The Divorce Act Amendments - Four Months Later

This three-part webinar series examines the operation of the Amendments to the Divorce Act since implementation on March 1, 2021, and impact on obligations and practice for mediators, legal practitioners and other professionals working with families and children experiencing divorce.

Nancy will examine the impact of the reform of Canada’s Divorce Act, represented by the Amendments, and within four key objectives:
• Promoting a child’s best interests;
• Addressing family violence;
• Reducing child poverty; and
• Making Canada’s family justice system more accessible and effective.

She reviews the Amendments since inception, the implications for families and family members experiencing divorce, and the evolution of obligations for any persons or professionals working with parents, children, and families in divorce. Learn how case law, and scholarly articles and comments, are interpreting the Amendments, how the Amendments are improving problem-solving mechanisms for children and parents encountering difficulties or disputes on divorce, as well as some of the potential pitfalls which may arise.

Webinar 1: For the Sake of the Child: Promoting a Child’s Best Interests in Divorce - Discover how the shift in language from custody, to defined parenting in general, has improved childcentred problem-solving capabilities in dispute resolution and decision-making, and has provided mechanisms to help focus the parents, and dampen problematic parental behaviour. Within this childcentred focus, we will also explore the effect of continuing problematic parental behaviour and the potential for an intersection between divorce and provincial child welfare and protection law within the divorce process. Do not miss Nancy’s informative discussion regarding the operation of the Amendments on ensuring and protecting the best interests of a child in divorce, expectations of and for parents, grandparents, and other third-parties involved in the divorce process, and provisions for hearing a child’s voice.

Webinar 2: Family Violence: Effects on a Child's Well-being in Divorce - As per the Amendments, divorce settlement discussions and decision-making must now consider the effects of exposure to family violence on the well-being of a child. This session focuses on:
• The impact of including family violence into divorce process;
• Objective criteria for evaluating family violence;
• Safety factors including screening a party/parties for family violence; provisions to account for the seriousness of the family violence; the operation of provincial family violence statutes in divorce; and o practice implications.
• An introduction to the effects of family violence on a child, a child’s experience, and development.

Webinar 3: The Intersection of Early Childhood Brain and Biological Development (EBBD), Reducing a Child’s Poverty Potential, and Access to Justice for Children and Families in Divorce - Nancy further discusses the effects of divorce on early childhood (0-5) brain and biological development (EBBD), the effect of delayed divorce proceedings on a child, together with a child’s poverty potential due to the economic consequences of divorce. With the possibility of significant negative consequences for a child, we also look at how the Amendments work to increase access to justice, and the increased importance of efficient, effective, expeditious, responsive, and understandable problem-solving mechanisms within the divorce process, for the sake of both parents and children.

N.B. - Access to this course, including video and course materials, is valid for 7 days from date of purchase.

Honourable Nancy Flatters, QC

Nancy Flatters, QC, LL.B., LL.M. (spec.: Dispute Resolution), Retired Judge Prior to attending Queen’s University Law School (1978-81), Nancy was the second Director of Kingston Interval House (1976-78), a shelter from domestic violence for women and their children. On graduating in law and articling, Nancy practiced Civil, Family, Child Welfare, Adult/Youth Criminal Law (1982-1996), adding Mediation (1984), ADR Training Programs (1985), and Judicial Settlement (Spring 1996). From 1988-1991, she left private practice to take a position as a Mediator in the Calgary Family Court’s Mediation and Court Intake Program until July 1991 when she joined the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law as Practitioner-in-Residence (July-December 1991) to teach each of Family and Children’s Law as well as to design and teach the Faculty’s first course in ADR. On return to private practice, she continued with the ADR block week Faculty team-teaching she had started in 1988 (to 2008). In July 1996, Nancy was appointed as a Judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta and sat in Calgary Family and Youth Court. In mid-1998, to increase access to problem-solving justice, she designed and implemented the Judicial Dispute Resolution & Settlement Conferencing Project in Family/Child Welfare matters for her Court. Since retiring from the Court in 2015, she practices as a High Conflict Impartial Evaluative Mediator, a Parenting Arbitrator, a Trainer providing diverse programs, and a Mentor for new mediators. Nancy has a long history of voluntary service, including: President of each of the Alberta Family Mediation Society, Family Mediation Canada and Association for Conflict Resolution; Chair of the Southern Alberta and National Dispute Resolution Section of the Canadian Bar Association; Founding Steering Committee Member and Chair, Mediation Calgary; Chair, Calgary Region Arts Foundation; Education Chair of each of the Alberta and Canadian Associations of Provincial Court Judges; and Board Member of each of the Alberta Law Reform Institute, Distress Centre Calgary, and Canadian Chapter, International Association of Women Judges.

N.B. Access to course materials & recorded video is valid for 7 days from date of purchase.

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