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Time to Change the Divorce Act?

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  • Time to Change the Divorce Act?

    Interesting article. Touches on what needs to change.

    The CBA drew particular attention to the Divorce Act’s silence on the issue of relocation, which it says has led to “inconsistency in how the law is applied and significant unpredictability.”

    The landmark Supreme Court of Canada case of Gordon v. Goertz, which was decided in 1996, ruled that relocation decisions should be based on the “best interests of the child.”

    But family lawyer Andrew Feldstein says the vagueness of the judgment makes it challenging to advise clients on relocation in Ontario, where case law is the only guide.
    Excellent point and a much-needed change in the Divorce Act.

    In addition, the CBA raises its concern about the inadequacy of the Divorce Act when it comes to child support in shared parenting arrangements, which have grown exponentially since the law was passed over three decades ago.

    Again, the legislative void is currently filled by a Supreme Court decision, this time in the 2005 case of Contino v. Leonelli-Contino, when the nation’s top court ruled that judges must conduct a full — and what lawyers say is an onerous — analysis using the Child Support Guidelines.

    “While courts must retain jurisdiction to determine individual cases, providing a starting framework or formula for child support in shared parenting situations would help reduce conflict, increase stability and predictability, and lower the emotional and financial toll of litigation in this critical area,” the CBA letter suggests.
    I agree with the CBA 100%!

    Bala says he would also like to see a linguistic revamp for the Act as part of any reforms to do away with terms such as “custody” and “access.”

    These words evoke a proprietary if not a penal context,” he says, noting that many judges already eschew them in favour of alternatives such as “parenting time.”
    I agree. They are dated and should be dropped.

    Good Luck!
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