complex - even for couples who get along. Schedule a consultation with one of the lawyers at Gittens & Associates today. We have significant experience in handling custody disputes for Newfoundland families and we can help parents work toward a workable custody agreement at our Newfoundland office.

On March 1st, 2021, significant changes came into force for the Canadian Divorce Act. Among these changes, the terms “custody” and “access” have been replaced with “parenting time” and “decision-making responsibility.” Read our blog to find out more.

Focused Legal Advice for Child Custody

Our lawyers can help protect your legal rights and settle your custody disputes.

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