Recently there was a great deal of attention surrounding various changes to the Federal Divorce Act. In particular, there was an expanded definition of “domestic violence”, and some archaic terms such as “custody”, were replaced with phrases such as “parental authority and “parenting time”.
While I applaud any changes which help protect spouses in situations of domestic violence, or otherwise attempt to limit disagreements surrounding emotionally charged terms such as custody, I believe the federal government essentially missed the boat, and a wonderful opportunity, in one key area.
I’m referring specifically to the terms related to parents and children, which I should add, were previously adopted years ago in BC’s provincial family law legislation.
While it’s true it has proven helpful to define such terms as parental authority, in my experience, one of the most hotly contested areas remains “the division of parenting time”. In other words, because of the child support implications (the topic of a future blog post), and the emotional dynamic between parents, it is an area which often requires unnecessary legal costs and attention to resolve.
So what’s the solution?
There should be a mechanism in both federal and provincial legislation which mandates when couples separate, barring a history of violence (now better defined), that the children reside in a shared parenting arrangement. In other words, each parent to exercise equal parenting time.
It’s taken 20 years for the federal government to implement these latest changes to the Divorce Act, and I have no realistic hope that such positive changes will occur on a federal level any time soon. That does not mean however that the BC legislature cannot move forward, as they have already have with respect to the replacement of various archaic terms.
Otherwise, there will be another generation of children, potentially without a healthy and loving relationship with both parents.
And that my friend, is a national disgrace. Call Scott Taylor 604.534.6361