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The parties began cohabiting in May 2017. They separated on February 1, 2020. They have one child together who, at the time this case was heard, was 5 years old. The parties dispute centered how to determine what school the child should attend given the parties high conflict relationship and the subsequent parenting schedule for the child.


There was ample evidence and facts considered by the court in this case. Of the facts considered, the following were most notable:

  • There were two periods of time when one party overheld the child from the other. Aside from these incidences, the child had been in the parties’ shared care since the date of separation. The father lives in the Kitchener/Waterloo area whereas the mother lives in Woodstock.
  • The parties signed an interim interim without prejudice partial minutes of settlement granting them equal parenting time with the child on a week about basis. The next day, the mother issued the court Application which this decision pertained to.
  • The father’s position has remained that the child should be in the care of the parents on an equal basis, however, given the distance between the party’s residences, equal time cannot be maintained during the school year. The mother agrees with this position.
  • The mother does not appear to be supportive of the father’s relationship with the child. She further has made allegations that the father had committed family violence, claiming he physically, sexually, emotionally and financially abused her. However, the court was not provided evidence of this in the form of police or CAS reports.


The court in this case decided numerous issues, however, this blog will focus on the following three issues:

  1. Who shall be the primary resident parent during the school year?
  2. What should the parenting schedule be during the school year?
  3. What school should the child attend?


The court found that the evidence submitted illustrated that both parents were capable of meeting the needs of the child, and that they are both good parents. Further, the court found that the child needs both parents in his life to the extent possible having regard to the distance and needs the time spent with each parent to be free of conflict. The court finally found that the most important need for the child was stability.

After reviewing the facts of the case, it was held that the child’s needs for stability were better served by being primarily resident in Kitchener/Waterloo with the father during the school year as this is the area he was born, where his doctor is located, where his paternal grandparents reside, and where his aunts and uncles live. This decision was based on he following factors:

  • Despite the father not completing high school, the court was confident that he had the capacity and commitment to carry out the education plan and assist with homework;
  • The child has friends in the father’s catchment area and as such, when he starts school he will have a peer group;
  • There is nothing about either school proposed by both parents that is uniquely beneficial for the child.

The court also noted that the evidence submitted did not establish that there was either conduct or a pattern of conduct that amounted to coercive and controlling behavior, financial abuse, physical or sexual abuse, or conduct that would have caused the mother to fear for her safety.


The court ordered that the child shall reside primarily in Kitchener/Waterloo during the school year with the father. The mother’s time shall be maximized such that the child will be in her care 3 weekends per month. Additionally, she may enjoy one overnight period of care during the week if she exercises that parenting time within 30km of the child’s school.