24 February 2012

New Administrative Notice for Chambers Applications

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has published a new administrative notice, AN-10 (PDF), about how late application records are to be handled. Under Rule 10-6(14), the applicant is required to file an application record, a binder containing all of the documents for the application, by 4:00pm two business days before the date set for the hearing.

Under the new administrative notice, when an application record is not filed in time, the application will be struck from the list and will not be heard.

The applicant may apply for leave to have the application put back on the list using a special form of requisition in Form F17. (The form appears at Appendix A of the administrative notice.)

Where an application respondent shows up ready to go on the day of the hearing only to discover that the application has been struck from the list, the application respondent may apply for his or her costs of the appearance using another special form of the F17 requisition. (The form appears at Appendix B of the administrative notice.)

Late filers, beware!

20 February 2012

LSS Begins Blog Series on Family Law Act

The Legal Services Society, the organization that provides legal aid in British Columbia, today published the first of an ongoing series of blog posts about the Family Law Act on its Electronic Legal Aid News website. (ELAN is aimed at community workers but is accessible by everyone.) This is how the project is described:
"Over the next few months, we will run a series of ELAN blog entries to describe some of the important changes coming to family law in BC as a result of this new act. In addition to the changes listed above, these entries will describe the changes to the law about:
  • the language used in family law cases (e.g., changes to terms like custody and access)
  • agreements (and when they can be set aside)
  • how children’s best interests are considered in parenting disputes
  • guardianship
  • property and pension division, and the division of debts
  • child support and spousal support
  • protection orders (restraining orders)
  • court process and enforcement of orders"
You can subscribe to the ELAN RSS feed to have new posts delivered to your web browser or email service.

19 February 2012

"Family Law Act Information & Resources" Updated

I've updated my blog page "Family Law Act Information & Resources" (see the list of pages at the upper right-hand corner) with a summary overview of the major elements of the Family Law Act, annotated with section references, and a look at the possible meaning of "significant unfair," the threshold which must be met to set aside agreements on property and spousal support, among other things, under the new act. Here's the current index:
  1. Helpful Links
  2. The New Act in a Nutshell
  3. Provisions Presently in Force
  4. Exploring "Significant Unfairness"
  5. Topical Digest with Section References
To check for the latest information, click the "Family Law Act" label below.

16 February 2012

Reminder: Kelowna Seminars on Children, Separation and Divorce with Joan Kelly; Early Bird Pricing Ends 1 March 2012

The BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society is presenting two seminars aimed at family law lawyers and mediators, registered mental health professionals helping separating parents, custody and access assessors, and professionals preparing views of the child reports. The seminars will be conducted by noted psychologist Joan Kelly in Kelowna, at the Manteo Resort.

On 18 April 2012, Dr. Kelly will be speaking on two topics, helping children cope with separation and divorce and alienated children. Over next two days, April 19 and 20, she will provide an introduction to parenting coordination, a child-focused dispute resolution designed to assist parents with a continuing history of high-conflict disputes, with additional presentations by members of the Roster Society.

Early bird pricing ends on 1 March 2012, be sure to register in advance. Contact pcadmin@shaw.ca for registration and further information.

05 February 2012

Little Known Family Law Facts #5

Section 123(1) of the Family Relations Act forbids court actions for jactitation of marriage. "Jactancy" is a vain boasting; "jactitation of marriage" is a false boasting of one's marriage to a person by which a popular belief may arise that the parties are in fact married.

Until the short-sighted enactment of s. 123, originally s. 4 of the 1972 Family Relations Act, someone who had been the victim of jactitation of marriage could sue the jactitator for damages under the common law.

02 February 2012

Distance Mediation Project Winding Down: Last Chance to Enrol

Phase three of the Distance Mediation Project, a project of Mediate BC with funding from the Law Foundation will be wrapping up in five or six months. The project connects trained mediators with separated families who live in communities with little or no access to legal services, with rates set on a sliding scale indexed to family income. Says Mediate BC:
"To use our service all you need is one of today’s common communication tools, such as a computer with Internet access or a phone.  The mediator will meet with the two of you 'from a distance' using the communication tool that suits you the best.  If you have a computer with a webcam, the mediator can use one of the exciting new videoconferencing technologies.  Or, if you prefer, the mediator can meet with you using the phone or other tool, such as e-mail."
Now that's an accessible service.

Mediate BC is still looking for more families to participate in the project, and the deadline for new enrollments is 15 May 2012. Sign up now! Here's their contact information:
1-855-660-8406, toll free in Canada and the US
604-660-8406, local callers in Vancouver