Call out to all Family lawyers: help us make 2019 the best year yet!

  • January 29, 2019

Our Section had a busy 2018: we have worked on various submissions including the one proposing amendments to the Divorce Act in Bill C-78, which will be the most significant change to the Divorce Act in decades. You can listen to our Chair, Melanie Del Rizzo, address the House of Commons committee here, and read about the committee's various recommendations which resulted from their study of the Bill here. We were very pleased to see that after extensive debate and objections from various groups, the Bill continues to maintain the focus on the best interests of the child, with no presumptions with respect to parenting schedules. As well, several other Section recommendations were followed in amendments to the provisions concerning relocation, and in recommendations to ensure that Canadians can now obtain a Divorce in both official languages.

We have also recently finalized a submission on the proposed regulations under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act.

This year, the Executive Committee meeting was held in Ottawa on November 23 and 24, 2018 in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s Family and Children’s Law and Policy Unit, Family, Children and Youth Section and representatives from Finance Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency. We continued 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.

Our Tax Toolkit has been updated with current links and terminology. Please send us any concerns so that we can continue to address these issues with representatives of Finance Canada and the CRA. In addition, check out our Successfully Parenting Apart Toolkit, with the best resources available for you and your clients, and Legal Health Checks to help clients identify and avoid legal problems.

2019 is looking even more promising with the following initiatives:

THE VIDEO PROJECT illustrating the value of legal representation is now complete, so stay tuned for the official launch later this month. Take the time to Sign up to the Find a Lawyer tool as the videos tie into this directory which assists clients in finding legal representation. Available for other uses such as Law Day, for CBA members to include them on their personal webpages, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, these videos are a great way to gain visibility, engage with your peers and attract potential clients!


With representation in almost every Province and Territory, our Section’s Branches are keeping busy as well. Take a look at the upcoming events happening across Canada in 2019:

  • January AB: Town Hall at the Courthouse shall be chaired by the Honourable Madame Justice Anderson for all members of the family law Bar in Calgary and surrounding communities. Justices from Queen Bench and Provincial Court also attend, schedules permitting. Family law lawyers present any concerns in advance or on the day of the town hall.
  • February AB: Danica Doucette Preville, Wills and Estates lawyer, shall present on “What happens if your family law client dies?” As part of the program at Alberta Family Law Section.
  • February NB: annual CBA-NB Mid-Winter meeting will be taking place in Fredericton.
  • March AB: Doug Moe Q.C. and Lonny Balbi shall present on “Review of spousal support principles”.
  • April AB: Jonathan Griffith shall present on Cultural Fluency for LGBTQ2.
  • April NS: We are planning a one-day conference in April to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our Family Division.
  • May NS: a bench and bar dinner which is very popular (with both the judges and members) and a social event in June. The meetings have a networking component and a PD component. We have different speakers come to talk to the group for about an hour.

We encourage you to join the events that our Section is organizing in your jurisdiction or simply use your social media to raise awareness about all activities.

We are always looking for volunteers so if you would like to get involved with our work please contact us anytime throughout the year.