Information about Custody and Access

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What is Custody/Access?

Children's Bill of Rights

Things I Wish My Parents Knew

Custody and access refers to the parenting arrangements made for the children, when their parents are not together. There are different types of custody and access. Custody looks at where the children live, and also who makes major decisions about the children. Access is also called ‘visitation’ or ‘parenting time’, and refers to the time the children spend with the parent that they do not live with.

Usually when you are applying to the court to get a court order for child custody or access, you must apply to the court closest to where the children are living. For example, if you live in Sydney, but the children live in Yarmouth, you will likely have to contact the court in Yarmouth to make your application. If you are dealing with custody and access as part of a divorce proceeding, though, this may work differently. If you are not sure where to file your application for custody or access, you should speak with a lawyer or court officer.

Use the menu on the left or click any of the links below for more information:

Information about Custody and Access

Protecting Children from High Conflict Separation

Information for Grandparents

The Importance of Extended Family

Practising Good Communication

Parenting Plans

Access/Visitation Issues

Getting or Changing a Custody/Access Order

Moving with Your Child (Mobility)


Families Change

This website includes age-appropriate information to help everyone in the family deal with a parental break-up, and includes guides for kids, teens, and parents. Information is available in English and French.

Includes Changeville, an interactive game for kids ages 6 - 10.

Making plans: A guide to parenting arrangements after separation or divorce - How to put your children first

This guide is published by the Department of Justice Canada, and provides information about parenting after separation and divorce, including:

  • how to decide on the best parenting arrangement for your children
  • what processes you can use to come to a parenting arrangement
  • what you (parents) may be feeling
  • what your children may be feeling

To complete a short survey about the Making Plans tool, click here.