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Co-Parenting in Manitoba: Joint Custody Tips for Divorced Parents


Custody is one of the first topics discussed when parents in Manitoba are forming a co-parenting plan. According to The Family Maintenance Act (FMA) Section 6, custody of a child is “the right and responsibility to make significant decisions affecting the child's health, well-being, and development.” Custody can be awarded to one parent exclusively or shared jointly. The FMA also permits the award of sole or joint guardianship of the child. Guardians have a duty to act in the best interests of the child and manage the child's property.


Child Support

The responsibility of child support is divided between both parents in Manitoba. According to the Child Support Guidelines (CSG), each parent is required to contribute to the financial needs of their child. The amount of support paid is determined by the income of both parents and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. In cases where parents are unable to come to an agreement about their financial contribution, the court can issue a court order that enforces the payment of support.


Co-Parenting Expenses

Co-parenting can carry with it a number of costs related to travel, child care, and other expenses that may arise during the co-parenting process. According to the CSG Section 7 Part 4, these costs should be agreed upon between the two parents and paid as part of their support obligation.


Parental Rights and Decisions

The law in Manitoba permits both parents to make decisions about their child's upbringing, including those related to health, education, religion, and other activities. According to the Family Maintenance Act (FMA) Section 8, both parents have the right to make decisions regarding their child’s wellbeing when it comes to matters of significant importance. In the event of a disagreement between the two parents on an issue of importance, the court can intervene and make a decision on behalf of the child.


Parenting Plan

Parents in Manitoba are encouraged to create a parenting plan that outlines the rules and responsibilities that both parents will abide by when raising their child. The FMA Section 7 Part 1 states that a parenting plan should include the responsibilities of each parent, the living arrangements and take into consideration the child’s best interests. The parenting plan should also specify the right of each parent to have access to the child, including the amount and duration of visitation.


Visitation Rights

Under the Family Maintenance Act (FMA) Section 9, both parents have the right to visit their child on a regular basis. The amount and duration of the visitation will be determined by the court through a parenting plan. Visitation rights can also be limited if the court believes there is a risk to the safety of the child or if one parent is not suitable to keep visitation rights.



Mediation is often used when separated parents in Manitoba are unable to come to an agreement on matters of domestic, marital, or parental nature. According to the Family Maintenance Act, Section 11, the court can refer the parties to a mediator in order to settle any disputes without going to court. The mediator will assess the situation and help both parents come to a mutual understanding.


For parents who are separated or divorcing in Manitoba, co-parenting can be a difficult process. However, understanding the laws that govern co-parenting in the province can help make it a smooth and successful transition for everyone involved. Knowing the rights and responsibilities each parent has, as well as the support available through the court system, can help ensure that both parents can truly engage in loving and effective co-parenting.


Fact Check and Resources

In crafting this post, we conducted thorough fact-checking and research, consulting the following sources:


Co-parenting in USA


Co-parenting in Canada


Warning:  This post is neither financial, health, legal, or personal advice nor a substitute for the advice offered by a professional. These are serious matters, and the help of a professional is recommended as it can impact your future.

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