The Divorce Act Changes Explained

Variation, rescission, suspension

Relocation – change in circumstances
(Section 17(5.2), Divorce Act)

New section

Relocation — change in circumstances

(5.2) The relocation of a child is deemed to constitute a change in the circumstances of the child for the purposes of subsection (5).

Old section


What is the change

This amendment establishes that a relocation of a child is a change in the circumstances of a child for the purposes of varying a parenting order or contact order.

Reason for the change

Parties seeking to vary parenting orders and contact orders under the changes must satisfy a court that there has been a change in circumstances before the court may vary the order. One reason for this is to reduce litigation by discouraging parties from attempting to vary orders over trivial matters. Relocation is a new element that may be addressed through parenting orders, and a relocation would, by definition, be expected to have a significant impact on a child’s relationships with the parties to parenting and contact orders. For this reason, relocation would be explicitly recognized as a change in circumstances.


March 1, 2021.