17 May 2012

Attorney General Publishes Family Law Act Resources

On 16 May 2012, the Ministry of Justice (formerly the Ministry of the Attorney General) released a variety of resource materials for the new Family Law Act. These documents are available online at

and include:
  1. a section by section explanation of the new legislation (PDF) with the government's interpretation of the meaning and intention of each provision;
  2. a table of concordance (PDF) between the new Family Law Act and the old Family Relations Act;
  3. a question and answer format discussion of common questions (PDF) about the new legislation; and,
  4. a survey of the highlights of the new legislation,
among other helpful things. I am curious to see how the explanation of the new legislation will be used in practice. Although this document has a note on each page saying
"This document was developed by the Ministry of Justice to support the transition to the Family Law Act. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon for those purposes."
whether it's legal advice or not, it's still a government-issued document interpreting new legislation and I expect will be used for precisely that purpose in court.