The House

Divorce law changes close to home for justice minister

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says the experiences of people around her drives home the importance of the newly proposed changes to divorce laws in Canada.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tabled legislation this week to overhaul Canadian divorce laws, placing focus on children. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
Listen15:13

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says the experiences of people around her drives home the importance of the newly proposed changes to divorce laws in Canada.

"My parents divorced in a very favourable way when I was very young, but I have friends that have separated that have lost their houses because of the cost associated with going through the court process and really the only people that suffer in those circumstances are the kids," she told The House.

Bill C-78, which was tabled Tuesday in the House of Commons, aims to put the interests of children first. It also takes steps to address family violence and child poverty.

The bill uses neutral terminology, dropping terms like "custody" and "access" in favour of "parenting orders" and "parenting time."

It's the first major revamp of divorce law in more than 20 years.

Wilson-Raybould says it's about making sure both parents are focused foremost on providing for the children.

"It's a change about how we think about family law, how we think about separation and divorce, and how we can most appropriately address the interests of the child versus a winner-take-all situation," Wilson-Raybould said.

"It's pretty amazing to be in a position where we can bring forward such substantial legislation that will impact all Canadians."

We sit down with Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to go over what the first major revamp of divorce laws in more than 20 years could mean for millions parents and children. 15:13