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Under the Family Law Act (Yukon Statutes, 2017, c. 18) § 3, custody is defined as a “parent’s duty to maintain an adequate and appropriate home for the child, to provide guidance and religious instruction and to ensure that necessary and appropriate care, supervision and protection are given to the child.” The court decides on joint custody, sole custody, supervised access or split custody. When making decisions, the court will take into account the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs.
Under this act, visitation and parenting time are also covered in detail. As per Family Law Act (Yukon Statutes, 2017, c. 18) §4, a court may grant reasonable rights to a non-custodian parent and other family members, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, and other close relatives, to have contact with the child. Visitation and parenting time are determined based on the best interest of the child.
When parents are both involved in a child’s life, each is financially responsible for the care. Both are required to contribute to the child’s upbringing, as per Family Law Act (Yukon Statutes, 2017, c. 18) ss. 28-32. Each parent has an equal responsibility to support their common child financially. The court determines the amount that both of them will contribute by taking into account factors such as the income of both parents, their financial resources, the age of the child, and their respective residential situations.
In case of a dispute, both parties are encouraged to negotiate agreement and follow the Child Support Guidelines (Yukon Statutes, 2019, c. 33). This act contains a Child Support Table to determine the amount of child support per household. Followed properly, the guidelines help to ensure that both parents are doing their fair share to provide proper financial support to the child.
Both the custodial and non-custodial parent are granted certain rights under Family Law Act (Yukon Statutes, 2017, c. 18) s. 6. A custodial parent has the right to make decisions on behalf of the child and to be involved in their upbringing. A non-custodial parent also has rights including that of accessibility to the child and being informed about decisions made on their behalf. This includes their right to be informed about their child's education, medical treatment, recreational activities, etc.
Both parents are equal when it comes to their parental rights even in the case of joint custody. No parent can take decisions or override the decisions or orders of the other without the other one’s consent. In this case, both parents should come together and make decisions together.
The Family Law Act (Yukon Statutes, 2017, c. 18) mandates both parents to make a parenting plan to ensure unity and collaboration when caring for the children. The plan must be submitted in writing and include subjects such as how the parenting responsibilities will be shared by both parents, the lines of communication between both parties, and how financial responsibilities will be shared.
The parenting plan can be modified later to suit parents' changing needs and must be updated when required. It should also be reviewed in six months’ time and in the case of a significant lifestyle change affecting the child.
The parent with a legal duty to provide money to a child will help with ordinary and necessary expenses associated with raising the child. These co-parenting expenses vary from case to case and may include child-care, educational expenses, food-related expense, health-related costs, clothing, entertainment costs, extravagant or unusual costs and other miscellaneous expenses under Family Law Act (Yukon Statutes, 2019, c. 33).
These expenses must be covered by both parents in proportion to their incomes. There are no set rules for how expenses are to be distributed. In case of a dispute, the parents should negotiate and talk about possible solutions and if needed, an arbitrator can be appointed for assistance.
It is always recommended to settle disputes and misunderstandings outside of court. Mediation can provide a safe, efficient, and cost-effective solve to the issues. Through mediation, the parents can come to a mutual agreement without the need to take their dispute to court.
Mediators are trained to provide impartial and effective services to both parties. They help parents to negotiate and to draft a parenting plan and co-parenting agreement. With the help of a mediator, they can also work out issues related to child support, custody, visitation, parental decision making and so on.
Co-parenting expectations and regulations defined in law provide a safe, efficient, and cost-effective method for raising children the best way possible. Partners in Yukon are required to cooperate and communicate properly despite the differences or misunderstandings that may surface in their relationship. To create a co-parenting arrangement that works for everyone, parents in Yukon should follow the rules and regulations, as well as use mediation or other dispute resolution services as needed.
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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.