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Making Decisions and Spending Time with Children

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What is parenting time?

This is the time a child spends with each parent.

A parent with parenting time but no decision-making responsibility has the right to ask for, and get, information about their child's health, education, and well-being from the other parent.

Here are some ways parenting time can be divided:

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 make plans that can easily be changed.

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 include holidays, long weekends, birthdays, and religious occasions. It may also include details like who is responsible for pick up and drop off.

Supervised parenting time

In some situations, parenting time may need to be supervised by another person, for example, a relative, friend, social worker, or Children's Aid worker. This might happen when 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.

No parenting time

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