Changes to the federal Divorce Act went into effect on March 1.
Here is a look at some of the changes:
— The amendments outline specific factors to be considered when a court decides what would be in a child’s best interests, including relationships with parents and grandparents, a child’s linguistic, cultural and spiritual heritage, and a child’s views and preferences.
— Courts are required to order parenting time based on a child’s best interests.
— The law includes a focus on the actual tasks of parenting, which means a parenting order also explains each parent’s “decision-making responsibilities” on important determinations to be made on behalf of a child.
— The act now includes measures for dealing with family violence and requires the courts to take that into account.
— A list of factors has been added to the act to help judges assess the seriousness of the violence when deciding what parenting arrangements would be in the child’s best interests.
— The amended Divorce Act helps establish and enforce child support, including by allowing the federal government to release tax information to help determine accurate child support amounts.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.
The Canadian Press