30 October 2012

Family Law Act: New Resource for Justice System Workers and Advocates

I've put together an overview (PDF) of the new Family Law Act for people who work in the justice system and legal advocates. Please feel free to download and to distribute, reproduce and reuse as you'd like, as long as it's not for a commercial purpose.

This overview will be updated from time to time to clarify issues and correct typos. The current version is dated 7 November 2012 (previous version - 3 November 2012); please download the updated document (PDF).

6 comments:

  1. Dr. Mr. Boyd. In your overview you state that a stepparent is the married or unmarried spouse of a parent, where in section 149 of the new family law act states that the stepparent must be first unmarried to the natural parent? these seem to conflict one another? If a married stepparent were to ask under the FLA to have their support order canceled would section 149 not apply?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sorry, but I don't think I follow your question. The FLA defines a stepparent at s. 146 as "a person who is a spouse of the child's parent and lived with the child's parent and the child during the child's life." A spouse is defined at s. 1 as including people who are married, people who have lived together for at least two years in a marriage-like relationship, and people who have lived together in a marriage-like relationship for less than two years. Under s. 149(3), a child support order cannot be made against a stepparent until the stepparent and the parent have separated; the kind of child support order the act is talking about here is support for the stepchild. Does that help?

    ReplyDelete
  3. My apologizes. If a married stepparent under the current law has a support order against them can they have it cancelled under section 149 of the new law because they are married? that is where it is confusing. If the order is already in place from the FRA it seems it could just be tossed because of section 149 even thought the circumstance hasn't changed, only the law has. This again would not be following the best interest of the child involved either I would think? Again confusing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An order that was made under the old act will not be made invalid when the new act comes into force. I encourage you to meet with a family law lawyer and get some proper advice about your situation.

      Delete
  4. Hello, I am currently living through my second year of trying to get a divorce from my husband. I have filed for divorce in September 2012. We have been to a JCC in October and my husband is doing his best to prolong the process. I am aware that the law is going to chnage on the 18th of March and I am concerned that the progress that we made sofar will become obsolute. Could you tell me that the progress we have made will not be influenced by the new law?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing will be made obsolete. The progress you've made so far will still be there, you'll just be discussing it, and the eventual resolution of your case, in different language.

      To be fair, the new law does impose new tests about important problems, like disputes about whether a parent can move away with the child. To get a proper answer about how the law will impact on the specific issues in your case, you should talk to your lawyer or get a lawyer and talk to her about what's happened so far and what problems remain to be resolved.

      Delete