In determining who gets custody of a child, the court considers the child’s “best interests”. Most often, the court will decide that it is in the child’s best interests to remain in the custody of one or both of their parents. Canadian law outlines that whenever possible, it is in the best interests of a child to reside with one of their parents.
In certain situations a child may be removed from the care of their parents, such as if they have acted poorly or neglected their child. In these cases, the Family and Children’s Services may remove the child from their parents. Children may be placed in the temporary care of another individual, such as a grandparent or close relative. However, in these situations the goal of caseworkers is usually to implement an agreed upon parenting plan and return the child to their parents care.
If a child has been in the care of another individual for a long period of time, the court may feel it is in the best interests of the child for them to remain in their current living arrangements. In these cases, custody will depend greatly upon the specific facts of the case.