The three pieces of legislation introduced today, April 23, are:
- amendments to the Maintenance and Custody Act
- amendments to the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act
- the Grandparents’ Rights Affirmation Act
“We are reviewing and improving our family laws to ensure that outdated or inadequate legislation doesn’t make the challenging and emotional time of a family breakup more difficult for Nova Scotia families,” said Justice Minister Ross Landry.
The proposed legislation includes:
- adding “best interests of the child” factors to be considered by the courts, including any family violence, when determining custody and access
- changing some provisions related to support, including adopting proposals from a federal-provincial-territorial working group, which will improve the speed and effectiveness of inter-jurisdictional support orders
- adding an explicit reference in legislation about the ability of a grandparent to make an application for custody or access as recommended by the Law Reform Commission.
“These changes increase the safety of children and families by ensuring that family violence is always considered when custody or access matters are being determined,” Mr. Landry said. “That was a commitment we made in the 2010 Domestic Violence Action Plan. They will also ensure those that families that rely on support payments that come from out-of-province get them quickly.”
The province began a multi-year review of family laws last year.
More information can be found here.