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Grounds for Full Custody of Child in Canada

Grounds for Full Custody of Child in Canada

Child custody is the most challenging or conflicting issue for a couple after the separation or divorce. Canadian law focuses on the grounds for full custody of child in Canada when interpreting the child’s custody.

However, there should be some logical ground that can create reasons to file for full custody in Canada. A parent claiming full custody must prove the other parent is not eligible and cannot fulfill the child’s best interest.  Parents fighting over custody need to know about these reasons because it gives them the power to make strong cases in court. 

This article will discuss the complicated factors that affect who gets full custody and use that knowledge to make smart decisions about the law.

Canadian Child Custody Terminology

Child custody means the legal and practical responsibility for care, decision-making, and upbringing related to children. It involves the right to make important decisions about the children and their physical care.

Child custody terminology refers to the legal concepts of parenting time and decision-making responsibility. Parenting time is different from taking the decision-making responsibility. Decision-making is the legal right to affect the elements of a child’s life. This is related to the cultural or religious upbringing of the child. For example- education, healthcare, or other activities.

What are the Grounds for Full Custody of Child?

Full custody means a situation in which one parent has been given legal and physical custody of a child, and the other parent has no custodial rights. Whoever gets full custody has the legal rights of the parent. 

If a parent gets full custody of a child, the child will live full-time with them. Other parents will only get visitation rights. Full custody doesn’t necessarily mean the non-custodial parent has no rights or access to the child. It means the non-custodial parent can still have visitation rights and spend time according to court schedule.

Types of Child Custody in Canada

In Canada, there are 4 types of child custody. Here are those:

Full Custody or Sole Custody 

If a parent gets full custody of a child, the parent is responsible for making all decisions affecting the child. The other parent can only suggest requests related to matters affecting the child’s well-being. 

Sole or full custody does not mean the other parent cannot see the child. He or she can get the visitation rights as a legal parent. 

Joint Custody

If the parents get joint custody of a child, they will have the right to decide. If they disagree, a coordinator will be given the authority to decide the issue. In the case of joint custody, the residency of the children may vary. 

The parents should have a parenting plan regarding the visitation schedule. If the parents cannot cooperate on this issue, the court will decide so the child can enjoy adequate time with each parent.

Shared Custody

When the parents have joint custody, and they spend at least 40% of their time with their child, this is known as shared custody. This can also be referred to as joint physical custody.

The goal of this type of custody is to make sure that both parents are involved in the child’s life in a healthy way and that the child has a good bond with both. An agreement between the parents makes it easier to set up shared custody, but it is still the best option, even in a courtroom.

Split Custody

When the parents have more than one child, one parent gets the custody of some child, and the other gets the remaining child. Siblings do not always live together. Sometimes, they switch places or live together for a while.

5 Grounds for Getting Full Custody of a Child in Canada

There should be some logical ground for getting the full custody of a child. The grounds are connected with the safety and growth of the child. Here are the common grounds for getting full custody of the child in Canada:


If one parent sees the other one neglecting the child, he or she can neglect the child, even after getting joint or shared custody. When a parent lacks supervision, food supply, medical care, or others, the other parent can raise that issue and get the full and legal supervision of the child. 


If a child is not safe to a parent and if the parent tortures the child, this becomes a major ground for getting full custody. In that case, you can seek the full custody of your child

Mental Illness

If any of the parents is mentally unstable or suffers from psychological issues, the court can protect the child from that person. In that case, the other parent can claim the full custody of the children. 


Sometimes, the parent can abandon the children for many reasons. For example, an alcoholic parent can abandon both their children and their partner. In that case, the other one can claim the full custody of the child.


When a parent decides to move the country, the other parent can claim the entire responsibility of the child. It is generally suggested to give full custody to the parent near them. 

How to Get Full Custody of a Child?

For getting the full legal custody, you need to do the required things:

  • You must get all the documents proving your ability to raise the child alone. The documents may include the financial statements or the bank account statements.
  • You should never criticize or insult your other partner under any circumstances. Otherwise, you may get partial custody. 
  • Do not lie about anything related to your capability. Otherwise, you can get charged with some persecution. Be honest, speak the truth, and get full custody of your child.


Grounds for full custody of child depend on the child’s well-being. The court decides by considering what is best for the children. The matter of full custody comes when the other parent is unsafe, careless, or unfit. 

When the other parent does not seem eligible to make decisions for their children, full custody is given to the one who can ensure their well-being and safety. 


What do judges look for in child custody cases in Canada?

The most significant factors the judges look for when deciding child custody are the needs of the children and the parent’s ability to meet the children’s needs. Also, the judges look into the relationship between the children and each parent.

Who is most likely to get custody of a child in Canada?

Mothers are considered the caregivers and are more likely to obtain the child’s rights. As a result, it is normal for the judge to give full custody of the child as she is most likely to stay at home with their children.

How can a mother lose custody in Canada?

When a mother is proven to have physically abused her children, she is more likely to lose the custody of the children. The physical abuse may include hitting, scratching, burning, sexual abuse, biting, or other tortures.

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