Legislation

A number of different acts govern the Family Law process. The two most commonly used are the Divorce Act (applies to married individuals) and the Family Law Act (applies to unmarried individuals and those individuals who are married but are seeking a determination on certain issues without seeking a divorce). 

The issues of custody and access are governed by the Children’s Law Reform Act. This sets out the criteria for a determination of who has rights to a child, where a child should reside and what type of relationship a child should have with each party.

If a matter is in Court the legislation to review is the Family Law Rules. These rules set out the total court process from beginning to end. It outlines timelines, who to serve, where service should occur, documents to file, financial disclosure requirements and the various Court appearances.

The Federal Child Support Guidelines outline how child support is calculated and the amount to be paid. Schedules to the Guidelines provide provisions for what should and should not be included as income and factors to take into account where a payor is seeking a change in support. They also provide a comprehensive list of financial documents which should be provided on a yearly basis to determine the appropriate payment of child support.