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Different Types of Co-Parenting in Ontario


Ontario law holds that all children have the right to a safe and stable home life.  Except in extraordinary circumstances, the courts consider that it is in the children’s best interest to have a close relationship with both of their legal parents, as well as with extended family members.  If you are divorced from your child’s other parent, or if you and your partner have minor children together, you have recourse to the family court system to help you exercise your parenting time and ensure that your ex-spouse or ex-partner contributes his or her fair share to the financial support of the children you share.  If you need help resolving co-parenting disagreements with your child’s other parent or requesting, modifying, or enforcing a parenting order or contact order, contact a Mississauga child custody lawyer.

Parenting Time Arrangements and Ontario Law

Many children in Ontario spend part of their time living with one family member and another part of their time living with another family member; these arrangements include, but are not limited to, families where the children’s parents are divorced or separated.  When a child divides his or her time between his or her parents’ houses, this is called co-parenting, in which each parent has a certain share of parenting time.  Ontario law recognizes the following parenting time arrangements:

  • Primary residential custody – The children spend much more time at one parent’s house than the other’s.
  • Shared parenting time – The children spend a nearly equal number of days with each parent. A parenting arrangement is considered shared parenting time if the children spend at least 40 percent of their time with each parent.  For example, they might spend 60 percent of their time with Mom and 40 percent with Dad, or it might be a 50/50 split.  Likewise, it is still shared parenting time if the children spend 40 percent of the time with Mom and 40 percent with Dad, but the holidays and school vacations that they spend with grandparents and other extended family members.
  • Split parenting time – The couple has more than one child, and each child has a different parenting time arrangement.
  • Supervised parenting time – In the interest of the children’s safety, the court orders another adult, usually an extended family member, to be present at all times during a parent’s parenting time.

Can You Get Parenting Time If You Are Not the Child’s Legal Parent?

The right to parenting time only applies if you are the child’s legal parent through birth or adoption.  It is possible, however, for the court to grant other family members the right to spend a certain number of days per year with a minor child.  This is called contact, rather than parenting time.  The process for applying for a contact order from the family court is similar to the process of applying for a parenting order.

Contact Zagazeta Garcia LLP About Parenting Time

A child custody lawyer can help you legally establish parenting time with your own children or other young family members.  Contact Zagazeta Garcia LLP in Mississauga, Ontario to discuss your case.



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