Ottawa, Ontario                                                                                                             December 4, 2018


Liberals Amend the Divorce Act C-78
This Amendment Should Include The Presumption of Equal Shared Parenting

REAL Women has submitted a brief to the House of Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights on Bill C-78, amending the Divorce Act, in conjunction with five family movement organizations. The brief is entitled Best Interests = Presumptive Equal Shared Parenting.

The best interest of the child in case of divorce requires that the child not be punished by depriving him or her of the care of both a mother and a father. The children are not divorcing from the parents, the parents are divorcing one another. Presumption in favour of the mother and father both having equal contact with the child/children is the only humane way to deal with the tragedy of the dissolution of the bond of marriage.

There has been no progress for children in Canadian divorce law in the twenty years since REAL Women of Canada made the following common-sense, compassionate and child-centred recommendations to the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on Custody and Access 1998:

  • Provided there are no issues concerning abuse, neglect or abandonment, the presumption of continued equal shared mother/father parenting of the child/children following the divorce of their parents.
  • Compulsory mediation for parents at the time of divorce in order to develop a suitable child care plan to maximize the opportunity of both parents to contribute to the social, emotional, intellectual, physical, moral and spiritual development of the children.
  • A provision for grandparents to have access to their grandchildren following a divorce, to reinforce the family bond touching three generations, for the sake of children experiencing the loss of family and matrimonial cohesion.
  • Assurance that one parent will not deny the child the presence of the other parent.

REAL Women of Canada advocates that the Committee take this opportunity to make substantive progress to ameliorate the situation for future children of divorce. It is essential that shared parenting be enacted in all jurisdictions of Canada.

Please support the presumption of equal shared parenting in case of divorce by writing to:

Your member of parliament whose contact information can be found at

You can find the name of your MP by entering your area code in the search bar under FIND, on the left, half-way down the page at this site:

For the Family,
REAL Women of Canada