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Decision-Making Responsibility (Custody) & Parenting Time (Access)

Dedicated Calgary Divorce Lawyers Advising on Decision-Making Responsibility & Parenting Time Disputes

When it comes to decision-making responsibility (formerly referred to as child custody) and parenting time (formerly referred to as access) following a separation or divorce, the best interests of the child are paramount. While both parents generally put their children first, the stress and emotions that accompany the end of a relationship can complicate an already fraught situation and make it difficult to identify the best solution. Guidance from a skilled family lawyer can help you reach an amicable agreement with your former partner more quickly, so that you can move forward with your life and so your children are protected going forward.

The Family Team at HMC Lawyers makes it a priority to work personally with our clients. Our goal is to help clients reach decision-making responsibility and parenting time arrangements that meet their needs and are in the best interest of their families. Throughout the course of your matter, we take proactive steps to find mutually agreeable solutions that can reduce costs and shorten disputes.

Client-Focused Family Lawyers

At HMC Lawyers, we take pride in our tailored, personalized approach to every matter, and in our ability to take the time to truly understand where each client is coming from, what their particular family circumstances are, and what their ideal outcome looks like.

Decision-Making Responsibility and Parenting Time in Alberta

Decision-making responsibility, formerly known as child custody, refers to who has decision-making power over the lives of minor children. There are different types of decision-making responsibility arrangements, and the type depends on the specific circumstances of each family.

Decision-Making Responsibility (formerly Child Custody)

Decision-making responsibilities include decisions about the child’s health, education, religion, and similar. In many situations, we see joint decision-making arrangements, which means both parents must agree on such decisions. In other situations, we will see sole decision-making granted. Sole decision-making responsibility is a situation in which one parent has the right to make all decisions about a child without consulting the other parent.

Parenting Time (formerly Child Access)

Parenting time, formerly known as child access, is a different legal concept and refers to a parent’s right to spend time with their child or children. One parent can have sole decision-making responsibility for the children, but the other parent may still be granted parenting time with the children. Similarly, when parents have joint decision-making responsibilities, but the children reside primarily with one parent, the other parent may have parenting time.

Parenting time can be limited in a number of ways, from the timing and length of visits, where children may be taken, and if visits are supervised.

Common Decision-Making Responsibility and Parenting Time Disputes

Some of the common issues that arise with respect to decision-making responsibility and parenting time disputes include:

  • Where and with whom children will live;
  • Where and with whom the children spend holidays and important events;
  • How a child will be disciplined;
  • Decisions regarding education and extracurricular activities; and
  • Decisions regarding health care and medical treatment.

In some cases, the former couple can amicably come to a consensus on decision-making responsibility and parenting time issues with the help of family lawyers, and without involving a judge or requiring litigation. In such cases, the details of the parenting arrangements are finalized by an agreement that stipulates the arrangement in writing.

If parents cannot agree on these issues, litigation may be required, and a court may make an order respecting decision-making responsibility and parenting time.

Calgary Family Lawyers Resolving Decision-Making Responsibility and Parenting Time Disputes Through Skillful Advocacy

If you are going through a separation or divorce, the Family Law Team at HMC Lawyers will help you make decisions and finalize agreements that are in the best interests of your children. We understand that it is often possible for parents to negotiate and agree on decision-making responsibility arrangements. Decisions that you and your former partner make are often faster, less expensive and less acrimonious than decisions made by a Court.  We work hard to make this happen and to eliminate the stress and emotional turmoil that follows the end of a relationship as much as we can.

Our Family Law Team has a track record of successfully negotiating and mediating claims on behalf of our clients. Although we are capable advocates in the courtroom, we know that the best outcome is more often achieved through finding a solution that is mutually beneficial to you and your ex, and coming to that solution amicably.  For advice about decision-making responsibility and parenting time matters, contact us online or call 1-800-480-3534.

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Contact HMC Lawyers for Exceptional Legal Guidance

At HMC Lawyers, we offer strategic legal advice. Our breadth of practice experience allows us to promptly handle almost every litigation-related legal issue that may arise, and anticipate potential roadblocks that may delay its resolution. To make an appointment with a member of our team, contact us online or call 403-269-7220

For articling and/or summer student inquiries please contact either Kristen Hagg or Praveen Thind by calling 403.269.7220 or emailing them directly at

HMC Lawyers LLP
#1000 903 8th Ave SW
Calgary, AB
T2P 0P7

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