Major Reform Coming To Family Law

On July 19, 2010, the provincial government of British Columbia released the White Paper on Family Relations Act Reform: Proposals for a new Family Law Act.

This comprehensive document outlines the outcome of the province’s review of its legislation relating to family law, respecting both married and unmarried couples. The Family Relations Act is the current provincial statute that addresses issues of custody, guardianship, access, child support, spousal support and asset and pension division, among other issues.

The B.C. Ministry of the Attorney General began to look into this type of reform in 2006 and undertook a substantial and wide ranging consultation process. The aforementioned White Paper outlines the results of this consultation program and the recommendations that will be made to Parliament in its view to create a new Family Law Act to replace the Family Relations Act.

The recommendations being proposed are expansive and profound and may reshape many of the principles that apply to the current family law process. This, of course, depends on whether the recommendations do, in fact, get adopted into law.

The Family Law Department at Pushor Mitchell intends to begin writing a series of articles about the key issues and proposed changes included in the White Paper in the fall of this year.

* It is important to note that the White Paper is not law, but is a series of proposals that are being submitted for consideration.

More details on the Family Law White Paper are available at the Ministry of the Attorney General website at:

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