Canadian Lawyer

November 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 28 of 43 27 Edward Island for custody of a child raised mainly by the grandmother.) The last trilogy of family law cases the Supreme Court decided was in 1987, Bala says, underlining the significance of the upcoming trilogy, including on the relocation issue. Parenting plans and shared parenting time Parenting plans developed by the parents have also increased, he notes. "At one time, the family courts would simply say, 'one parent has custody, and the other parent has access every second weekend.'" But parents have been encouraged, including by their lawyers, to make more detailed parenting plans, including how parents will make decisions about their children, communication between the parents, and even use of social media. He says that using the words "parenting plan" in the legislation is important in bringing about this change. With that is a growing trend toward "shared parenting time," formerly called shared custody, where the children are spending roughly equal time with each parent, as well as an increased emphasis on the wishes and perspectives of children, Bala adds. "The fact that the Divorce Act now is encouraging consideration of it, and I think is reinforcing the tendency of judges, among others, to expect to have evidence about the views of children [means] we're seeing more interest now, … and the possibility of judges meeting children, of judicial interviewing with children." "The combination of the [legislative] changes plus the pandemic has caused a big push to get things out of courts and resolved." Ryan Kniznik, Blaney McMurtry LLP

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