Custody encompasses

two different concepts: the division of decision making authority by the parents; and the physical location of where the children reside.

Essentially there are 4 types of custody arrangements which husband and wife can agree to or is decided on by a judge in court:

Sole Custody –Which is not commonly granted.

Joint Custody –The most frequent arrangement that allows joint decision making by the parties and typically one of the spouses households is considered the “primary residence” at which the children live most of the time. The other spouse is granted access.

Split Custody –Occurs when there are two or more children, and one or more of the children reside with one parent and the remaining child or children reside with the other parent.

Shared Custody –In such a situation, a parent has access or physical custody of a child for not less than 40% of the time over the course of a year. Commonly, in such situations the child spends equal time with each parent.



Recent changes to the Divorce Act change the language above focusing on the term “Parenting Time”.

For further information about custody issues, contact a St. Albert or Edmonton family lawyer; or a St. Albert or Edmonton divorce lawyer for further information.