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Divorce Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 3 (2nd Supp.))

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Act current to 2021-04-05 and last amended on 2021-03-01. Previous Versions

Corollary Relief (continued)

Spousal Support Orders

Marginal note:Spousal support order

  •  (1) A court of competent jurisdiction may, on application by either or both spouses, make an order requiring a spouse to secure or pay, or to secure and pay, such lump sum or periodic sums, or such lump sum and periodic sums, as the court thinks reasonable for the support of the other spouse.

  • Marginal note:Interim order

    (2) Where an application is made under subsection (1), the court may, on application by either or both spouses, make an interim order requiring a spouse to secure or pay, or to secure and pay, such lump sum or periodic sums, or such lump sum and periodic sums, as the court thinks reasonable for the support of the other spouse, pending the determination of the application under subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Terms and conditions

    (3) The court may make an order under subsection (1) or an interim order under subsection (2) for a definite or indefinite period or until a specified event occurs, and may impose terms, conditions or restrictions in connection with the order as it thinks fit and just.

  • Marginal note:Factors

    (4) In making an order under subsection (1) or an interim order under subsection (2), the court shall take into consideration the condition, means, needs and other circumstances of each spouse, including

    • (a) the length of time the spouses cohabited;

    • (b) the functions performed by each spouse during cohabitation; and

    • (c) any order, agreement or arrangement relating to support of either spouse.

  • Marginal note:Spousal misconduct

    (5) In making an order under subsection (1) or an interim order under subsection (2), the court shall not take into consideration any misconduct of a spouse in relation to the marriage.

  • Marginal note:Objectives of spousal support order

    (6) An order made under subsection (1) or an interim order under subsection (2) that provides for the support of a spouse should

    • (a) recognize any economic advantages or disadvantages to the spouses arising from the marriage or its breakdown;

    • (b) apportion between the spouses any financial consequences arising from the care of any child of the marriage over and above any obligation for the support of any child of the marriage;

    • (c) relieve any economic hardship of the spouses arising from the breakdown of the marriage; and

    • (d) in so far as practicable, promote the economic self-sufficiency of each spouse within a reasonable period of time.

  • 1997, c. 1, s. 2

Priority

Marginal note:Priority to child support

  •  (1) Where a court is considering an application for a child support order and an application for a spousal support order, the court shall give priority to child support in determining the applications.

  • Marginal note:Reasons

    (2) Where, as a result of giving priority to child support, the court is unable to make a spousal support order or the court makes a spousal support order in an amount that is less than it otherwise would have been, the court shall record its reasons for having done so.

  • Marginal note:Consequences of reduction or termination of child support order

    (3) Where, as a result of giving priority to child support, a spousal support order was not made, or the amount of a spousal support order is less than it otherwise would have been, any subsequent reduction or termination of that child support constitutes a change of circumstances for the purposes of applying for a spousal support order, or a variation order in respect of the spousal support order, as the case may be.

  • 1997, c. 1, s. 2

Best Interests of the Child

Marginal note:Best interests of child

  •  (1) The court shall take into consideration only the best interests of the child of the marriage in making a parenting order or a contact order.

  • Marginal note:Primary consideration

    (2) When considering the factors referred to in subsection (3), the court shall give primary consideration to the child’s physical, emotional and psychological safety, security and well-being.

  • Marginal note:Factors to be considered

    (3) In determining the best interests of the child, the court shall consider all factors related to the circumstances of the child, including

    • (a) the child’s needs, given the child’s age and stage of development, such as the child’s need for stability;

    • (b) the nature and strength of the child’s relationship with each spouse, each of the child’s siblings and grandparents and any other person who plays an important role in the child’s life;

    • (c) each spouse’s willingness to support the development and maintenance of the child’s relationship with the other spouse;

    • (d) the history of care of the child;

    • (e) the child’s views and preferences, giving due weight to the child’s age and maturity, unless they cannot be ascertained;

    • (f) the child’s cultural, linguistic, religious and spiritual upbringing and heritage, including Indigenous upbringing and heritage;

    • (g) any plans for the child’s care;

    • (h) the ability and willingness of each person in respect of whom the order would apply to care for and meet the needs of the child;

    • (i) the ability and willingness of each person in respect of whom the order would apply to communicate and cooperate, in particular with one another, on matters affecting the child;

    • (j) any family violence and its impact on, among other things,

      • (i) the ability and willingness of any person who engaged in the family violence to care for and meet the needs of the child, and

      • (ii) the appropriateness of making an order that would require persons in respect of whom the order would apply to cooperate on issues affecting the child; and

    • (k) any civil or criminal proceeding, order, condition, or measure that is relevant to the safety, security and well-being of the child.

  • Marginal note:Factors relating to family violence

    (4) In considering the impact of any family violence under paragraph (3)(j), the court shall take the following into account:

    • (a) the nature, seriousness and frequency of the family violence and when it occurred;

    • (b) whether there is a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour in relation to a family member;

    • (c) whether the family violence is directed toward the child or whether the child is directly or indirectly exposed to the family violence;

    • (d) the physical, emotional and psychological harm or risk of harm to the child;

    • (e) any compromise to the safety of the child or other family member;

    • (f) whether the family violence causes the child or other family member to fear for their own safety or for that of another person;

    • (g) any steps taken by the person engaging in the family violence to prevent further family violence from occurring and improve their ability to care for and meet the needs of the child; and

    • (h) any other relevant factor.

  • Marginal note:Past conduct

    (5) In determining what is in the best interests of the child, the court shall not take into consideration the past conduct of any person unless the conduct is relevant to the exercise of their parenting time, decision-making responsibility or contact with the child under a contact order.

  • Marginal note:Parenting time consistent with best interests of child

    (6) In allocating parenting time, the court shall give effect to the principle that a child should have as much time with each spouse as is consistent with the best interests of the child.

  • Marginal note:Parenting order and contact order

    (7) In this section, a parenting order includes an interim parenting order and a variation order in respect of a parenting order, and a contact order includes an interim contact order and a variation order in respect of a contact order.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 3 (2nd Supp.), s. 16
  • 2019, c. 16, s. 12

Parenting Orders

Marginal note:Parenting order

  •  (1) A court of competent jurisdiction may make an order providing for the exercise of parenting time or decision-making responsibility in respect of any child of the marriage, on application by

    • (a) either or both spouses; or

    • (b) a person, other than a spouse, who is a parent of the child, stands in the place of a parent or intends to stand in the place of a parent.

  • Marginal note:Interim order

    (2) The court may, on application by a person described in subsection (1), make an interim parenting order in respect of the child, pending the determination of an application made under that subsection.

  • Marginal note:Application by person other than spouse

    (3) A person described in paragraph (1)(b) may make an application under subsection (1) or (2) only with leave of the court.

  • Marginal note:Contents of parenting order

    (4) The court may, in the order,

    • (a) allocate parenting time in accordance with section 16.2;

    • (b) allocate decision-making responsibility in accordance with section 16.3;

    • (c) include requirements with respect to any means of communication, that is to occur during the parenting time allocated to a person, between a child and another person to whom parenting time or decision-making responsibility is allocated; and

    • (d) provide for any other matter that the court considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Terms and conditions

    (5) The court may make an order for a definite or indefinite period or until a specified event occurs, and may impose any terms, conditions and restrictions that it considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Family dispute resolution process

    (6) Subject to provincial law, the order may direct the parties to attend a family dispute resolution process.

  • Marginal note:Relocation

    (7) The order may authorize or prohibit the relocation of the child.

  • Marginal note:Supervision

    (8) The order may require that parenting time or the transfer of the child from one person to another be supervised.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition on removal of child

    (9) The order may prohibit the removal of a child from a specified geographic area without the written consent of any specified person or without a court order authorizing the removal.

  • 2019, c. 16, s. 12
 
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