Parenting Plans
in Ontario

Parenting plans are legally binding documents that provide the framework for how a family will manage parenting responsibilities in Ontario. Developed and agreed upon by both parents, these plans set out specific arrangements regarding child custody and access rights as well as other important matters related to the care of your child. By taking the time to create an effective plan that works best for everyone involved, you can ensure that all members of your family enjoy a safe and happy home environment.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a legal agreement between two separated parents that outlines the issues relating to the care and well-being of their child. It covers roles and responsibilities, visitation schedules, decision-making rights and other matters pertaining to raising the child. The parenting plan can be informal or formal, depending on what is decided between the parents. Generally speaking, a parenting plan sets out how decisions will be made regarding the health, education and welfare of the child, as well as outlining the parenting time each parent will have with the child.

Why Is It Important to Have One in Ontario?

Having a parenting plan in place is essential in the province of Ontario, where family law is concerned. Without a signed agreement, parents are unable to make certain decisions regarding their child, such as enrolling them in school or changing their healthcare provider. Furthermore, it is important to have a written agreement so that if either parent wishes to modify or change the plan at some point, they can do so legally and efficiently. A parenting plan also provides peace of mind for both parents and helps to avoid conflict by outlining expectations and responsibilities. In Ontario, not having a parenting plan can lead to court hearings and expensive legal fees that can be avoided with an agreed upon plan.

How Do I Create a Parenting Plan in Ontario?

Creating a parenting plan in Ontario can be done, with the help of a professional mediator or lawyer. The best way to begin is by speaking with your ex-partner and determining what kind of plan will work best for you and your child’s needs. If possible, try to keep an open dialogue between yourselves so that both of you can come to an agreement on key points, such as visitation time, decision-making rights and other matters. You may also wish to consult with a family law lawyer or mediator who can guide you through the process and provide advice on legal matters. Once you have agreed upon the terms and conditions of your parenting plan, it should be written down and signed by both parties in order to make it legally binding.

Enforcing a Parenting Plan in Ontario

Enforcing a parenting plan in Ontario is an important step to ensure that both parents abide by the terms of the agreement. If one party decides to break the rules or fails to fulfil their responsibilities, legal action can be taken. In some cases, an application can be made to the court requesting enforcement of the agreed-upon parenting plan. This could include requesting that deductions from wages be ordered if payments are not made, or seeking an order for supervised access if one parent is not abiding by the parenting time set out in the plan. In addition, a family law lawyer can help advise on actions that can be taken to ensure compliance with a parenting plan.

Common Disputes and Dealing with Change in a Parenting Plan

Parenting plans can sometimes be complicated, given the number of factors to consider when agreeing on a fair and practical plan that works for both parties. It is not uncommon for disputes to arise over visitation time, decision-making rights or other matters. When such disputes occur, it is best to consult with a family law lawyer or mediator who can help resolve the issue. If one parent wishes to make any changes to the parenting plan, they should discuss this with the other parent first, as well as seek advice from their legal counsel before making any changes. The agreement must also be altered in writing if it is changed so that both parents are aware of any new conditions.

Tips for Successful Co-Parenting

Co-parenting can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Here are some tips for successful co-parenting in Ontario:

• Communication is key – open and effective communication between both parents is essential to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

• Be flexible – flexibility is important when dealing with changes, or even small everyday issues such as scheduling and planning activities.

• Respect each other’s boundaries – respect your co-parent’s privacy, time and space to ensure that your child experiences a positive co-parenting relationship.

• Keep the child’s best interests in mind – putting the child’s needs above all else should be at the forefront of any parenting plan and decision making processes.

The Cost of a Parenting Plan in Ontario

Creating a parenting plan can be an important step for many families, as it helps to establish a clear understanding between all parties involved on the details of childcare and access. The cost of creating a parenting plan in Ontario vary depending on factors such as whether you enlist the help of a lawyer or mediator, or if both parents choose to do it themselves. If you and your co-parent are able to negotiate the terms yourselves, there may only be minimal cost involved. However, it is also possible to take part in mediation or other dispute resolution services which typically come with fees attached. It is important to factor these costs into any budget when deciding what’s best for your family.

Mediation Services are Available to Those Seeking Parenting Plans

Mediation services can be invaluable to parents who are seeking a parenting plan in Ontario. Mediators provide an impartial third-party perspective, helping to facilitate meaningful conversations between the two parents and ultimately helping them reach an agreement that is fair and beneficial for their child.


Mediation services can be found locally through family law firms, private mediators or even through non-profit groups that specialize in family mediation. It is important to choose a mediator who has experience and expertise in resolving parenting plan disputes, as this can help ensure that the process is kept positive with all parties working together towards a successful resolution.

Things to Consider Before Signing a Parenting Plan

Creating and signing a parenting plan is an important decision and should not be taken lightly. Before signing any agreement, it’s important to consider what is best for your child’s well-being. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • What kind of special arrangement will work best for your family? Are both parties willing to work together?
  • Is the agreement consistent with both parents’ values and beliefs about raising children?
  • Does the agreement reflect the lifestyle needs of the child?
  • Is the schedule realistic, taking into account the parents’ other commitments (work, school, etc.)?
  • Is there flexibility built into the agreement so that it can be easily adjusted as needed in future years?

Finally, it is important to remember that while a parenting plan may seem like a lot of work upfront, you could be investing in a long-term solution that will make daily life easier for everyone involved.

Understanding the Legalities of a Parenting Plan

In Ontario, parenting plans are documents that are legally binding and enforceable by law. Before signing any agreement, it is important to understand the legal requirements that apply in your particular case.

For example, each parent must make an informed decision about what is in the best interests of their child. Parents should also consider possible long-term impacts on their financial situation and ensure their agreement takes into account issues such as child support payments or spousal support (if applicable).

It’s also important to understand any local laws and regulations that may affect how you structure your parenting plan. Be sure to consult with a family law lawyer or other professional if you need advice or guidance on these matters.

Why Choose

At, we take pride in providing the best customer service and legal representation to those involved in family law disputes. Our team of experienced lawyers and certified mediators work hard to ensure that the process is as smooth and stress free as possible. We are committed to providing compassionate guidance to help families reach mutually beneficial outcomes with efficiency and fairness. When you choose for your family mediation needs, you can count on us for:

  • Experienced legal counsel: Our lawyers have extensive experience dealing with all aspects of divorce, property division, custody/visitation rights, alimony/spousal support, postnuptial agreements and more related matters in family mediation settings
  • Clear communication: We keep clients updated throughout the process so they remain fully informed at all times
  • Tailored strategy: We understand that every case is unique; we create individualized strategies based on our clients’ specific needs and goals throughout the entire process
  • Levelheaded negotiation: Our team remains calm under pressure ensuring negotiations don’t become heated or confrontational
  • Compassionate guidance: All of our lawyers practice with empathy and understanding of issues surrounding divorce proceedings

Our Commitment To Quality

At, we take our commitment to quality seriously. We strive to deliver the best possible solutions and advice based on a thorough understanding of the family’s unique needs and circumstances. Our experienced professionals are here to provide you with all the information, resources and support you need at every step of the process. We understand that reaching an agreement is only successful if all parties involved feel respected, heard and that their interests have been fully considered. This is why we approach each case with an open mind and strive to ensure equitable outcomes for everyone involved. If you would like to learn more about our services or speak to one of our professionals about how we can help your family reach a resolution, please contact us today!

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