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April 26, 2022 – IT’S NOT A PRIZE!

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.


By Prof. N. Bala and Y. Ebsim,

Link: Nicholas Bala and Yakin Ebsim: The 2021 Canadian Parenting Reforms: Is Shared Parenting the New Normal?, Queen’s Law Research Paper Series March 2022, 2022-001

While shared parenting is an important concept and this arrangement is in the best interests of some children, there are cases where use of shared parenting may be harmful to children. As Pazaratz J explained in Rogers v Porga:

  • [J]ust as outdated labels are to be avoided because they convey the wrong message – we have to ensure that our currently favored parenting designations convey the right message. Shared parenting is not a prize. Or a reward. Or a badge of entitlement. It’s not about rights. It’s about responsibilities. It’s not an acknowledgment of past parenting. It’s a commitment about future parenting…Abuse it and lose it.

GCC COMMENT: Wow, Prof. Bala! “this arrangement is in the best interests of some children…”. We agree! Equal Shared Parenting is certainly not appropriate for every single case. But I would extend “some children” to “most children”. Still, where there are good reasons to depart from equal shared parenting, then of course that should be the result. We are coming closer together!

Link to Gene C. Colman’s Equal Shared Parenting Web Page

Link to past issues of the ESP Thought of the Day publication

Click to see previous Equal Shared Parenting Thoughts of the Day
Photo of attorneys Kulbir K. Rahal Vaid, Kimberley Pitre, Gene C. Colman, Gloria Antwi and Jennifer Kirshen

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