Moving Ontario Family Law Forward Act, 2020Published on September 25, 2020
Attorney General Doug Downey has introduced the Moving Ontario Family Law Forward Act, 2020, that if passed, would make it easier, faster, and more affordable for individuals and families to resolve family legal matters. The proposed changes follow extensive consultations with parents, child protection advocates, and family lawyers, arbitrators and mediators.
The Moving Ontario Family Law Forward Act includes common-sense changes to simplify Ontario’s family law system, allowing parents and guardians to spend less time on paperwork and court appearances and more of their time making plans to support and care for their children. The Moving Ontario Family Law Forward Act, 2020 proposes to:
- Make the family law appeals process clearer and easier to navigate;
- Harmonize Ontario’s family laws with federal legislation, to make it easier for Ontarians to navigate the system and understand their rights;
- Allow parents and caregivers to request certified copies of child support notices made by the online child support service, so child support amounts can be more easily managed or enforced outside the province; and
- Remove the requirement for family arbitrators to file arbitration award reports with the ministry, saving time and money.
Ontario is also working with the courts to expand the Dispute Resolution Officer program to Kitchener and Welland. Dispute Resolution Officers are senior family lawyers appointed by the Superior Court of Justice who work with families and guardians to determine their issues and help them work towards a settlement.
Individual and families encounter the family law system in some of life’s most difficult moments. The changes we are proposing will help simplify an outdated and complex family law system to prevent unnecessary strain in the process. By moving family law forward in our province, we will provide additional support to Ontario’s families and children when they need it most.
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