If you are a woman with children and you are leaving a relationship in which your partner has been abusive to you, our new toolkit will help you seek safe arrangements for the children.
When a relationship ends, parents must sort out arrangements for the children:
- When the children will spend time with each parent, and
- Who has decision-making responsibilities about important things that affect the children.
Until these issues are resolved, the law sees both you and your partner as equally responsible for the children’s care.
Our new toolkit contains legal information about the laws in Canada and Ontario for arrangements for children after a relationship ends. These laws have changed recently.
Family courts do not always understand violence against women in the family, so you need to know as much as you can about the law and be prepared to play an active role in your family law case to ensure that you get the best possible outcomes for you and your children.
The toolkit also provides tip sheets and checklists so that you can:
- Use the law to help the family court understand the impact of violence in your family
- Use the law to show the family court what will be best for your children after you and your partner separate
- Communicate with your ex-partner in a safe and effective way
- Plan for your safety and that of your children
- Make changes in the future if necessary
Your safety and this toolkit
You may be able to fill in the checkboxes and areas for notes in this toolkit if you use the Adobe Acrobat program. The pages can also be printed and filled out by hand. Note that if you fill out the fields on your computer, the full field content may not be visible when you print the document.
Whether you fill out the toolkit on your computer or by hand, please take care that your former partner and your children do not find the document or any others pertaining to your family law case.