The Divorce Act Changes Explained

Duties – Parties to a proceeding

Best interests of the child
(Section 7.1, Divorce Act)

New section

The Act is amended by adding the following after section 7:


Parties to a Proceeding

Best interests of child

7.1 A person to whom parenting time or decision-making responsibility has been allocated in respect of a child of the marriage or who has contact with that child under a contact order shall exercise that time, responsibility or contact in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of the child.
Old section


What is the change

Under this amendment, anyone who has parenting time, decision-making responsibility or contact must fulfill these duties in the best interests of the child.

Reason for the change

The Act prioritizes the best interests of the child. This amendment reminds parties of their obligations. For example, when a parent exercises decision-making responsibility about a child’s education, they must act in the best interests of the child. Courts could also point to this provision to remind parties of their obligations.


March 1, 2021.