April 19, 2022 – NO ASSUMPTION, NO PRESUMPTIONS
Gene C. Colman Introduction: We continue to highlight Prof. Nicholas Bala’s recent article on Shared Parenting. While Prof. Bala does not support a rebuttable presumption in favour of Equal Shared Parenting as does yours truly, he is a highly respected legal scholar who is super knowledgeable on all matters “family law”. He expertly brings together an analysis of recent cases under the revised federal Divorce Act and the revised provincial legislation. He seems to tentatively suggest that some form of “shared parenting” is the wave of the future. HIs article is most surely worth a read by lawyer and layperson alike. Where you see bolded and italicized text – that’s me. The headings are mine too. The words themselves are Prof. Bala’s unless I indicate otherwise.
EXCERPTS FROM “THE 2021 CANADIAN PARENTING REFORMS: IS SHARED PARENTING THE NEW NORMAL?”
By Prof. N. Bala and Y. Ebsim,
Page 27 NO ASSUMPTION, NO PRESUMPTIONS
As under the previous legislation, the focus of decision-making must remain on individual children and parents, without assumptions or presumptions. While the 2021 reforms are broadly consistent with the trend towards increased use of various forms of shared parenting in Canada, there continue to be concerns about the use of shared parenting, especially if there are concerns about high conflict, family violence or parenting capacity. For shared parenting to be ordered, courts remain attentive to whether there is sufficient communication and cooperation between parties, or else there is a concern that “children move between two houses which are ‘ships in the night’, each household being blind to the other,” which cannot be in the best interests of any child.