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Decision Making and Parenting Time

In Ontario, decision-making responsibilities and parenting time (formerly known as custody and access) are determined based on the best interests of the child. When parents are separated or divorced, it is important to establish a parenting plan that outlines how decisions will be made for the child and how parenting time will be divided between the parents.

Here is how decision-making responsibilities and parenting time are determined in Ontario:

1. Decision-Making Responsibilities:

Decision-making responsibilities refer to the authority to make major decisions for the child, such as those related to education, healthcare, and religion.

In Ontario, decision-making responsibilities can be:

Sole: One parent has the authority to make all major decisions for the child.

Joint: Both parents share the authority to make major decisions for the child together.

2. Parenting Time:

Parenting time refers to the time that a child spends with each parent.

In Ontario, parenting time arrangements can be:

Shared: The child spends significant time with both parents.

Primary: The child primarily resides with one parent, and the other parent has scheduled visitation or parenting time.

When determining decision-making responsibilities and parenting time, the court considers factors such as the child's relationship with each parent, the ability of each parent to care for the child, the child's wishes (if applicable), and any history of family violence.

It is important for parents to work together to create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of the child. If parents are unable to reach an agreement, they may need to seek the assistance of a mediator or go to court to have a judge decide on decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. Consulting with a family law lawyer in Ontario can provide you with guidance on navigating these matters and ensuring the best outcome for your child.

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