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Amend the Canadian Divorce Act to Include a Rebuttable Presumption of Equal Parenting, New Campaign Urges

EDMONTON, ALBERTA — (June 14, 2016) The Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) is calling on the federal government to amend the divorce act so that children benefit from having both their parents play meaningful roles in their lives. Supporters of equal parenting will be gathering in Edmonton at the Alberta Legislature this Sunday, June 19th to observe “Fatherless Day” and raise awareness about this important issue.

“The changes would include a rebuttable presumption of equal parenting to ensure that during and after separation and divorce both parents keep equal rights, responsibilities and time with their children,” said Justin Trottier, CAFE Executive Director.

The changes would provide for equal parenting unless parents freely decide otherwise, or unless a parent has been proven unfit to an evidence-based standard.

Equal parenting removes judicial discretion to award sole custody without due process and unless a clear standard has been met. It is estimated that approximately 20% of Canadian children are denied the benefit of having their father play a significant role in their life.

“The tragedy is that in so many cases loving, competent fathers are being erased from their children’s lives as a result of sexist and archaic views on parenting still dominant in the family court system,” said Trottier.

Numerous research studies have shown the benefits children experience when their fathers play a meaningful role in their lives and the detrimental effects children suffer when they do not. Children from fatherless families are ten times more likely to abuse chemical substances, nine times more likely to drop out of high school and twenty times more likely to be incarcerated at some point in their lives.

Justin Trottier
Executive Director, Canadian Association for Equality

The Canadian Association for Equality is committed to achieving equality for all Canadians, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, family status, race, ethnicity, creed, age or disability.