Welcome to Randall Johns Law Office
We are a small, focused law firm, serving clients in the areas of Civil Litigation, Corporate Law, Family Law, Wills and Estates, Landlord and Tenant Board and Real Estate.
While we believe most lawyers and law firms share the key values of our profession, we believe what makes us unique is our ability to provide the benefit of experience, knowledge, and cost effectiveness in one package.
Our firm focuses on personal and interactive service; working with our clients rather than simply for our clients to obtain the desired results. With that said, we cannot be effective without the knowledge necessary to provide sound advice and innovative options. We continually upgrade our knowledge and skills and participate in training above and beyond the requirements of the profession.
Common Misconceptions in Family Law: Custody
One of the biggest issues I have noticed while practising family law is the amount of misinformation that is out there. It is not rare that after having my first meeting with a client that they leave my office with a completely different idea of what it is that they truly want.
As such, I think it is important for prospective clients to have a better understanding of the law, and how it applies to their situation, before they meet with a lawyer.
Custody seems to be one of those issues in family law that is most misunderstood. It is certainly the most common misconception that I see in my practice.
More often than not a client will come in and tell me that they want sole custody of the children. However, when I dig deeper, I often realize that they do not want “sole custody” so much as they want to limit the other parent’s access to the child.
Custody is not about where the child lives or how much time they spend with the other party. Custody does not determine who can claim children on their taxes. It is simply about decision making. The type of custody awarded determines which parent makes major decisions that impact the children’s lives. It does not deal with everyday decisions while in each party’s care; it deals with decision such as child care, education, religion and important health decisions.
If parties have joint custody, it is expected that the parties will communicate with each other and attempt to make decisions in the best interest of the children together, failing which they have to option to attend court or mediation to help them determine the issue at stake.
If a party has sole custody, then they have the ability to make those decisions on their own, without having to agree with the other parent. However, a non-custodial parent will also have the option of taking the matter to court should he or she believe that the decision made by the custodial parent is contrary to the best interests of the children.
However, parties need to be aware that even if they do not have custody of their children, it does not stop them from participating in the children’s lives. They can still see the child and be involved in their activities; they can obtain information directly from the children’s schools, doctors and other third parties that are involved with the children, if required. Clauses can always be included in agreements and orders to guarantee that a non-custodial parent is able to obtain this information without having to request permission from the custodial parent.