The Divorce Act Changes Explained

Relocation

Best interests of child – additional factors to be considered

Amount of time spent with the child
(Section 16.92(1)(c), Divorce Act)

New section

(c) the amount of time spent with the child by each person who has parenting time or a pending application for a parenting order and the level of involvement in the child’s life of each of those persons;

Old section

None.

What is the change

As part of its analysis of the best interests of the child in a proposed relocation, the court must consider the involvement and amount of time spent with the child by each person who has or is seeking parenting time.

Reason for the change

The court must consider the level of disruption the relocation would cause to a child’s relationship with their parents. For example, even if the burdens of proof based on parenting time (set out in ss 16.93(1) and 16.93(2)) do not apply, it is relevant for the court to consider that in practice, where there are arrangements that a child spends a significant amount of time with each parent, a relocation could be quite disruptive. In contrast, if one parent is clearly primarily responsible for the child and proposes to move with the child, the court must consider the impact on the child should the child not be permitted to move with that parent.

When

March 1, 2021.