Kiriak Law Blog

Amendments to Divorce Act – What you need to know

On March 1, 2021, section 12 of Bill C-78 comes into force.  It amends the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act.

A summary of the amendments:

  • Rule 6.10(2)(b) is amended to state that an electronic hearing may be held on the Court’s own initiative, without the requirement for a party to make an application.
  • Rule 12.26 amendments change the process for applications dealing with orders made by a competent authority outside Alberta and outside Canada.
  • Rules 12.44 and 12.45 are amended to add a process for a person other than a spouse to obtain or vary a parenting order or a contact order in respect of a child of the marriage.
  • Rule 12.451has been added to provide a process to vary, suspend or rescind a support order when the respondent habitually resides in a province outside of Alberta.
  • Rule 12.46 has been replaced with a new provision to address ongoing interjurisdictional applications to obtain or vary a support order under the Divorce Act when the respondent resides in a province outside of Alberta.
  • Rule 12.47 is replaced with a new provision to address incoming interjurisdictional applications to obtain or vary support orders under the Divorce Act when the applicant resides in a province or territory outside of Alberta or in a ‘designated jurisdiction’ outside Canada, identified under Alberta’s Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act as a ‘reciprocating jurisdiction.’
  • Rule 12.53 adds requirements for judgments and orders regarding parenting time, decision-making responsibility, contact and support.

What does this mean for you?

Most of the amendments are applicable to parents, specifically those that live primarily outside of Alberta or Canada.  The amendments have been made to enhance the best interests of the child of parents who are divorcing.  You can read about the Best Interests Criteria (Clause 12) by clicking here.

If you are considering divorcing and would like a legal team that truly cares about your best interests, we offer a free initial consultation.  Simply call us (780) 944-1777 or send us a request on our website.  We look forward to going the extra mile for you.

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