2. Talk to your partner

Who will my child live with?
This question has an answer and 4 steps
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2. Talk to your partner

You and your partner can try to agree on living arrangements for your child 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.

If a court has to make decisions about your child's living arrangements, they use a legal test called the best interests of the child. Judges usually assume it is better for a child to have a relationship with both parents after they separate or divorce.

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.

If you agree on issues related to your children, you can make a parenting plan. A parenting plan can be an informal arrangement between 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

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

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