Parenting Time & Decision Making

Navigating Decision-Making Responsibility and Parenting Time: A Comprehensive Guide

Written by Russell Alexander / (905) 655-6335

Family Law Now After Hours

Hosted weekly by Associate Lawyer, Stephanie Brooks, and Articling Students, Joseph B. Cugini and Shanza Sohail.

Want to understand the intricacies of decision-making responsibility and parenting time?


We will be live at 5PM on February 20th to outline the the essential aspects of parenting time and decision-making responsibility. This series is one of our many commitments to providing our community with valuable resources to support them in navigating family law matters.


Going through a separation or divorce when children are involved can be emotionally challenging. It’s crucial to understand the intricacies of decision-making responsibility and parenting time to ensure the best interests of your child are protected. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential aspects of decision-making responsibility (formally called custody) and parenting time (formally called access) to help you navigate this complex terrain. 

1. Types of Decision-Making Responsibility

Decision-making responsibilitytakes on various forms, including sole decision-making, joint decision making, and de facto decision-making. We explain what each type means and how they can impact the upbringing of your child. 

2. Best Interests of the Child

The guiding principle in all parenting decisions is the best interests of the child. Learn how this crucial standard influences parenting arrangements and ensures the well-being of your child. 

3. Parenting Plan Essentials

A well-crafted parenting plan is essential for co-parenting success. We break down the components of an effective plan, including parenting time schedules, decision-making authority, and communication guidelines. 

4. Visitation Rights

Understanding parenting time rights is vital for the non-custodial parent. Explore the different types of visitation, including shared, split, supervised, and virtual visitations, and how they can be tailored to your specific situation. 

5. Role of the Court

In cases where parents cannot agree on parenting arrangements, the court plays a crucial role in making decisions. Discover how parenting arrangement decisions are made in court and what factors the judge considers. 

6. Modification of Parenting Orders

Circumstances can change over time, necessitating modifications to parenting orders. We outline the situations under which parenting orders can be modified and the legal process involved. 

7. Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is a serious issue that can harm the parent-child relationship. Learn to recognize the signs and take steps to address and prevent it. 

8. Relocation and Mobility

Moving with children post-divorce or separation involves legal considerations. We provide an overview of the rules and requirements for relocation and mobility. 

9. Enforcing Parenting Orders

What should you do if the other parent violates the parenting agreement? We offer guidance on enforcing parenting orders and protecting your rights. 

10. Support Resources

Going through parenting issues can be emotionally challenging. Discover where to find legal and emotional support to help you navigate this difficult journey. 

Navigating decision-making responsibility and parenting time is a complex and emotionally charged process. Understanding the different types of parenting arrangements, the best interests of the child, and the legal avenues available is crucial. Remember that seeking legal advice and support is essential to protect your child’s well-being and your parental rights. You don’t have to face this challenging situation alone; there are resources and professionals available to guide you through this journey and ensure the best possible outcome for your child. 

Stay in Touch

Keep learning about the latest issues in Ontario family law! Subscribe to our newsletter, have our latest articles delivered to your inbox, or listen to our Podcast Family Law Now.

Be sure to find out more about the "new normal", by visiting our Covid-19 and Divorce Information Centre.

About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the Founder & Senior Partner of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.