Whether you are in a common law relationship or married, during periods of separation and divorce finding a balanced approach to jointly raising your children can be both difficult and stressful. The daily schedule becomes a nightmare when parents cannot agree on specific tasks and outings and who is to help the kids with their day to day care needs. No matter if you are going through the family law court system in Ontario, or trying to sort things out yourselves, the best interests of the children must be made a priority by both parents.
For those parents who can work together without continuing arguments, Joint Custody makes the most sense. Joint Custody means that both parents are involved in making all of the big decisions for their children regardless of how much parenting time each parent has with the children. If the children need medical, dental or major educational decisions to be made, both parents will have equal input on the decision and make it jointly. Both parents in a Joint Custody arrangement will receive the day to day information from the children’s activities, schooling and other events. In some cases the parents in a Joint Custody arrangement can choose to divide parenting responsibilities between them, however both parents should agree to provide any relevant information they gain from these specific parenting roles with the other parent to ensure that the both parents are well aware of the numerous important aspects of their children’s lives.
This arrangement can greatly benefit the children as it typically has a low level of conflict and little to no direct conflict around the children’s day to day lives. It is always important for parents to understand that while Joint Custody can be easy, if they find that numerous disagreements are occurring regarding the joint decision making process, then a different custody arrangement should be considered. It’s always best to discuss your custody options with an Ontario lawyer in order to obtain guidance on the matter.