May 22, 2018 1:46 pm
Updated: May 22, 2018 8:59 pm

Getting divorced? Battles over ‘custody’ could be a thing of the past with divorce reforms

The Justice Minister is updating the Divorce Act with changes family law experts have been pushing for decades. Abigail Bimman takes a look at what's changing and how it will affect children.


The federal government has introduced new legislation that aims to help families settle disputes outside court, emphasize the well-being of impacted children and better enforce child support.

Justice officials say there have not been substantial updates to federal family laws in 20 years.

READ MORE: Want a divorce? Why you should tell your spouse and give it time

The legislation proposes “child-focused” language, which means replacing terms like “custody” and “access” — terms that have been known to fuel conflict between parents — with “parenting orders” and “parenting time.”

WATCH BELOW: Woman unhappy with her divorce sets fire to her wedding dress at garage sale

The proposed new measures would also address issues surrounding parents or children who relocate after a divorce and would, under some circumstances, allow authorities to use tax information to enforce child support payments.

WATCH BELOW: How to effectively co-parent after a divorce or separation

Once passed, Bill C-78 would also require courts to take family violence and a number of other factors into account when deciding parenting arrangements.

READ MORE: This is the best living situation for preschool children of divorce, study says

The proposed legislation would make changes to the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act, and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.