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Old 05-25-2010, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EqualParent View Post
The Divorce Act is a federal legislation. Thus the reason for us to write to your local Federal MP to indicate the importance of supporting this bill. However, the provinces will implement the laws through the courts so for sustainable reform, the provinces need to be on board as well... So contacting your local MPP may also be a worthwhile effort.
Custody is both a federal and provincial jurisdiction due to an odd occurance in the BNA Act. Divorce is specificly a federal responsibility, but civil matters (of which marriage and custody are included) are provincial. The divorce act can't help but affect child custody so there is a rare jurisdictional crossover.

The provinces and feds have tried to deal with this by keeping laws in sync and not contradicting each other. For example the Ontario Family Law Act requires the use of the Federal Child Support tables.

As I understand it (but I could be mistaken or oversimplifying) when we separate only, if we seek custody ruling we go through provincial court and provincial law. If we seek a divorce along with custody, we go through federal court and law. Some provinces also use unified courts.

If the Federal law is changed, the provinces will be strongly obliged to sync up with it. Meanwhile if several provinces went this route, the Feds would be more inclined to sync as well. It can flow either way.

The courts are already favouring shared parenting, compared to a generation ago. The last news article I read in the Toronto Star noted that almost 50% of cases were shared now. There is still a strong bias towards the mothers having custody if the finding is sole custody, this is also close to half, and the smallest percentage is for the fathers to have sole custody.

The court decisions tend to follow previous trends. Lawyers quote other cases, the judges certainly read other judge's decisions and are aware of social studies and statistics. So common law derived from court cases is supporting this trend anyway.
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