PODCAST: Canada’s Divorce Act may be changing — how will women be impacted?

In this episode, Meghan Murphy speaks with Susan Boyd about the Liberal’s proposed changes to Canada’s Divorce Act, and how those changes might impact women.

The Liberal Party of Canada recently introduced Bill C-78, which proposes a number of changes to Canada’s Divorce Act, including better addressing what is referred to as “family violence,” changes to terminology like “custody” and “access,” and encouraging parties to use family dispute mediation services as an alternative to court.

Divorce law has always had particular impacts on women, and though it has improved enormously in the past few decades, it remains important to consider the role power under patriarchy plays in divorce and custody battles.

In order to better understand the proposed changes and their potential impact on women, I spoke with Susan Boyd. Susan is a Professor Emerita at the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, where she held the Chair in Feminist Legal Studies from 1992-2015. She was also Director of the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies for many years. Susan is a long-standing member of the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law and a board member of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). Her book, Child Custody, Law, and Women’s Work, remains one of the few feminist treatments of child custody law in Canada. Her latest co-authored book is Autonomous Motherhood? A Socio-Legal Study of Choice and Constraint. I spoke with her over the phone from her home in Vancouver.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Meghan Murphy

    Glad you enjoyed it! Susan is a wealth of knowledge!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Your point about personal testimony is really interesting… When you’re trying to hang on to your kids, I can imagine you would do almost anything, including staying quiet about your ex-partner’s behaviour, manipulations, etc…

  • Some Person

    Maybe true for the statistical outliers, but dubious for the vast majority of cases. Fathers, like mothers, want time and meaningful relationships with their children.