Parenting Plan

Parenting plans are agreements between post-separation parents outlining the specific ways in which each parent will care and continue to raise their children.

A question that is we are often asked by separated parents is, “who gets custody of the children?!”

Here is some great news.

The Family Law Act, which was introduced in 2013, replaced the Family Relations Act and when it did so, it got rid of the word “Custody.” 

Custody is a very important word. From what we know, parents often seek custody of their children. They are angry at their ex, and they would say “I want custody.” When asked what they meant by that, often they did not know. 

Thanks to the Family Law Act, the word custody has been replaced and broken down into the following:

  1. Guardianship 
  2. Parenting time
  3. Parenting Responsibilities


1. Guardianship

The word guardian refers to those people responsible for caring for raising a child and making decisions for that child. Whether parents are married or not, if they live together, they are both equal guardians of their children’s care and upbringing. 

In some cases, a person who is not a parent can become a guardian by either court order, or by being named in a will.

Guardianship has two parts, described below:

2. Parenting Time

We know that you love to spend time with your children, and parenting time is just that, the time that each guardian spends with the children. 

During this period of parenting time, a guardian makes not only the daily decisions about what the children are doing but is also responsible for caring for and supervising the children. 

The law is heavily geared in favour of what is in the best interest of the child. This means that parenting time rarely looks the same, and is usually flexible case to case.

3. Parenting Responsibilities

We understand that as parents, you have responsibilities. Some examples of the responsibilities of guardians are:

  1. Making decisions that affect your children daily (ie: what meals they have)
  2. Making a big decision that affects your children (ie: what school they go to)
  3. Deciding where the children will live

Your parenting plan is NOT about Mom’s rights or Dad’s rights. It is about your responsibilities.

If you are someone who wants advice about Parenting Plans, Pathway Legal is here to help. 

The whole team at Pathway Legal has your back. We will guide you and your changing family’s circumstances to the new beginning you deserve.