Canadian Lawyer

November 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 25 of 43

24 LEGAL REPORT IN MAY, the Court of Appeal for Ontario handed down its decision in a child custody case that concerned the allocation of parenting time between an estranged couple with two young children. In upholding the trial judge's allocation of decision-making and a joint custody arrangement between the parents, the court noted the current provi- sions of the Divorce Act, of which amend- ments came into effect last spring. "In allocating parenting time, the court shall give effect to the principle that a child FAMILY LAW Shared parenting a focus for amended family law legislation Overhauls to the Divorce Act and Children's Law Reform Act have been in effect a half-year. Elizabeth Raymer examines how they are playing out should have as much time with each spouse as is consistent with the best interests of the child," Justice Mary Lou Benotto quoted from the Divorce Act in her decision. And quoting from the Children's Law Reform Act, she added, "Except as otherwise provided in this Part, a child's parents are equally entitled to custody of the child." The decision in Knapp v. Knapp is important in being the only appellate court decision that cites parenting time provisions since significant reforms to both the Divorce Act and the Children's Law Reform Act came into effect on March 1, says Nicholas Bala, the William R. Lederman Distinguished University Professor at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., and an expert in family law. The judgement "correctly states there's no presumption about parenting time," he says, "but it's also important to recognize that the legislation encourages significant contact with each parent, and in that case, the court upheld equal parenting time and equal responsibility for decision-making."

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