Message from the Chair 2018

  • October 04, 2018

Melanie Del Rizzo

Greetings from the CBA Family Law Section! I am a family lawyer from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, and am pleased and honoured to be the current Chair of the Section. We wanted you to take a glimpse at the important work we are doing on behalf of members and families across the country, while asking for your input on some current issues in family law. Our members can access many of our resources, including submissions that can be very useful in our practice. As you can see below, our current executive is very busy working on many interesting projects:



The Section’s Tax Matters Toolkit has been updated! This is a useful resource for both CBA members and the general public, with toolkits for both lawyers and clients. As we are committed to keeping the Toolkit up to date and relevant, we are seeking comments, and/or suggestions for improvement. If there is any current issue, or tax related problem you have encountered in your practice that you wish to have covered, or perhaps covered in more detail, please send us your comments or concerns.

This year, the Executive meeting will be held in Ottawa, on November 23 and 24, in conjunction with the Department of Justice representatives and representatives from Finance and the Canada Revenue Agency. We continue to advocate in many areas, including tax matters such as the Eligible Dependent Deduction in cases of shared care, and the deductibility of legal fees. We also may have the opportunity to raise members’ issues and concerns which will be provided in relation to the Tax Toolkit update with representatives of Finance and the CRA at this meeting.

THE VIDEO PROJECT illustrating the value of legal representation is now complete. The last step is the creation of a platform to distribute these videos, making them available for other appropriate uses such as Law Day, and for CBA members to include them on their personal webpages, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.

The videos tie in to the Find-a-Lawyer Directory, which assists clients in finding legal representation. The Section advocated for the continuation of this directory, and the CBA Communications department began marketing it this summer so members across the country can sign-up. The directory has been featured in various email communications, social media channels and Section webpages. Sign up!


The Family Section is currently reviewing the proposed amendments to the Divorce Act in Bill C-78, which will be the most significant change to the Divorce Act in decades. The Bill also proposes amendments to the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act, and the Garnishment, Attachment, and Pension Diversion Act. We are currently working on the Section’s submissions with respect to this Bill, and will make these available online once completed.


We make efforts to bring legal education to communities across the country. In a recent visit to Victoria and Nanaimo, B.C., we met with law students, and presented legal education to the members of the Bar, and to the public.


Pension Plans — Solvency Funding
Caregivers — Pathways to Permanent Resident
Employment Insurance — Extended Parental Benefits
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child — Third Optional Protocol


Beyond Groia: Civility, Good Faith, And Professional Misconduct

I am very excited to be Chair of the Section during this very dynamic and busy year for family law across the country. We encourage you to get involved with our work by contacting us throughout the CBA year.


Melanie Del Rizzo,
Chair, CBA Family Law Section