Co-parenting Agreements

Childcare Agreements between parents are crucial for the success of family relationships

Co-parenting Agreements Service Ontario

Childcare agreement between parents

A Co-parenting Agreement also called a Parenting Plan is a childcare agreement between parents outlining how you will raise your children after separation and divorce

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Co-Parenting Agreement

How you will raise your children after separation and divorce

A Co-parenting Agreement, also known as a Parenting Plan, is a childcare agreement between parents outlining how you will raise your children after separation and divorce. A Co-parenting Agreement reflects the needs and interests of the children involved. When writing a Co-parenting Agreement, both parents must mutually agree on the terms written. Then, it is typically attached as a Schedule to a Separation Agreement.

 

Including a detailed Co-Parenting Agreement in the separation process is extremely significant and essential to the future wellbeing and success of a child; therefore, it is recommended that two parents cannot and should not simply “wing it”. Both parents and children are most successful when clear and structured guidelines are in place. This will ensure that any future conflict and challenges are minimized to benefit the child in the future. In many cases, separating spouses can mutually agree upon child custody, access, residency, support, and other parenting arrangements without going to court to settle these terms. If this is not possible, a family mediator can be hired to assist with the legal guidelines of these agreed upon arrangements, as well as seeking independent legal advice from a trusted family law lawyer if necessary. In addition to these external supports, counsellors, therapists, and/or social workers may be useful to the process of creating a parenting plan. However, if it is necessary to attend court to settle these terms, then a judge will seek the best interest of the child when making an informed decision. Typically, a judge will assume that it would be beneficial for the child to maintain a healthy relationship with both parents, although this can be altered based on diverse circumstances. In some cases, a judge may suggest or require both parents to attended court ordered parenting classes to get good parenting tips and gain good parenting skills. Ultimately, by enrolling in parenting skills programs, both parents will gain improved parenting skills and parenting plan ideas. To help provide you with a better understanding of what should be included within a parenting plan template, please review the parenting plan checklist provided below. Although, it is important to consider the unique needs and interests of your child when planning how to parent your child in the future.

 

  • Parenting Time (Shared Parenting, Primary residency with one parent etc.)
  • Decision Making
  • Residency Schedule
  • Holidays
  • Management of Recreational Activities
  • Healthcare
  • Religion
  • Family, Friends and other Parties
  • Introduction to New Partners
  • Children’s Possessions Between Homes
  • Screen Time
  • Rules around Mutual Respect and Boundaries

With an appropriate Co-parenting Agreement any issues with co-parenting rules that may arise, can be greatly reduced. Research has shown that a child can best cope with their parents separating or divorcing when good co-parenting plans are in place. Typically, many parenting rules and expectations remain the same after a separation or divorce; however, there are endless factors for both parties to consider and review once the separation has occurred.

A very important co-parenting tip in being successful during this process is being clear, consistent, productive, and positive when communicating with the other parent; this is a the most useful co-parenting advice that you will receive from loved ones. Both parties must understand the emotional turmoil and vulnerability of a child involved in a separation or divorce. Therefore, each parent must be extremely supportive, understanding, comforting, stabilizing and flexible when co-parenting. There are various co-parenting agreement templates that can be found online, which can be created and utilized to best assist this process. Co-parents don’t necessary have to be friends, although they must maintain a certain amount of respect for one another during co-parenting communication and arrangements. Establishing and maintaining a level of civility is essential to constant, productive and positive communication, which should not be negotiable for co-parents.

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Childcare Agreements Between Parents

Why Agreements Between Parents

 

Childcare Agreements between parents are crucial for the success of family relationships. Childcare after separation is something that must be agreed upon by both parents unless there is a Sole custody arrangement.

 

There are a number of different kinds of childcare arrangements or custody arrangements:
(terms below are used under the Divorce act and the Federal Child Support Guidelines)

  • Custody
    is the legal term in the Divorce Act which refers to both the parenting schedule for a child, and how decisions about the child will be made. When parents divorce, there are different types of custody.
  • Sole custody
    means that one parent makes the major decisions about matters such as the child’s education, religion and health care. Generally, the child will live primarily with this person.
  • Joint custody
    means that both parents have legal custody of the child and make major decisions about the child together.
  • Shared custody
    refers to situations where a child lives at least 40 percent of the time with each parent. This is normally used in the child support context.
  • Split custody
    refers to situations where one or more children live with each parent more than 60% of the time. This term is normally used in the child support context.
    A variety of living arrangements are possible for the child when the parents have joint custody. For example, the child may live mostly with one parent, while both parents make important decisions jointly.
    It is also possible for the parents to have both joint and shared custody of a child. In this situation, the parents would jointly make important decisions about the child, and the child would spend at least 40 percent of the time with each parent.
  • Access
    When one parent has sole custody, the other parent normally has access. A parent with an order for access under the Divorce Act is entitled to spend time with the child. Unless the court orders otherwise, a parent with access is also entitled to ask for and be given information about the health, education and welfare of the child.

 

Other terms such as a Shared Parenting arrangement is becoming more widely used as an alternative to “custody” and “access”. If you are using other terms within your Co-parenting Agreement or Parenting Plan than it is best to ensure a proper definition is included. Other terms for describing childcare agreements between parents/custody arrangements may be “parenting orders”, “contact orders”, “parental responsibility”, “guardianship” or “parental authority”.

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Shared Parenting Agreement

Something similar to having Joint Custody of the children

Most of the time, having a Shared Parenting Agreement between parents means something similar to having Joint Custody of the children. Several jurisdictions in Ontario are recommending a shift from using words like “custody” and “access” when speaking on the rights and responsibilities of separating parents. Instead, it is advised to use words like “parenting responsibilities” and “parent decision making”. Shared parenting would include all meanings, rights, obligations and common law, and statutory interpretations previously exemplified in the terms “custody” and “access”.

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Co-parenting Mediation

What is Co-parenting Mediation

During the mediation process, when children are involved in a family, they are frequently mentioned. The best interests of the children are put at the forefront of our discussions.

 

Using a family mediator to help with the discussions of co-parenting can be pivotal in ensuring you can be the best parents for your children. Our “Co-Parenting Agreement” or “Parenting Plan” mediation session solely focus on how you will successfully co-parent moving forward.

 

During the Co-parenting Mediation session, we emphasize the importance of having a solid Co-Parenting Agreement in place – not only to help parents avoid future conflict, but for the health and well-being of the children. Our goal is to help you create a plan that reflects the needs and interests of your children. This will ensure that your children have the opportunity to thrive in an environment where the foundations lay on strong and respectful co-parenting practices.

 

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Children of Divorced Parents

What is Children of Divorced Parents

Not only is the process of a separation or divorce difficult for parents, but it can also negatively impact a child’s mental health. This process can be a sad, stressful, and confusing time. Children of divorcing or divorced parents may go through various major changes in their lives. For example, they may experience a sale of the family home, not seeing mom or dad on a daily basis anymore, and even possibly moving to a new neighborhood and school.

 

Children of divorced parents can be quite sensitive during this time of change. To help them through this transitional time, it is important for parents to provide listening ears, as well as be aware of and acknowledge their feelings.  

 

During the mediation sessions, we often hear our clients speak about how guilty they feel for separating. This is a direct result of knowing that their children will be impacted in one way or another. As family mediators, we encourage our clients to become future thinkers. In order to do this, it is important to not dwell on what has happened and focus on positive actions moving forward.

 

Children also thrive in environments where they feel safe and loved by both parents. Co-parenting isn’t always easy, although the more control you have over your actions will result in an overall better standard of living for children. Having a Co-Parenting Agreement in place can help with planning for the future and be a reference when you disagree on a matter. It can create stability for the children and a clear cut routine that they can follow.  

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Online Family Mediation Process in Ontario

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Our process for mediation is simple, efficient, and effective. We offer convenient scheduling through our online booking platform, strive to remain responsive at every step of the way, and always ensure your utmost confidentiality throughout the entire process.

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Brampton, ON L6W 3X7, Canada
Tel: (905) 552-9515

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2020-07-10
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