Changes to Provincial Court Family Rules will improve access, support families

December 8, 2021 at 12:16 pm  BC, News, Politics

British Columbia families going through separation will soon have more access to parenting supports and courses, as well as continued support for different ways to attend court appearances, as a result of updates to the rules governing family court. 

Beginning Jan. 4, 2022, prior to appearing in Provincial Court family matters, participants will be required to take the Parenting After Separation or Parenting After Separation for Indigenous Families course. Currently, this is a requirement in only 21 of the 89 court registries in the province.

These courses help parents to make careful and informed decisions about their separation and offer strategies for keeping the focus on what is best for their child. The free courses are available online and are valuable resources for parents and family members, whether or not the court is involved.

Flexibility for how British Columbians appear in Provincial Court on family law-related matters, which was enhanced during the pandemic, is being extended long-term. Methods of attendance may include in-person, via telephone or video, or other electronic means.

The COVID-19 response resulted in common use of remote appearance options and provided access to improved technology. Continuing this flexibility helps maintain better access to the courts and can ease the effect of travel, time off work and child care on families.

Families sometimes become involved with multiple parts of the justice system at the same time, particularly in child protection cases when both the child protection system and the family justice system may be involved. Changes have been made to forms and a new Priority Parenting Matter has been added to the list of specific and time-sensitive issues that proceed directly to a judge. These will help identify and prevent delay in resolving cases where a family law order may be able to prevent or end a child being in care and help ensure stability for the child.

These updates to the Provincial Court Family Rules are part of a multi-year project of the Ministry of Attorney General and the Provincial Court to help families experiencing separation and divorce reduce conflict and work toward earlier, more collaborative resolutions, keeping the children’s best interests front and centre. The updates are being made based on feedback received since the introduction of the Provincial Court Family Rules in May 2021.

In addition to these changes to the Provincial Court Family Rules, the Province is working with the Provincial Court to design and launch a pilot project in Kamloops in May 2022 for informal trials for family law matters. The idea behind the informal trial pilot is to create a new trial process where a judge can take a more facilitative role to managing the conduct of the trial to better assist participants, especially those who are representing themselves.

The Province is also updating some family law-related forms, which will be available starting Jan. 4, 2022. The updated forms will allow registry staff to identify the method of attendance for the court appearance, better identify intersecting child protection matters and assist with filing an application at a court registry.

Learn More:

Order in Counsel #647/2021, which made these changes, can be found on BC Laws:
https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/oic/oic_cur/0647_2021

To access the Parenting After Separation courses, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/divorce/family-justice/who-can-help/pas

For a detailed explanation of rules for the Informal Trial Pilot Project (page 89), see PCFR Explained:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/law-crime-and-justice/about-bc-justice-system/justice-reform-initiatives/family-civil/pcrf-explained.pdf

To access family law resources, visit:
https://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/types-of-cases/family-matters/links

For information videos related to the rules, visit:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbER4Sxdn0R62zkLxpU88xG3vnOya9LY8

View the full article from the original source

No conversations yet

Activity Stream

Sat, Jan 15, 2022 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Georgina Point Heritage Park – Kamloops Trails
Thu, Jan 13, 2022 at 10:02 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Rest is good, but resolving global crises means not looking away
Thu, Jan 13, 2022 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Exploring the Hills in the Snow
Tue, Jan 11, 2022 at 8:30 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Red Rock Canyon Loop – Kamloops Trails
Sun, Jan 9, 2022 at 8:15 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: An Uplands Figure-Eight Hike – Kamloops Trails
Fri, Jan 7, 2022 at 8:40 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Pima Canyon – Kamloops Trails
Thu, Jan 6, 2022 at 1:49 pm - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Everything under the sun – David Suzuki Foundation
Wed, Jan 5, 2022 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: An Ironmask Hills Snow Stomp
Mon, Jan 3, 2022 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Doc Findlay Loop on the Snow
Sat, Jan 1, 2022 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Wandering in the Ironmask Hills
Full Stream

Upcoming Events

Thu Feb 24 to Sat Mar 5 WCT: Boom
Mon Feb 28 The Offspring
Thu Mar 24 to Sat Apr 2 WCT: Clean
Thu Mar 31 to Sat Apr 9 WCT: Kim’s Convenience
Thu Apr 21 to Sat May 7 WCT: Hey Viola!
Thu May 12 to Sat May 28 WCT: The Wizard of Oz
Thu Jun 2 to Sat Jun 11 WCT: Echoes of the Homesick Heart
All Events