Order Fixing July 1, 2020 as the Day on which Certain Provisions of that Act Come into Force: SI/2019-82
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 153, Number 17
SI/2019-82 August 21, 2019
AN ACT TO AMEND THE DIVORCE ACT, THE FAMILY ORDERS AND AGREEMENTS ENFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE ACT AND THE GARNISHMENT, ATTACHMENT AND PENSION DIVERSION ACT AND TO MAKE CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS TO ANOTHER ACT
Order Fixing July 1, 2020 as the Day on which Certain Provisions of that Act Come into Force
P.C. 2019-1143 August 7, 2019
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, pursuant to subsection 126(1) of An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, chapter 16 of the Statutes of Canada, 2019, fixes July 1, 2020 as the day on which subsections 1(1) to (4), (6) and (7), sections 2 to 6 and 8 to 15, subsection 16(2), sections 17 to 19, 21, 22 and 23 to 25, subsection 28(3) and sections 32 to 35 of that Act come into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
Pursuant to subsection 126(1) of An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, the Order fixes July 1, 2020, as the day on which subsections 1(1) to (4), (6) and (7), sections 2 to 6 and 8 to 15, subsection 16(2), sections 17 to 19, 21, 22 and 23 to 25, subsection 28(3) and sections 32 to 35 of the Divorce Act, come into force.
The objective of the Order is to fix a specific date for the coming into force of amendments to the Divorce Act aimed at
- promoting the best interests of the child;
- addressing family violence;
- helping to reduce child poverty; and
- making Canada’s family justice system more accessible and efficient.
An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act strengthens and modernizes Canada’s family justice system, promotes access to justice and makes federal family laws more responsive to Canadian families’ needs.
Several provisions of the Divorce Act will be brought into force through this Order on July 1, 2020:
Subsections 1(1) to (4), (6) and (7) address definitions.
Sections 2, 3, 4 and 5 address jurisdiction when proceedings are commenced on different days or on the same day.
Section 6 addresses jurisdictional issues.
Section 8 addresses duties of parties, legal advisers and the court.
Section 9 repeals section 9 of the Act.
Section 10 defines “collusion”.
Section 11 repeals a heading.
Section 12 introduces best interests of the child criteria, addresses parenting orders, contact orders, parenting plans, changes in place of residence, relocation.
Section 13 addresses variation orders.
Section 14 addresses proceedings between provinces and other jurisdictions to obtain, vary, rescind or suspend support orders, or to recognize decisions from other jurisdictions.
Section 15 addresses the legal effect, enforcement, compliance and assignment of orders and decisions throughout Canada.
Subsection 16(2) makes a change to subsection 20.1(2) of the French version of the Act.
Section 17 repeals subsection 21.1(1) of the Act.
Sections 18 and 19 address recognition of foreign divorces.
Section 21 clarifies that the Canada Evidence Act applies to proceedings before the Federal Court.
Section 22 addresses the means of presenting submissions in a proceeding.
Section 23 is a consequential amendment.
Sections 24 and 25 address provincial child support services for the calculation and recalculation of child support.
Subsection 28(3) is a consequential amendment.
Section 32 repeals section 33 of the Act.
Section 33 addresses variation and enforcement of orders previously made.
Section 34 deals with transitional provisions.
Section 35 replaces “ordinarily” with “habitually” in the Act.
By fixing a later coming-into-force date, this Order provides notice of the changes to the Divorce Act before they come into effect, and provides sufficient time for federal, provincial and territorial governments to make the necessary adjustments to the family justice system that are required in light of the changes to the Act.
This Order makes clear for Canadians when the Divorce Act amendments come into force.
New federal family law regulations and changes to existing regulations are required in light of the amendments to the Divorce Act. Public legal education and information materials also require changes. In addition, family justice systems and services at the federal, provincial and territorial levels need to adapt to the Divorce Act amendments. Fixing the comingintoforce date at least one year in advance provides federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as other stakeholders (i.e. legal practitioners, law societies, legal information providers as well as the public) the time necessary to adapt to the changes and, if applicable, update their legislation, regulations or information to reflect the Divorce Act amendments. Specifying a particular date will also provide clarity to family law litigants — many of whom are unrepresented — about when the new Divorce Act provisions will be applicable.
The Minister of Justice hears regularly from Canadians on family law-related matters.
The Department of Justice has consulted on Bill C-78 with provincial and territorial family law officials who, as those responsible for the delivery of family justice services, deal directly with families undergoing separation and divorce. Consultation on policy direction has also taken place with family law experts. In addition, the Department conducts a survey of family law lawyers and judges every two years and is in regular contact with key stakeholders through various forums and monitors their recommendations about family law.
Family and Children’s Law and Policy Unit (Family, Children and Youth Section)