The Divorce Act Changes Explained

Relocation

Best interests of child – additional factors to be considered

Reasonableness of proposal
(Section 16.92(1)(f), Divorce Act)

New section

(f) the reasonableness of the proposal of the person who intends to relocate the child to vary the exercise of parenting time, decision-making responsibility or contact, taking into consideration, among other things, the location of the new place of residence and the travel expenses; and

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 reasonableness of the proposal to vary parenting time or decision-making responsibility.

Reason for the change

The court must assess whether the proposed changes in parenting time and decision-making responsibility associated with a relocation are practical. For example, proposing that a 14-year-old fly between Ottawa and Toronto once a month is much more practical than proposing that a three-year-old fly between Sydney, Australia and Vancouver once a month. To determine whether the proposal is in the best interests of the child, the court might consider matters such as the child’s age, the distances involved, and the costs of travel and accommodations.

When

March 1, 2021.