Friday, May 27, 2022

One Incident of Family Violence May Justify Child's Relocation in Divorce Cases

From The Globe and Mail:

The Supreme Court of Canada has taken a tough stand on family violence in a divorce, saying that even one incident from a parent may justify the other parent’s relocation with the children to a distant place. In the case, the father had been found "likely" to have assaulted his former spouse on one occasion. He had also printed a nude selfie of his ex-wife, which he included in an affidavit he filed in the case, for purpose other than to humiliate her. He had been controlling on financial matters and using offensive language in texts to her. 

In the first ruling interpreting federal Divorce Act changes on relocation that took effect in March, 2021, which stressed the need to protect children against family violence, the court said that avoiding abuse or acrimony that undermines the other parent may be more important to the children’s best interests than spending as much time as possible with each parent.

The Supreme Court restored the trial judges' rulings that were previously reversed by the appeal courts. Writing for an 8-1 majority, Justice Andromache Karakatsanis stressed that incidents of domestic assault can be hard to prove and even one incident may suggest a wider pattern of abuse that is harmful to children.

Read more here.

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