Co-Parenting in Northwest Territories: Joint Custody Tips for Divorced Parents

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Custody in the Northwest Territories

According to Subsection 33(1) of the Children’s Law Act, the court of the Northwest Territories considers the best interests of a child when making decisions about custody. The same statute specifies that the baseline for decision making is for a child to have equal share of custody between both parents or guardians. This means that the court’s focus is generally on having both parents be held responsible for raising the child in order to ensure the best outcome. However, the court may decide on a primary guardian depending on which parent can provide a more stable home and environment.


Child Support in Northwest Territories

In accordance with Subsection 33(2) of the Children’s Law Act, the court may require one party to pay child support to the other. They consider factors such as the income and resources of both parties, the child's age, status, means and needs, other family responsibilities and any existing agreements between the parties. The court has authority to grant a periodical supplement, a lump sum or any combination of the two.


Co-parenting Expenses for Northwest Territories

It is important to identify which expenses constitute as “co-parenting expenses” so that parents in the Northwest Territories can make informed decisions about who should — and can — pay for such expenses. Generally, Section 11 of the Children’s Law Act states that co-parenting expenses include costs for the benefit of the child such as braces, extracurricular activities, school trips and medical costs. Factors such as the financial status of each parent and the child’s best interest are taken into account when the court makes decisions about who should pay these expenses.


Parental Rights, Decisions and Co-parenting Plan

According to Subsection 28 of the Children’s Law Act, one parent can make decisions regarding a child in the Northwest Territories if the other parent is nonexistent, missing or has had his/her parental rights terminated. The courts seek to involve both parents in making decisions wherever possible, and if an agreement cannot be reached one parent can apply for an order for a parenting plan in court. Such plan outlines the decision-making process for matters concerning the child and any other related topics. The court considers the best interests of the child as the primary factor when making decisions about parenting plans.


Visitation in the Northwest Territories

With regard to visitation, the court considers the best interest of the child as the primary factor in determining a visitation schedule. Certain provisions are related in Subsection 37 of the Children’s Law Act , in which consideration is given to factors such as the child's age, health, and the nature of relationships of individuals may involve in the child’s life. The court should ensure that both parents have sufficient access to ensure the child’s well-being. This can be enforced through orders regarding contact, relocation restrictions and supervision.


Mediation in the Northwest Territories

For those seeking to reach an agreement without having to involve the court, they may look to mediation. This involves bringing in a third-party individual to help resolve disagreements peacefully. Subsection 4 of the Children’s Law Act describes how mediation can be used in addition to or instead of court proceedings. The idea is to come up with a satisfactory solution for both the parents and the child. It is important to note that in the Northwest Territories, a mediation agreement does not need to be written or issued through the courts for it to be valid.


Co-parenting in Northwest Territories involves many different aspects that need to be considered. This blog post addressed topics such as custody, child support, co-parenting expenses, parental rights, decisions, parenting plan, visitation rights, and mediation while providing relevant law codes. It is important to remember that the major focal point of the court is always centered on the child’s best interests.


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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