The Divorce Act has seen a number of important changes that came into effect on March 1, 2021. If either party is facing criminal charges of any degree, then according to the circumstances, the most relevant changes are: family violence should be considered compulsorily along with the criminal court orders or actions that are concerned with the well-being of the child. The new changes to the act are announced after considering the best interest of the child involved in the matter. The court has to ensure the safety and security of the child at all costs.
These new additions will also affect the allocation of parenting time with a child involved in the case. In brief, it means that if either of the parties is facing some outstanding criminal charges then it can directly affect the way the court will proceed with the custody of the child and your access to him or her. The criminal charges directly factor into the decision-making and parenting time during the custody matter.
With these new additions, the court is making sure that every decision that takes place in the court, has a positive effect on the child.
Family Violence is also an important factor during these hearings and recently it has been one of the highly anticipated additions to the amended Divorce Act.
Family violence, under section 16(4). is defined as:
Family violence means any conduct, whether or not the conduct constitutes a criminal offense, by a family member towards another family member, that is violent or threatening or that constitutes a pattern of coercive and controlling behavior or that causes that other family member to fear for their own safety or for that of another person — and in the case of a child, the direct or indirect exposure to such conduct — and includes:
- (a) physical abuse, including forced confinement but excluding the use of reasonable force to protect themselves or another person;
- (b) sexual abuse;
- (c) threats to kill or cause bodily harm to any person;
- (d) harassment, including stalking;
- (e) the failure to provide the necessaries of life;
- (f) psychological abuse;
- (g) financial abuse;
- (h) threats to kill or harm an animal or damage property; and
- (i) the killing or harming of an animal or the damaging of property
It should also be noted that the Divorce Act has a separate mention of family violence that suggests that you do not necessarily have to be facing criminal charges for family violence for it to be considered by the court in divorce proceedings.
The Divorce Act also had to go through some serious changes to the rules concerned with the relocation and change of residence. The previous laws concerned with moving your child to another city, state, province, or country were extensive. And it must also be noted that, if a party tries to move the kid with them against the will of the kid, it could be charged as kidnapping and it can directly factor into your stand in custody as well.
When you are being charged with the crime, you may receive a no-contact order from the court which means that you will not be allowed to speak or get in touch with your spouse or your children.
It could be very complicated to handle criminal charges while managing your custody battle and if you are not careful things could get worse really soon before you know it. At moments like this, all you need is good guidance from David Genis Assault Lawyer, they can guide you through it and act in your best interest.