The federal Liberal government is aiming to protect children from high-conflict divorces, by emphasizing alternatives to courtroom battles and by using neutral language for the sharing of parental responsibilities, in what would be the first major changes to the federal Divorce Act in 20 years.
The family-law system has been widely criticized as time-consuming, costly and archaic. Critics say it puts too much emphasis on adversarial court processes that promote conflict and damage children. The proposals would address concerns that delays have become a seemingly permanent feature of family courts, even as criminal courts have begun tackling the problem as a result of new time limits set by the Supreme Court.
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