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Proposals - Parenting (lawyers only)

These proposals let family law lawyers discuss and vote on what changes they think should be made to the law or court procedures. The results can be viewed and shared with legislators and the Courts. The proposals put forth are written by member lawyers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or its administrators. You can view more proposals or make a proposal yourself.


Proposal: Add legislative criteria to consider when determining whether to implement shared parenting
Parenting (lawyers only) - Aug 15th

Ken Proudman of BARR LLP (Alberta)6 Comments

We know that children generally benefit from having two very involved parents, and we know that there are scenarios where shared parenting would be dysfunctional. Courts can also be somewhat inconsistent, which likely leads to more litigation, to the detriment of children. Why not codify factors, while still leaving some discretion for unusual circumstances?

Here's an example of what that could look like:
Shared parenting shall be ordered except where:
a) Logistical hurdles such as distance, bussing, or employment schedules would make shared parenting impractical, would leave young children unattended, or would result in grossly excessive travel time for the children;
b) A parent lacks adequate accommodations for the child;
c) A parent lacks necessary skills, training, or equipment to attend to the needs of a disabled or special needs child;
d) The parents are in substantial conflict with each other, before trial or where there is also a significant disagreement on the evidence, and before parallel parenting can be properly instituted, except when the conflict is primarily the result of the unreasonable conduct of the parent seeking the majority of parenting time;
e) A parent poses a serious risk of physical, psychological, or developmental harm to a child because of their past conduct towards a child, demonstrated lack of basic parental knowledge, inability or unwillingness to follow the recommendations of a psychologist or teacher, violence, substance abuse, neglect, absence, or a mature child's resistance towards time with that parent;
f) A mature child's strong and justifiable preference to reside primarily with one parent;
g) Shared parenting for one child would result in prolonged absences from a sibling to which they have a strong connection;
h) A parent's housing or employment instability makes shared parenting an unlikely long-term arrangement;
i) A parent desires that their own parenting time be less than equal; or
j) Exceptional circumstances mean that shared parenting would not be in the best interests of the child.

Feel free to add others in the comments.

73% in favour out of 11 votes












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