Do Children in Alberta Have the Option of Living with Either Parent?

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Ending a marriage is a complex process. It’s even more challenging when you’re fighting for custody of your child.

You can relate to the question if you are going through a similar procedure – do children in Alberta have the option of living with either parent?

The parenting order in Alberta refers that the children need to be at least 18 to choose with whom they want to live. The Court thinks that the children are not mature enough to decide which parents can better care for them and provide good parenting.

And also, there are other factors to consider while deciding the parenting order. 

Will the Court Take the child’s statement into account?

Court will listen-with whom the children feel more comfortable with to live. However, the decision will take longer to settle because there are still other factors to consider. For example, financial situation, behaviour, criminal activities and many more.

Because children under the age of 18 are considered immature and cannot make their own decisions after thinking logically. However, their statement will be regarded more seriously depending on how older they are.

What Are the Legal Basis for Parenting Order?

Even the Court will listen to what the kid has to say about living with a parent; the Court has the last saying on whom the child will live.

The judge will decide the parenting order according to the following factors:

Financial Stability:

If one of the parents is more stable financially or has a better job, they are more likely to get custody of the child. Such a decision is that parents will have better living arrangements to offer.

The living arrangement factor is important because the size of the home the child will live in should be spacious enough. The Court will also consider if the parents can provide them with a separate room or not. 

Emotional Support:

Emotional stability is one of the basic factors for a child’s well-being. Since the parents’ divorce has created a stressful situation for the kids, the Court tries to allow the parent’s custody which will be more supportive and essential for the child’s mental health.

For example, usually, children are more attached to their mother and separating from her can greatly impact their parents. 

Educational and Medical Facilities:

In Alberta, until a kid reaches the age of 16, they need to attend school. If separating from one parent disrupts their education, the Court will not give custody to that parent.

Along with educational and financial stability, a child also needs medical facilities. This factor is considered with high priority. 

Ensuring Best Interests of Your Child:

Dragging the case to Court can be difficult for the child mentally. You can talk to a divorce lawyer in Alberta about the matter. Instead of fighting for custody in the Court, your lawyer can arrange a mediator to help you negotiate outside the Court.

Previous History of Violence:

Another important factor to consider while the divorce proceeding is protecting the child from a parent who has a history of violence. The Court will never allow the child’s custody to an abusive parent.

How to Approach Your Child About Divorce?

The legal procedure in the Court regarding custody can be overwhelming for a child. Therefore, it is necessary to take significant steps about the child’s mental health beforehand.

  • Before the situation worsens, both parents should talk to their children about the whole process. The discussion will make them mentally prepared for the entire process.
  • Communicate with them in a friendly manner to tell them what situations will change after the custody.
  • Ensure your child that even if you live separately as parents, both of you will spend time with the children.
  • Spending more time with your children is a good approach to help your child cope with the situation.


So, the answer– do children in Alberta have the option of living with either parent? is no. They cannot choose for themselves if they can live with their favourite parent.

However, the Court will consider their statement until the age of 18. Even when the period is 12 and over, they will have a big statement about who they want to live with. Also, there are professionals in some states to check the child’s maturity to consider their choice of living with a  parent.