How do I make an agreement that the court will enforce?

4. Think about your child’s “best interests”

If your is about and , the law says that you and your partner must do whatever is in your child's best interests. Decision-making responsibility and parenting time used to be called and .

This is called the test.

This test looks at things like:

  • the child's physical, emotional, and psychological safety, security, and well-being
  • the relationship between each parent and the child
  • how long the child has lived in a stable situation
  • each parent's plan to care for and raise the child
  • the child's views and wishes, unless there's no way to find out what they are
  • if there's been abuse against any family member or any child

The judge doesn't look at the past behaviour of a parent unless it affects their ability to parent. For example, a judge won't consider which parent was responsible for breaking up the family. But the judge must consider if a parent was ever violent or abusive towards the other parent or children.

If you or your partner later don't agree on the decision-making responsibility and parenting time parts of your agreement, the court can look at whether the agreement is in the best interests of your child.

If the court decides it is not in the best interests of your child, then it may change the agreement and make a about decision-making responsibility and parenting time that meets this test.

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