In March 2021 our legal system was successful in moving forward in the necessary amendments to the existing act under Bill C-78, which was introduced in 2018 and made official in June 2019.
These amendments have been made in the best interests of children and families. The bill has a broad support from mediators, as well as mental health professionals, because it puts the needs of children before the conveniences of lawyers.
Here are the changes:
- Formerly known as “Custody and Access”, is now referred to as “Parenting and Contact.” This means families sharing parenting duties, are able to do so in a much more productive way than when the Divorce Act was first established in 1986. The adjustment is far more accommodating in establishing conventions around shared parenting time, rather than “custody.” This provides a more relationship-focused approach, guided by the principle of maximum contact for the children with their parents, unless there are safety concerns.
- Duty to emphasize “Family dispute resolution”
- These amendments stipulate that parents, and the legal profession, must emphasize family dispute resolution over litigation. This will not only take the pressure off of our overloaded court systems, it will mean less conflict for children of divorce.
- Parameters around the relocation and mobility of children
- If parents cannot agree, they must seek professional guidance, such as a meditator, to try to help them resolve the issue before going to court. The law sets out a process and a timeline for the divorce
These amendments seem minor, but they will work to ease the burden on the court system. This will help make the divorce process function more smoothly for everyone.
Fore more information regarding the amendments to Bill C-78 please follow the below link.
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