How To Win Father’s Rights in Ontario

How To Win Father’s Rights in Ontario

As a father, what rights do you have in Ontario when it comes to child custody?

This is a common question a lot of fathers have to face when they go into child custody proceedings. More mothers win exclusive custody in Canada compared to fathers. Though a father has parental rights, they may feel disadvantaged by the feeling that a mother’s rights are often prioritized by the courts.

The truth is there is no such thing as ‘father’s rights’ in Ontario or a ‘mother’s rights’. The court assigns both spouses the same rights. Custody is merely the process of making arrangements serving the child’s best interest. There is sole custody where one person makes the decisions exclusively on behalf of the child. Then, there is joint custody where both mother and father maintain equal rights in the welfare of the child. Divided custody is another option where a mother takes custody of one child and the father the other.

What Fathers’ Rights Do You Have When It Comes to Child Custody in Ontario?

As a father, you know your children need you. While divorces can be packed with emotional manipulations and claims, child custody in Ontario is a whole other set of difficulties. The courts’ job is to put forth an arrangement that protects the best interests of the child or children. The parameters of what’s best for a child are not set by prioritizing mother over father or vice versa. Ultimately, it’s not a case of what a father’s rights are. For the record, fathers have the same rights as any mother. It’s about which parent is most capable of providing for the health, education, and overall welfare of the child.

What Percentage of Fathers Get Full Custody in Canada?

Only 7 percent of children are placed in the custody of the father. Compare that to 80 percent of the time when children are placed in the mother’s custody. The older the child, the more likely they are to be in a father’s custody with the average percentage of children in their father’s custody rising from 7 to 12 percent after age 12. To put it succinctly, the younger the child, the more difficult it will be for a father to gain custody. Even when the chances are a little better, unfortunately, fathers will find that they have an uphill battle ahead of them in convincing the judge that a child is better with them than they are with the mother. Of course, this does depend on the circumstances of each parent and the totality of the needs of the child.

What percentage of fathers get full custody in Canada

How Different Types of Broken Unions Affect Fathers’ Custody of Their Children

The type of union a father has with the mother has been shown to have an impact on fathers’ custody despite child custody laws in Canada not favouring either parent. For example, in a purely common-law relationship, a father has a 6.2% chance at exclusive custody. If you’re coming out of a marriage with no prior common-law before, the likelihood of being awarded sole custody falls even further to 5.3%. If the union was a marriage with common-law coming before, however, the chances of exclusive custody rise to 7.9%. A lot of factors play into how a judge may rule but be aware of the statistics available can better inform a father’s approach to child custody in Ontario.

Types of Broken Union

Age of Children At Separation And Fathers’ Custody – Things to Know

As it pertains to fathers’ rights in Ontario and child custody laws for fathers, the younger the child, the more likely the mother will win custody. The older the child, however, the stronger the argument can be made to award custody to the father. Although not ideal, a child custody lawyer working on behalf of the father may advise their client to go for a shared physical custody arrangement rather than exclusivity, if it’s a young child. This does vary on the circumstances of the spouses, however, and certainly isn’t the rule every time. These statistics remain important in building the argument for a father to have their rights respected in a child custody battle.

Age of Children at Separation and Fathers’ Custody – Things to Know

How to Get Custody of Your Child – Win Fathers’ Rights in Ontario

Do not waste time making accusations and pointing fingers in a child custody hearing. Even if something’s true or if your spouse is spreading information that you know to be true, don’t take the bait. It will only reflect poorly on the father if the father decides to return fire. This is not how to get custody of a child in Ontario.

Set aside the thought of fathers’ rights in Ontario. Instead, work as a parent. Work to resolve conflict, not create it. Focus on the child rather than on attacks on the mother or making an argument against the mother. When structuring arguments, keep the focus on how good of a father you are and not how bad of a parent your spouse is.

As difficult as it can be, avoid arguments. Be kind. You will likely be in a codependent and co-parenting relationship with them for some time. When you argue, you’re giving them power.

Lastly, consider parenting classes for fathers in Toronto. Show that you are making the effort to be a good role model and an excellent parent. Demonstrate that you have a skill set as a father and that you’re capable of meeting and exceeding every expectation of you as a parent. This prioritizes the best interests of the child while emphasizing your dedication to being a father.

What Else You Should Know About Fathers’ Rights


A child can have a guardian. They do not need to be a biological parent. A guardian can be a family friend or a grandparent. In the role of guardian, one has certain rights and obligations relating to a child’s welfare. For example, they have the right to decide on the care of a child. If you want to be a child’s guardian or are dealing with a guardian and there is no order or agreement in place around a child’s custody, the courts are likely to award the married parents joint custody. This isn’t always the case but is often the reality. ‘Guardian’ is an important legal term to know in the scope of fathers’ rights and child custody in Ontario. A guardian has more limits on their authority compared to a parent. In general, guardians may be able to resolve custody issues privately although it’s always recommended to get a divorce lawyer to sign off on any agreement.

Fathers’ Rights And Access

‘Access’ refers to the time a parent has with their children without custody. It’s a term usually applied to separated or divorced parents and in the context of fathers’ rights in Ontario, it states parents should have fair, generous, or ‘liberal’ access. This bears keeping in mind for any child custody in Ontario as access is referred to in the Divorce Act and therefore reinforces the right of both parents to have access to the child. Even if sole custody is not granted or if the preferred custody arrangement for the father is not arrived at by the court, access is still something that orders under the Divorce Act try to maintain.

How Can A Lawyer Help You With Fathers’ Rights in Ontario?

The less time you spend in court, the better. A divorce lawyer for fathers can save on cost and minimize the duration for a child custody case in Ontario, reducing that stress. You don’t have to navigate divorce with children in the mix alone. Mediation with a fathers’ rights lawyer can resolve lots of questions and concerns before they get to court. Even afterward, should your custody case go to court, you are set up with a fathers’ rights lawyer to give you the best possible chance at achieving a favourable outcome. Child custody cases can be tough. Have a lawyer available to help protect your fathers’ rights in Ontario.