NAWL Brief to the Federal, Provincial, Territorial Family Law Committee on Custody, Access and Child Support

Posted 2001-06-15 in Presentations to Government

The Divorce Act must begin with a preamble, supported by the wording within the Act itself, about the social and economic disadvantage of women. The Act must specifically acknowledge the prevalence of violence against women and children within families including physical, emotional, sexual, psychological and social abuse. This preamble must provide a gendered definition and analysis of violence within families, and must acknowledge that control and abuse issues are present in significant numbers of families, particularly in those families appearing in family court.

Table of Contents



PART 1: Taking into account Women’s (In)Equality
1.1 The general context: What are the material realities of women’s lives?
1.2 The situation of mothers after separation or divorce
1.3 General principles

PART 2: A critical assessment of the proposed models
2.1 The shared parenting model
2.2 Men’s access right
2.3 Best interests of children

PART 3: Violence against women and High Conflict Relationships
3.1 Defining violence
3.2 Violence in divorce and separation cases
3.3 Proposals for inclusion of violence in the law
3.4 Expedited family law process
3.5 High Conflict Relationships

PART 4: Women’s Access to Justice
4.1 Legal Representation
4.2 Actors in the legal system
4.3 Holding the perpetrator accountable
4.4 Alternatives to litigation

PART 5: Child support
5.1 Overview: Did the Guidelines Accomplish the goals?
5.2 The issues in the Consultation Document


Read the Brief as a Word Document or PDF.