Parenting time in ontario

When parents separate, one of the biggest challenges they face is deciding who gets how much parenting time with their children. When the parents disagree and if the case proceeds to litigation, the Ontario Family Court is tasked with making this decision, and there are several factors that the Court or judges take into consideration when making their determination. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the common types of parenting arrangements, key considerations when the Ontario Family Court decides parenting issues, and the important terms to include in a parenting agreement.

Common Types of Parenting Arrangements

There are several different types of parenting arrangements that parents can choose from. One common type of parenting arrangement is when the parents share their parenting time more or less equally. When this is the case, the parents often also share decision-making responsibilities of the major decisions, which means that both parents have a say in decisions about their child’s upbringing, including decisions about education, health care, and extracurricular activities. This arrangement was previously also called joint custody, but it is now more often described as equal parenting time and joint decision-making responsibilities.

Another common type of arrangement is where one parent has more than 60% of the parenting time of the children. In this case, this parent is called the primary parent. The other parent, who has less than 40% of the parenting time, is referred to as the access parent with visitation rights.

When there is a primary parent, the primary parent does not necessarily has the sole right to make important decisions for the children. The parents could share the rights to make major decisions for the children.

In some cases, one parent alone could make all major decisions for the children. This was used to be referred to as sole custody.

Key Considerations When the Ontario Family Court Decides Parenting Issues

There are several key considerations that the Ontario Family Court takes into account when deciding how to divide parenting time between parents. The first and foremost consideration is the “best interests of the child.” This means that the Court or judges will always put the needs of the child first when making their decision.

The Court would also consider the relationship between each parent and their child. The Court or judges will take into account how involved each parent has been in their child’s life up to this point. They will also consider whether each parent is able to provide their child with a stable home environment.

Another key consideration is each parent’s ability to support and encourage a positive relationship between their child and the other parent. The Court or judges will take into account whether each parent is willing to put aside any personal differences they may have in order to promote a healthy relationship between their child and the other parent.


Making decisions about parenting time can be difficult for separated parents. However, it’s important to remember that these decisions should always be made with your child’s best interests in mind. If you’re separated and have questions about your rights and responsibilities, be sure to speak with an experienced Ontario family law lawyer who can help you understand your options and, most importantly, protect your rights and the best interest of the children.

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