Blog: Family Law

Changes to the Federal Divorce Act

New amendments to the federal Divorce Act, meant to come into force last July but pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have come into force this month.

These are the first substantial changes to the Divorce Act in more than 20 years.

The changes to the Divorce Act include updated provisions addressing family violence and relocation.

The Act defines family violence in a holistic sense. It does not solely cover physical violence. The definition includes harassment or stalking, neglect, psychological abuse, financial abuse, destruction of property, and specific threats. It also includes the direct or indirect exposure of a…

Categories: Family Law

Underscoring Urgency: Family Matters in the COVID Crisis

On March 18, 2020, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia announced a suspension of all regular operations to protect the health and safety of court users and to help contain the spread of COVID-19, with only essential and urgent matters to be heard.  A copy of the notice may be found here.

In the family law context, the Court outlined what is essential and urgent, including:

Orders relating to the safety of a child or parent due to a risk of violence or immediate harm (e.g., a protection order, conduct orders, or exclusive possession of…