This is a comprehensive summary of the transitional provisions applicable to proceedings in the Provincial Family Court:
This is a comprehensive summary of the transitional provisions applicable to proceedings in the Supreme Court:
- the parts of a court proceeding started under the Family Relations Act concerning the division of property continue under that act; and,
- the parts of a court proceeding respecting an agreement about the division of property made before the Family Law Act comes into force must be continued or started under the Family Relations Act.
These provisions only apply to married spouses, as only married spouses were able to start a claim under the Family Relations Act for the division of property or about agreements concerning the division of property.
No transitional provisions are made for any other issue, including with respect to the presumptions of guardianship, the care of children, the enforcement of parenting time or contact that has been wrongfully withheld, the relocation of children and guardians, child support and the new rules applicable to stepparents, spousal support and reviews of spousal support, protection orders and conduct orders. This was intentional. According to the Ministry of Justice in its online document The Family Law Act Explained:
"Generally, the transition provisions support the immediate use of the Family Law Act for family law disputes, even where they have been started under the Family Relations Act or where there are existing agreements or orders made under the Family Relations Act. This promotes a speedy transition to the new regime and ensures the tools and benefits of the new law can be realized immediately by all families.""Speedy" is almost an understatement. When British Columbia wakes up on the morning of Monday 18 March 2013, the Family Law Act will be the law of the land. It will apply to:
- all proceedings before the Provincial Court that started before March 18th;
- all proceedings before the Supreme Court that started before March 18th, except for those claims about property that will continue under the old act;
- all applications set for hearing that day;
- all trials set to start that day; and,
- all trials that started before March 18th that will be continuing on or after March 18th.