Primary Caregiver

"Who was the primary caregiver during the marriage?"
If one parent was a stay at home parent during the marriage, and the other parent worked full-time, the stay at home parent is normally considered the primary parent. Otherwise, generally, the following factors are considered in identifying the primary parent:

  • Getting the children dressed in the morning

  • Bathing and grooming the children

  • Taking care of the children while they are not in school are daycare

  • Arranging for the children to meet with playmates

  • Putting the children to bed at night

  • Preparing meals for the children

  • Arranging medical and dental appointments, and taking the children to medical and dental appointments

  • Transporting the children to and from school or daycare

  • Transporting the children to and from extracurricular activities

  • Buying the children’s clothes

  • Participating in recreational or educational activities with the children

  • Participating in the children’s religious training

  • Arranging the children’s birthday parties

  • Helping the children with their homework

  • Attending parent-teacher conferences

  • Arranging for babysitters for the children

  • Caring for the children when they are ill

  • Disciplining the children

  • Teaching the children to read

Generally, there is a strong presumption that parent who was the primary parent should have custody of the children. It can be very difficult to overcome this presumption in court.


Bitter Child Custody Battles
Behrendt Law Chambers has represented many parents in bitter child custody battles.

Bitter Child Custody Dispute Over Infant
A client came to Behrendt Law Chambers when his wife left home with their nine-month-old daughter. Communication between him and his wife had broken down completely. His wife
wanted sole custody and was willing to let him see his daughter only three times per week, and then for only two to three hours per visit. We successfully won joint
custody for our client and access with his daughter three full days per week.

In another dispute, all communication between the parents of a 10 year old and 7 year old broke down. As well, the wife had charged Behrendt Law Chambers’ client with assault. Despite
this, we obtained joint custody for his client. As well, the mother wanted to move the children from a French-language school to an English-language school. We
ensured that the children were able to continue in the same French-language school they had been in.

You're Invited to Call or E-Mail!

If you are considering divorce in Ottawa or the surrounding area -- or have already made your decision -- you're invited to email or call us. We'll explain how you can protect your legal rights, reduce the expense of divorce, and protect your children from undue emotional stress. Click here to contact us.