ClickCease What’s new in family law in British Columbia? – SplitEasy

What’s new in family law in British Columbia?

What’s new in family law in British Columbia?

On November 24, 2011, BC’s new Family Law Act was introduced.  It came into effect on March 18, 2013.  This act has wide-reaching effects on family law in the province. 

Among the many changes, the new act allows judges to make a number of conduct orders. Conduct orders are court orders intended to help manage the court process, manage the people involved and encourage dispute settlement. 

These orders can:

  • order a spouse to attend counselling or out-of-court dispute resolution sessions such as mediation;
  • order a spouse to follow an existing court order;
  • restrict communication or contact between spouses; or
  • order a spouse to maintain the payments on the family home.

Conduct orders also include case management orders which can:

  • cancel or dismiss all or part of a claim;
  • instruct one party not to make any more court applications without the court’s permission; or
  • direct any future applications for orders to return to the same judge.

Except for protection orders, which are enforced by the police, all orders can be enforced by the courts in various ways, such as:

  • posting a bond to guarantee compliance with the order; 
  • paying a fine of up to $5,000 for not following the order; or 
  • sending the spouse to jail for up to 30 days for not following the order.

BC has been the most innovative province when it comes to improving court processes and remedies available to separating spouses and children.  Time will tell what impact these improvements will have on families.

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