March 18, 2013: Changes to the Provincial Court (Family) Rules come into effect today, to bring it into conformity with the Family Law Act, which replaces the previous Family Relations Act today. There are also some changes to Rule 21 (Parenting After Separation Program).
The changes impact the forms used to file for uncontested divorces as either a Sole Applicant or as Joint Applicants. The changes to the forms are mostly in the words used on them. For example, “child or spousal maintenance” is now described in the paperwork as “child or spousal support” and parental maintenance is not provided for under the new Family Law Act.
Purchasers of the current versions of the BC Do Your Own Divorce Kit (Joint) and BC Do Your Own Divorce Kit (Sole) will be able to download updated forms and instructions via the Update mechanism in the kits on Wednesday, March 20.
If You Have Filed
If you made an initial filing in your divorce action before March 18, but the process is not yet complete, we believe the BC Registries will continue to accept the “old” forms until your Certificate of Divorce is issued, as this has been their practise in the past.
If you have not made your initial filing yet, you should do so using the new forms (if you were planning to file the initial papers this week, call your registry and check if they will accept the old paperwork). The new forms are not dramatically different from the old ones, with most of the changes being in the wording pre-printed on the forms, so copying what you have already done in the old forms to the new ones should not be hard.