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BREAKING: Parliament has passed the Divorce Act overhaul!
Bill C-78 has now been passed by Parliament, and is awaiting royal proclamation. I previously wrote about each of the changes here: http://familycounsel.ca/news.php?id=355 It won't come into force until order of the Governor in Council though, so I'm not sure when that will be.
In addition to the changes listed in the above article, these are the most significant amendments which were passed between the first reading and the version as passed by Parliament:
Parliament has made it possible for a special 60-day-notice-of-relocation form to be prescribed by the regulations.
Applications to vary relocation notice rules will be able to be made without notice (as in the case of family violence).
The short 30-day period to object to a relocation is still in place, but instead of having to apply to the court, they've thankfully made it so that an objection in a form prescribed by the regulations can be served instead. There are also now rules about what needs to be set out in that notice.
Language rights have been set out. Divorce proceedings can be conducted in either English, French, or both languages. Pleadings, evidence, and submissions can be made in either English or French, and the court shall, upon request, provide simultaneous interpretation. A judge fluent in either offical language may be requested. Transcripts and judgments can be requested in either language. Court forms will also need to be provided in both official languages.
I'm pleased to see the language rights. This has been an issue for a few of my clients, and the ability to conduct proceedings in either, or both languages, and to obtain the forms in either language is fantastic! I just hope that they follow up with the resources so it doesn't cause undue strain on the system (eg, more bilingual judges and clerks).