I am often asked by new or prospective clients, how they can go about to obtain “custody” of their young child. There could be a very long and complicated answer to this question, but I will try to provide the simplest and easiest answer. First of all, you have to understand that “custody” does not have anything to do with where a child is living, but rather, it means having decision making authority over your child. So for example, you could be living in another country away from your child and still have custody of him/her. When you have decision making authority generally speaking you get to decide where your child will go to school, who their doctor will be, what activities they will be enrolled in, where they will worship, and other general decisions over their welfare. In order to obtain custody, it can basically be done in either two ways: The first is if you and your ex-partner agree on who will have custody. If so, you can draw up an agreement and that’s it, you’re done! If you do not agree on who will have custody then a court application will have to be launched and ultimately, the court will decide, and then that’s it, you’re done (just may take a few years until you get a final custody order if you and your ex are in conflict). Keep in mind the court can make temporary orders of custody along the way. Finally, just because you brought a court application and the matter is going through the court, does not mean that along the way a settlement and consent cannot be drafted. Asking about what the court considers or looks for when granting custody orders are questions (and answers) for another post. For more information feel free to call Avi Baratz at 905-789-9007, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.