Relationships with a step-parent

Current situation

Many children will experience life in a blended family, and may develop a significant bond with a step-parent. There is currently no legal recognition for this bond. If there is a separation between the child's parent and step-parent, the right of the child to maintain the relationship is not recognized by law. This means that the child could suddenly lose all contact with a significant person.

Proposed change

Children would have the right to an ongoing personal relationship with a former step-parent in order to maintain their significant bond with that person, unless it is not in the child's interest.

This does not mean granting the step-parent a right of custody or access. An ongoing personal relationship may take several forms, such as telephone conversations or exchanges of e-mails.

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