2. Talk to your partner

Can my child decide who they want to live with?
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2. Talk to your partner

You and your partner can try to agree on custody, access, and parenting arrangements without going to court. You can talk to your partner on your own, with the help of someone you both trust, or with the help of a lawyer or mediator.

A parenting plan checklist can help you with the things you may have to think about. Not everything on the checklist may apply to your situation.

Some of the things you have to decide on are:

  • how holidays and special occasions like birthdays are shared
  • how to discuss things to avoid conflicts
  • how often your child communicates with each of you, whether by telephone, email, skype, or text
  • who is responsible for picking up and dropping off your child between each of your homes
  • the place your child is picked up or dropped off, such as each of your homes, your child’s school or daycare, a relative’s home, or a public place
  • how changes to the access schedule are made
  • how to deal with changes in the future

If you agree on issues related to your children, you can make a parenting plan. A parenting plan can be an informal arrangement between the two of you, or it can be part of your separation agreement.

Your parenting plan or separation agreement has to follow certain rules to make it binding and enforceable under the law. This means your agreement is made in a way that allows the court to order you or your partner to do what the agreement says, if either of you stop following it.

Talking to your partner may not be an option where there is a history of partner abuse. 

You May Also Need

Law Society of Ontario
Law Society of Ontario
Reviewed: July 15, 2019

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