Divorce and separation is a reality for many Canadians, and ensuring
the family justice system can effectively respond to the needs of
families in these situations is critical. That is why the Government of
Canada took action by introducing Bill C-78, which modernizes and
strengthens federal family laws.
Today, the Government welcomed the Royal Assent of Bill C-78
following its careful review by Parliament, marking the first
substantive changes to federal family laws in more than 20 years. Three
federal laws have been amended: the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act (FOAEAA) and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act (GAPDA).
The legislation has four key objectives:
- promote the best interests of the child
- address family violence
- help reduce child poverty, and
- make Canada’s family justice system more accessible and efficient.
A variety of measures in the legislation will streamline processes
and reduce the need for court intervention to resolve family law issues,
making the system more accessible and affordable for all. This is
especially true for provinces that have established, or are moving
towards, Unified Family Courts.
It is important to note that many of the changes do not take effect
immediately upon Royal Assent. As time is needed for the public, family
justice professionals, and various levels of government to adjust to the
changes within the family justice system, the majority of the
amendments to the Divorce Act will only come into force
approximately one year from now. Other amendments to FOAEAA and GAPDA
will come into force either on Royal Assent or over the next two years.
“This is a major step in ensuring our family
justice system effectively helps families through divorce and
separation, making the process more accessible and affordable for all
Canadians. At its core, this bill puts the interests of children first,
recognizing their well-being is paramount and there is no
one-size-fits-all solution to these matters.”
The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
These changes to federal family law establish
specific factors that courts must consider when assessing what’s in a
child’s best interests — based entirely on that child’s own situation
and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
To better protect children, federal family law now makes it clear that courts must take family violence into account when determining parenting arrangements.
The legislation includes several amendments intended to make family justice more accessible and reduce the need to go to court to resolve family law issues.
This include the right to divorce proceedings in both official languages.
According to the Census, in 2016 over 2 million children were living in separated or divorced families. Five million Canadians separated or divorced between 1991 and 2011. Of those, about 38% had a child together at the time of their separation or divorce.
Post comments (0)