At one point in time, parents fought over "Custody" - but not anymore.

In British Columbia, the law with respect to children and parenting changed drastically when the Family Law Act came into effect in March of 2013. The new Act eliminated the old concepts of "custody" and "access". The new Act replaced those terms with plain language concepts: parental responsibilities, parenting time, and contact.

The legislation is now less focused on one or both parents winning control ("custody"), or in identifying a "primary" parent of a child or children.

The new Act instead enumerates various specific, common-sense parental responsibilities that one or both parents may exercise, together or exclusively, and establishes some principles for allocating parenting time.

As a general rule, the courts of British Columbia seek to avoid anything that resembles "custody" with the view that the best interests of the children are served when both parents share in parental responsibilities and parenting time.

The bottom line: If you split up from your partner, don't expect "custody" of your children because it doesn't exist anymore. Even if your former spouse has a 'messy home', 'bad habits' or 'poor character', you should expect to share parenting time and parenting responsibilities with your 'Parenting Partner' indefinitely.