AuthorJulien D. Payne/Marilyn A. Payne
Family law is a cha nging and dynamic eld. In t he twenty-rst century, Can-
adian fami lies will encounter new challenges. Ma rriage and the family are
no longer synonymous. e traditional nuclear family of the 1950s, with its
breadwinning husba nd, homemaking w ife, and their two or more chi ldren,
is a minority group. Two-income fami lies, with or without children, hig h di-
vorce and remarriage rates, and the increasing incidence of unmarr ied co-
habitation, whether involvi ng opposite- or same-sex couples, h ave fostered
new family str uctures and radical legal refor ms. At the same time, there has
been increased recogn ition of the inherent limitations of t he law in regulat-
ing marr iage and the family.
e public and the legal profession are awa re of the devastating impac t
that family brea kdown can have on women and child ren. e feminization of
poverty th at results from single parenthood, fami ly breakdown, and divorce
continues to be of pressing concern to provinc ial and federal gover nments
as they seek to enforce spousa l and child support payments that have fa llen
into default, and endeavour to provide a socio-economic safety net for sole
parents and ch ildren.
Canadia n family law is continua lly in transition as it respond s to evolving
family str uctures. Chapter 1 of Canadian Family Law identies the ch anging
character of Ca nadian families a nd poses fundamental quest ions concerning
possible future directions of law and socia l policy in Canad a. In addition, it
provides a review of the lega l consequences of marr iage breakdown and di-
vorce since the enactment of the rst D ominion-wide Divorce Act in 1968. e
fragmentation of legi slative powers between t he Parliament of Canada and
the provincia l and territorial leg islatures is also address ed, together with the
inecient fragmentat ion of jurisdiction between diverse cou rts that has led
to the emergence of special ized Family Courts.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT