Strengthening Child And Family Protection
McGuinty Government Reforming Family Justice For Ontarians
Ontario plans to introduce family law reforms today that would, if passed, better protect women and children and reduce the cost and stress of family court proceedings for Ontarians.
The proposed family law legislation would strengthen child and family protection in times of family breakdown and distress by:
- Strengthening abuse prevention for women and children by prosecuting breaches of restraining orders as criminal offences
- Protecting children by ensuring information about a violent history is before the court when making decisions to transfer custody to a non-parent
- Eliminating costly battles over the division of pensions by simplifying the rules
- Reducing family court battles and providing fair child support through automatic annual financial disclosure.
- Under the proposed legislation:
- Prosecuting restraining order breaches under the Criminal Code would allow for tougher enforcement and stricter bail conditions
- Restraining order eligibility would be expanded to those living together in a relationship for fewer than three years
- Non-parental child custody applicants would need to provide a sworn statement on how they propose to care for the child, a summary of involvement from a Children's Aid Society, and a police records check.
“No one should live in fear in their own homes, which is why we propose to change child custody and restraining order laws to protect Ontario's women and children. These reforms would also help families going through separation spend less on family court proceedings, and more on getting on with their lives.”
“This new legislation would give women better access to restraining orders, helping to protect them and their children. By expanding eligibility and prosecuting breaches as criminal offences, we will have better tools to stop woman and child abuse.”