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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.”

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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.

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How to effectively co-parent after a divorce or separation
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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.

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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.

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