The Alberta Justice Department is preparing to reform family law in Alberta.
Among its proposals is to prevent fathers whose marital status is not married or equivalent from being guardians of their children. This applies only to fathers, not to mothers.
You can see the proposal for yourself at the Alberta Department of Justice Website You have until March 1, 2002 to respond. Here are some more gems from the Alberta Family Law Reform Project.
The government is not seeking feedback from the public on the following:
- Children will be treated differently depending on the living arrangements of their parents
- Spousal support will be entrenched, in addition to so-called child support
- Paternity establishes only obligations, no rights (Maternity on the other hand…)
- Step-parents will also pay child support (the more divorces the merrier)
- Rights and responsibilities are different for intact families compared to non-intact families
- The federal child support guidelines will become mandatory, even when the couple desires other arrangements
- A man is deemed the biological father of any children produced by the woman he lives with. This holds even if these children are the results of her sexual relations with other men. This holds even if this occurred without his knowledge. This holds even though paternity tests are now reliable and widely available.
- Access to the child must: “respect the guardian’s right to decide what is in the best interests of the child.”
Here are some areas where the government is seeking your feedback:
- Should non-custodial parents lose guardianship? You need to look for the following terms: “the surviving parent rather than the testamentary guardian is entitled to become the guardian”
- Should child support continue for adult offspring? The oxymoron of “Children 18 years and over” is used here.
Note that shared parenting or a presumption of joint custody is absent from the government’s proposals.