Child custody disputes can be emotionally charged and legally complex, making it essential for parties and Toronto custody lawyers to have a comprehensive understanding of the law of parental decision-making in Ontario. This blog aims to provide a detailed overview of the key aspects of child custody laws in Ontario, equipping legal practitioners and potential clients with the knowledge they need to commence the process of navigating through child custody matters in Ontario, and in particular, Toronto.

Types of Custody:

In Ontario, child custody can be classified into two main types: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions on behalf of the child, such as healthcare, education, and religion and is now referred to as “parental-decision making responsibility” and the term “custody” is no longer used in Ontario family law. Physical custody, on the other hand, deals with where the child will live and spend the majority of their time.

Best Interest of the Child:

The overarching principle in Ontario’s child custody laws is the best interest of the child. When determining custody arrangements, courts consider factors such as the child’s emotional and physical well-being, their relationship with each parent, and their wishes if they are mature enough to express them.

Types of Custody Arrangements:

Ontario courts recognize various custody arrangements, including sole custody, joint custody, and shared custody. Each arrangement has its own implications for parental decision-making and parenting time, and it’s crucial for parties to be informed by their experienced Toronto family lawyers and to be familiar with the nuances of each option.

Parenting Plans:

Parenting plans are vital components of custody agreements, detailing how decisions will be made and parenting time will be divided. Experienced lawyers must work closely with their clients to draft comprehensive and realistic parenting plans that align with the child’s best interests and meet the court’s requirements.

Dispute Resolution:

Child custody disputes can be resolved through various means, including negotiation, mediation, and litigation. Toronto custody lawyers should be skilled in exploring alternative dispute resolution methods to avoid protracted court battles whenever possible, prioritizing amicable resolutions. At Separy Law PC, our experienced Toronto family lawyers always do their best to settle contested issues out of court, but are also strong advocates in court proceedings.


When one parent wishes to move with the child, the issue of relocation arises. Ontario law imposes specific requirements and considerations for relocating with a child, with specific notice requirements to th non-relocating party and consents that must be addressed and obtained.

Modification and Enforcement:

Custody arrangements may need modification due to changing circumstances or parental non-compliance. Experienced lawyers must be prepared to handle modification requests and enforcement issues to ensure the custody order remains relevant and adhered to.


Navigating parental decision-making and child custody laws in Ontario requires a deep understanding of legal principles, effective negotiation skills, and the ability to prioritize the child’s best interests. By staying informed and well-prepared, our lawyers at Separy Law PC make a significant difference in the lives of the families they serve. Call us today for a consultation related to your child custody issues.

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and a fantastic tool for calculating parenting time