07 July 2009

Government Announces Implementation of New Family Law Rules

The provincial government announced today that new Supreme Court family law rules will come into effect on 1 July 2010.

The new rules for family law matters are one of the recommendations flowing from the Family Justice Reform Working Group's 2005 report, A New Justice System for Children and Families (PDF). A draft of the new rules was posted on the website of the Justice Review Task Force in 2008 for comment and consultation.

The new rules are intended to reduce expense by gearing the complexity of the litigation to the complexity of the case, limiting rights of discovery and requiring experts to serve the court rather than the parties. Family law cases will be more tightly managed and mediation will be mandatory on the request of a party. A completely new set of court forms will standardize family law pleadings and make them more accessible. A summary of other highlights (PDF) is available from the JRTF.


The new rules (PDF) have now been published. Be careful about printing them, they run to some 382 pages.

1 comment:

  1. Mediation will be mandatory unless the other party gets a restraining order.

    The new rules just encourage futile litigation. If the custodial parent does not want the other parent to have access, that is precisely what will happen.

    Also, if one is uniformed enough to go to provincial court and ends up with a final order under the FRA, according to the BC Court of Appeal the party is thereafter denied relief in Supreme Court under the Divorce Act and accordingly the judge does not have to consider the willingness of the custodial parent to facilitate contact.

    I found this out the hard and costly way.

    Evidently, instead of removing or mitigating sources of conflict that threaten or prevent a relationship between the child and the access parent, if the source of the conflict is the custodial parent's opinion about the other parent, the relationship goes and the source of the conflict stays.