1st Session, 41st Legislature
This HTML version is provided for ease of use and is based on the bilingual version that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.
THE FAMILY MAINTENANCE AMENDMENT ACT
|Bilingual version (PDF)||Explanatory Note|
(Assented to )
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
Sections 2 and 3 are replaced with the following:
BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD
In making an order under this Act, the most important consideration for the court must be the best interests of the child.
Subsection (1) does not apply to a declaratory order of parentage made under section 19, 20 or 28.
If a child might be affected by a proceeding under this Act, a court must
(a) consider the impact of the proceeding on the child; and
(b) encourage the parties to focus on the best interests of the child, including minimizing the effect on the child of conflict between the parties.
The court may consider the views and preferences of a child when it is satisfied that the child is able to understand the nature of the proceedings and that doing so would not be harmful to the child.
The court may, if it considers it necessary to determine a child's best interests in a proceeding under this Act,
(a) appoint a family evaluator under section 49 of The Court of Queen's Bench Act or section 20.4 of The Provincial Court Act; or
(b) appoint a social worker or other person to evaluate a matter.
A person appointed under subsection (1) must not have had any previous connection with the parties, unless he or she conducted an earlier evaluation of them or is someone to whom each party consents.
If a party refuses to co-operate with a person appointed under subsection (1), the person appointed must report that fact to the court, and the court may draw any inference it considers appropriate.
The parties to a dispute must act in a way
(a) to minimize conflict;
(b) to promote co-operation;
(c) to meet the best interests of any child involved in the dispute; and
(d) to the extent the parties consider it appropriate to do so, to resolve the dispute by reaching an agreement through negotiation or another dispute resolution process.
This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.