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Co-Parenting in New Brunswick: Joint Custody Tips for Divorced Parents

Custody and Parental Rights in New Brunswick

Under New Brunswick’s Family Law Act (FLA), either parent can be awarded sole or joint custody of their child. Sole Custody is the most common form of custody and grants one parent the right to make decisions regarding their child’s physical and educational needs, whereas joint custody allows both parents to have a say in these matters. Section 57-71 of the FLA outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parents under sole or joint custody. This includes the rights to access a child’s school or medical records, as well as to receive reasonable updates on their child’s health and well-being. Furthermore, Sole Custodial or Joint Custodial parents have the right to reasonable access to their child, as far as this is in the child’s best interests, as well as the right to residence in the home and to assume responsibility for the care and education of their child.


Co-Parenting Expenses

Another aspect to consider in co-parenting is expenses. Parents are required by law to equally share the costs of raising their children. This includes providing for their primary residence, clothing and education costs. In the event that parents do not live together and do not have a Shared Custody arrangement, the non-residential parent may be ordered to make child support payments to cover the expenses of the residential parent. These payments are governed by Section 75 of the FLA and can vary in amount. Generally speaking, they are determined by taking into account the household incomes of each parent as well as the number of nights the child spends with each parent, among other factors. Both parents have the right to have their incomes and situations reassessed at any time in the event that a change in circumstances necessitates a new payment amount.


Decision-Making and Parenting Plans in New Brunswick

When a couple has a Shared Custody arrangement in place, they must create a detailed parenting Plan which outlines the roles and responsibilities each parent has in raising their child. Under Section 54A of New Brunswick’s Family Law Act, parents must agree to a plan that outlines the decisions each parent will make in major areas of their child’s life, such as education, religion, and health. This plan must also lay out which parent will be primarily responsible for rendering the decisions and how disputes between the parents will be resolved. Parents may create the plan themselves or enlist the help of a mediator, in which case, Section 6 of New Brunswick’s Family Mediation Act mandates that all disagreements between the parties must be settled using constructive negotiation techniques.


Visitation Rights in New Brunswick

While decision-making powers are important, New Brunswick also outlines the Visitation Rights of each parent, even when they do not have custody of the child. Section 59 of the FLA states that both parents have the right to have personal contact with the child and to receive details of their education, health, and welfare upon request. Parents may also have access to their child’s medical and school records, although they may not make decisions on their behalf. Additionally, Section 58 outlines that both parents have the right to be consulted on any significant decisions related to their child’s welfare as well as to request in-person meetings with the child on a regular basis.



Co-parenting is a great way for two parents to ensure that their child is both loved and well-cared for, even after a separation. By understanding some of the legal responsibilities associated with Shared and Sole Custody, parents in New Brunswick can create an arrangement that works for everyone. With the right information, parents can enter into a co-parenting agreement that is not only in the best interests of their child but which is also compliant with the law and all applicable regulations laid out in the Family Law Act and Family Mediation Act.


Fact Check and Resources

In crafting this post, we conducted thorough fact-checking and research, consulting the following sources:


Co-parenting in USA


Co-parenting in Canada


Warning:  This post is neither financial, health, legal, or personal advice nor a substitute for the advice offered by a professional. These are serious matters, and the help of a professional is recommended as it can impact your future.

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