New Family Law Act

A Revised Legislative Regime for Families

Since March 2013, the province of British Columbia has been under a new family law statutory regime called the Family Law Act. There has been much commentary in the media about the effects of this new Act, much of it connected to the changes in the law of property pertaining to couples cohabitating in common-law relationships. However, the new Act goes much further than this in revising the way family disputes are to be managed in the justice system going forward.

With the new Act, the province is attempting to reduce conflict by directing families and couples toward dispute resolution options that do not involve the courts. These options include Collaborative Divorce, Mediation, Arbitration, Parenting Co-ordination, and the like.

The new Act is a bold statement that as a general rule, families simply do not belong in the court system. Judges and other administrators of the court system will be actively searching for court cases to divert to alternative dispute resolution processes, and families may find progressing through the court system may be even slower than in the past.

Use this new approach to family dispute resolution to your advantage: start with Collaborative Divorce or Mediation and save yourself stress, time and money.

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