Slash, the former Guns and Roses guitarist filed for divorce after nine years of marriage to Perla Ferrar. Slash and Perla married in October of 2001. Their date of separation is July 15, 2010 and the parties have two children together. London is 8 and Cash is 4. Slash has asked the court for joint 'physical and legal custody' of the children. Sources indicate that the separation is amicable. Slash is now the guitarist for Velvet Revolver.
How would the courts deal with this in Ontario?
Custody and Access in Ontario
The main difference between custody and access is that as a custodial parent, that parent has the power to make important decisions about the care and upbringing of the children with regards to: Religion, school and educational programs, and medical treatment.
If you are only granted access rights, as the non-custodial parent that parent has the right to visit their child, and ask the custodial parent, the children's teacher, doctor, daycare provider, etc. for information about the children's health, education and welfare.
In short, custody is about making major decisions regarding the children and access is about spending time with the children.
Custody: There are various types of custody regimes; joint custody and sole custody discussed below:
Joint custody refers to a custody regime whereby both Sal and Perla would have an equal say in the major decisions affecting their children. As noted above, they include, but are not limited to, the children's schooling, religion, and healthcare. This type of custody regime requires Slash and Perla to interact with one another and cooperate when making decisions for their children's wellbeing. Given that we are told the separation is amicable, a joint parenting regime may work in this case and the courts are more likely to award a joint custody regime where it can be shown that the parties have a good relationship with one another.
On the other hand, Perla may argue that she wants sole custody of the children because Slash cannot make appropriate decisions regarding the children. Sole custody would allow Perla to make decisions regarding the children without any input from Slash. She may argue that Slash lives an irresponsible 'rock star' life style that includes drug use and affects his ability to make appropriate decisions for the children. There are, however, no allegations of drug/alcohol abuse in this case and as far as we know, Slash is a good father. The importance here lies in the best interests of the children and the court will place primary importance on this principle.
Access: Relevant case law also suggests that preserving the status quo and keeping the child with the primary caregiver will be two (of the many) factors considered when determining the best interests of the child (insert link here). We can assume that due to Slash's busy work schedule (touring etc) Perla has been the primary caregiver of the children during the marriage and after separation, and as such may be granted with sole custody, providing access/parenting time to Slash.