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Understanding Changes To The Divorce Act - Divorce Mediation Ontario

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

In 2021, the Government of Canada introduced new language and clarified existing language in the Divorce Act. This includes changes to the interpretation of custody and access terms, enabling more clarity for those affected by divorce proceedings.


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Custody Terminology Update

The term “custody” is now replaced with “parental responsibilities” when discussing matters related to children. This means that instead of using “custody”, which can connote a sense of ownership over someone else’s child, courts are now encouraged to use terms like “parental decision-making responsibility” or “guardianship responsibility” when discussing how parental responsibilities will be allocated between parents who have separated. Further, the term “access” has been replaced with “contact” when referring to a non-custodial parent's right to visit their children.


Considering Best Interests Of Children

When determining how parental responsibilities will be divided between parents who have separated, courts must also consider what is in the best interests of the children involved. Courts are now required to consider factors such as any risks posed to the child by one or both parents and any history of family violence. This provides greater protections for children whose parents have separated and ensures that their best interests are taken into consideration throughout the proceedings.


Parenting Plans Requirement

Previously, parenting plans were not required by law; however, they are now mandatory when dealing with divorce cases that involve children under 16 years old. Parenting plans must outline how parental responsibilities will be allocated between both parents as well as how contact time between each parent and their child(ren) will be shared. Having a detailed parenting plan helps ensure that each parent knows what their rights and responsibilities are so that there is minimal confusion or conflict during the divorce process.


The 2021 updates to The Divorce Act provide an opportunity for couples who are facing separation or divorce to discuss matters relating to their children in a more meaningful way than ever before. With new terminology clarifying custodial rights and guidelines outlining how parental responsibilities should be allocated according to what is in the best interest of children caught in divorce proceedings, this updated language offers greater clarity and protection for all parties involved—especially those most vulnerable—during this difficult time period.


At Divorce is Simple we want to keep your divorce simple. We want you to have the necessary tools and knowledge to allow yourself to make informed decisions. This is your divorce and you need to make decisions that work for you and your family. Book your free consultation online >


Call us today at Divorce is Simple for a simple way to end your marriage using our Family Law Mediation Services here in Ontario, Canada.


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Divorce Mediation Ontario


Family Law Mediation


Uncontested Divorce Ontario


Divorce Mediation Ontario


Family Law Mediation


Uncontested Divorce Ontario


Divorce Mediation Ontario


Family Law Mediation


Uncontested Divorce Ontario


Divorce Mediation Onin tario


Family Law Mediation


Uncontested Divorce Ontario


Divorce Mediation Ontario


Family Law Mediation


Uncontested Divorce Ontario


Uncontested Divorce Ontario


Divorce Mediation Ontario


Family Law Mediation


Uncontested Divorce Ontario


Divorce Mediation Ontario


Family Law Mediation


Uncontested Divorce Ontario


Divorce Mediation Ontario


Family Law Mediation


Uncontested Divorce Ontario


Divorce Mediation Ontario


Family Law Mediation


Uncontested Divorce Ontario


Divorce Mediation Ontario






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