What is parenting time and who gets it?

1. Think about the different kinds of parenting time

Think about what is best for your child and the kind of parenting arrangement that will work best for your family. Parenting time used to be called .

There are different types of .

Reasonable parenting time

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

Fixed parenting time

Parenting time can follow a specific and detailed schedule. This is often called “fixed parenting time” or “specified parenting time”. The schedule may cover things like how much time a child spends with a parent on a weekly basis and also for holidays, long weekends, birthdays, and religious events.

It may also include details like who's responsible for picking up or dropping off the child, the place where the child is picked up or dropped 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 has:

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

The person who supervises might be a relative, friend, social worker, or children's aid worker. The Government of Ontario has a supervised parenting time program.

No parenting time

In the most extreme cases, a parent might get no parenting time with their child. For example, if they've seriously neglected or abused their child, or if their child's safety cannot be protected.

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