Family law: Some changes to Divorce Act should be more concise

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Family Law on Monday, December 31, 2018.

Most of the changes to the Divorce Act have been applauded. There are still 45 proposed changes recommended to the Act, which oversee family law rules, most of which centre around the best interests of the child. The Act also clarifies many issues using plain language that most Alberta residents, and all Canadians, can understand.

Best interests of the child include such things that pertain to their security, well-being and safety. Encouraging the use of alternative ways of settling issues such as mediation is also mentioned within the Act. Although the Act does take into consideration the best interests of the child, some in the legal profession say some revisions are necessary to make rules even more effective.

When it comes to the issue of violence in the family, those in the legal profession say the Divorce Act needs to be more clear in reference to the physical, psychological and emotional safety of children along with their security and well-being. They also say that it is incumbent upon the adults in children’s lives to protect them from being exposed to violence. Experts want the assessment of a child’s situation to take into account whether violence has been present.

If there are any areas of the law that seem unclear when it comes to children’s rights and their best interests, an Alberta family law lawyer can provide clarification. A lawyer can explain various sections of the Divorce Act to his or her clients if questions arise regarding the best interests of a child. Family laws can be complex and may be difficult for some to understand without explanation.

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