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New Year, New Divorce Act

The Divorce Act has been updated. Most of the Divorce Act amendments will come into force on March 1, 2021. 

If you are or were married, then the Divorce Act, which is federal legislation, likely applies to you. The Divorce Act not only sets out the requirements for getting a divorce, but also deals with parenting, child support, spousal support, and other issues that can arise for separated or divorced spouses.

It is important to be aware of these changes and how they might affect your situation. 

The goals of the amendments are to promote the best interests of the child, address family violence, help reduce child poverty, and, make the family justice system more accessible and efficient. If you want more information on the amendments, you can check out the Department of Justice Canada publications on the new family laws.  

Some noteworthy changes are:

  • the terminology is more child focused. We will now be using words like parenting time and decision-making responsibilities rather than custody 
  • proceedings can be conducted in English or French, or both (see section 23.2 (1)) 
  • relocation provisions have been added to provide requirements for if a parent wants to move, which include providing a proposed plan

This post is for informational purposes only. If you require legal advice, please contact a lawyer.