The Divorce Act & Mediation – What You Need to Know

Sep 12, 2022 | Blog

When going through a divorce and mediation process, there are a lot of things you should know, especially with the way the world is constantly changing! Here are some key things we believe you should know when going through a divorce.

  • The divorce act only applies to people who have been legally married. If you have not been married, then it is considered a Family Law, and you do not have to worry about the Divorce Act
  • Mediation is the most cost-effective way to get through a divorce. It is also encouraged by the Divorce Act, as it is also often the route with the most compromise, it is best for working together to come to a solution that will benefit both parties, and it allows more conflict prevention and resolution. Mediation is often a great route for keeping the peace, and making the journey of divorce as simple as possible for any other parties, i.e. children. 
  • There are certain terms that are no longer used since the Divorce Act came into effect, which may be beneficial to remember. Since March 2021, terms like custody or access, cannot be used. In place of custody, the term used is Decision-making responsibility. In place of access, it is Parenting Time or Contact. Each of these terms means something new as well:
    • Decision-making responsibility – This covers anything from education, religion, language and health care. It can be split between the parents or can be placed onto one of the parents alone, if necessary/decided. 
    • Contact – This covers the time of someone who isn’t a parent, like a grandparent, or aunt/uncle. They do not have any decision-making responsibilities nor do they have any rights to the child(ren)’s information.
    • Parenting Time – This refers to the time in which a parent has with their child on a day-to-day basis. During parenting time, you will have access to all the child(ren)’s information, and are able to make game-time decisions (including emergency).
  • Are you or your ex- spouse looking to move away post-divorce? Well, if you have a child together there are a few things you will need to consider prior to! In either case, anyone who is wanting to relocate must give 60 days notice, and anyone who has decision making responsibilities can object, if they wish, in 30 days. 
  • Family violence and the children’s best interests MUST be taken into account when there is a divorce involving children. During a divorce the system will take into account the child(ren)’s views and preferences, anything regarding the safety and well-being of the child(ren), and they will look into any family violence. Any family violence that is seen e.g. sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and psychological abuse, will be taken into account.


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Legal Boutique has been helping families with mediation and support during separation and divorce for over 20 years. Our expert team of mediators are here and ready to help. Contact us today to get things started for you.

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