Federal Government Aims to Prioritise Children Welfare in Divorce Law Review
In a recent decision made by the Federal Liberal Government, it proposed to make significant changes to the Divorce Act which has not been reformed for over 20 years.
The family law system was considered time-consuming, archaic and costly for most families, besides also paying too much emphasis on court procedures. This decision of the Federal Government came into being with the purpose of putting the best interest of the child first during a parental conflict with the minimum damage on all the parties involved.
The change aims to encourage conflicting parties to choose alternate means of resolution without litigation such as mediation, collaborative law, and negotiations. This proposal is made so that there is a more personal approach towards hatching the best solution for the parents with special regards to the welfare of the child’s physical, emotional and psychological needs.
The planned changes also include the omission of specific terms like custody and access which creates a competing mentality that can generate a feeling of imbalance. It aims at using more neutral terms that emphasis on a more definite meaning to express parenting time and responsibilities.
Under this proposal by the government, the lawyers and legal advisers would be required to notify the clients about alternate means of resolution that is known o them locally or accessible to them.
Also for the first time in Ottawa, the Federal law also made it obligatory for couples to first try to resolve disputes out of court but only in unspecified circumstances.
These proposals are welcomed by renowned legal service providers and family law experts as it would put the needs of the child first. They aim to prioritize the well-being of the child by analyzing the situation of the child and awarding decisions based entirely on the specific need rather than using a uniform “one-size-fits-all” approach. The legislation also aims that the change would help protect and support families from the adverse outcomes of a broken home and the reality of divorce and separation.
The proposal is yet to be debated, and even though the concern lies in the welfare of the children, the procedure seems bleak and far-fetched for another group of experts. They say that conflict-bent couples would still find ways to traumatize the situation and changing the use of different terms will not make a difference.
Overall, the intention of the proposal is by far, one of the best changes the legislation hopes to make. Even though it will take a lot of effort to implement and reap the results, it is bound to make the system safer and more efficient for all the citizens.