Custody (Care and Contact) of Children

1Anthony Gooden Inc November AdvertCare and contact of children

The word “custody” is not used in the Children’s Act. It appears to have been replaced by the word “care”. In the case of a parental dispute parties must first attempt to mediate and only then approach Court in the absence of an agreement. Mediation is therefore a prerequisite for being allowed to approach the court. Section 1 of the Children’s Act defines “care” which includes more than just providing a place for the child to live. The new definition of care includes what used to be referred to as custody. The definition of care is a broad concept which includes financial support, promoting the well-being of the child, promoting his or her rights and directing the child. Both parents have a duty and responsibility to ensure that the child has a suitable place to live and to live in conditions that are conducive to the child’s health, well-being and development. Contact is more easily compared with the previously used term “ Access”. Section 1 of the Act says that “contact” means maintaining a relationship with the child. This would include communication with the child on a regular basis by visiting or being visited by the child, or other regular forms of communication including post / telephone or electronic.

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