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Separation and Divorce: Making Decisions and Spending Time with Children

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Available formats and options

Are there different types of parenting time?

Reasonable parenting time

If the parents are able to co-operate, parenting time can be left open and flexible. This is sometimes called reasonable parenting time or liberal and generous parenting time. This allows the parents to informally make plans that can easily be changed if the situation changes.

Fixed parenting time

Sometimes parenting time is on a specific and detailed schedule. This is often called fixed parenting time or specified parenting time. The schedule may cover things like holidays, long weekends, children's birthdays, and religious occasions. It may include details like where the parent will spend time with the child, who is responsible for pick up and drop off, and other conditions.

Supervised parenting time

In some situations, parenting time may need to be supervised by another person. For example, if the parent with the right to spend time with the child has:

  • a drinking or drug problem,
  • abused the child in the past, or
  • threatened or tried to take the child away from the other parent.

The person who supervises might be a relative, a friend, a social worker, or a Children's Aid worker.

No parenting time

In the most extreme cases, a parent might not have any parenting time with their child. For example, if they Making Decisions and Spending Time with Children | 6 have seriously neglected or abused their child, or if their child's safety cannot be protected.