Changes to the Divorce Act Town Hall

  • Recorded on: September 21, 2021

  • Length: 60 minutes


Learn how recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act are playing out in practice. John-Paul Boyd, KC answers questions asked by people going through a family breakup. This town hall supplements our webinar earlier this year on changes to the Divorce Act.


In this webinar, you will learn:

  • A high level view of how the changes to the Divorce Act have played out in practice since they took effect on March 1, 2021. [2:20]

  • How changes to the Divorce Act have affected the use of out-of-court procedures like mediation and arbitration. [4:40]

  • Whether the changes to the Divorce Act have made it harder for a party to drag out the divorce process. [6:55]

  • How changes to the Divorce Act improve prospects for a victim of abuse. [9:15]

  • How false allegations of violence are handled under the Divorce Act. [13:59]

  • What courts consider in assessing family violence when deciding on a child’s best interests under the Divorce Act. [17:45]

  • At what age children can legally decide to choose which parent to live with. [21:05]

  • How the residence of a parent outside of Canada affects how guardianship is awarded under the Divorce Act. [26:05]

  • How the legal test has evolved for whether a parent — with or without the children — can relocate after separation. [29:55]

  • How the Divorce Act changes have impacted spousal support. [34:05]

  • Whether the framework for administrative child support has been implemented, and whether it will be linked to the Family Maintenance and Enforcement Program. [35:30]

  • Whether the changes to the Divorce Act impact the way property is divided. [38:25]

  • What information you need to provide to reduce your child support order when your income has gone down. [39:25]

  • Whether the Divorce Act changes impact prenuptial agreements. [40:35]

  • How parenting after separation is dealt with where one parent is a Canadian resident and the other parent is not. [41:20]

  • How the court can ensure compliance with its orders when one spouse lives in another country. [42:50]

  • The definition of a “marriage-like relationship.” [44:45]

  • Whether a spouse has any responsibility to support children from their spouse’s previous relationship. [48:50]

  • Whether the Divorce Act changes impact parenting responsibility where a relationship involves a sponsor. [50:22]

  • What to be aware of when one parent wants to move away after separation. [52:35]


JP Boyd, KC

JP Boyd, KC

John-Paul Boyd, KC is a family law arbitrator, mediator, and parenting coordinator. He is a member of the bars of Alberta and British Columbia, and counsel to the Calgary family law firm Wise Scheible Barkauskas. John-Paul practiced family law in Vancouver for 14 years before taking a position as the executive director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, a non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Calgary. He returned to private practice in 2018 and was appointed King’s Counsel in 2019. He writes and speaks frequently on family law topics for a range of audiences.

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Additional resources

From People’s Law School:

From JP Boyd, KC:

From the federal Department of Justice:

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