Determining the perfect parenting schedule is difficult. There are many factors that must be taken into account, but most importantly the best interest of the children. In Quebec, although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the child’s interest comes first (art. 33 C.c.Q.).
The court will take all aspects of the parents’ lives into consideration. The courts must also consider the child’s physical, emotional, moral, and intellectual needs and how each parent will provide for the children. They must also consider the child(ren)’s age and health, specifically when the child is younger and may need more attention.
At either of one parent or both parents’ request, a psychosocial evaluation can be done to seek out the child’s needs and the parents’ emotional states, specifically how the recommendation of an expert to ascertain the child’s best interest and which parent is best equipped and/or which schedule will suit the child best.
The child’s wish will also be taken into consideration, especially as they get older. Between the ages of 10 and 12 is when a judge will consider what the child wants, but will still consider all other factors that could affect the child’s life. Once a child is 18, they can decide which parent they would like to stay with.
Overall, the main objective is to ensure that the child will be protected and cared for. All factors of the parents’ lives must be considered. Although the child’s wish will be taken into greater consideration the older the child is, it is not the ultimate factor that will determine the schedule, if it is not align with their best interest.