What changes should be made to family law?
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88% in favour out of 16 votes
Edmonton Region, Alberta
Rule 12.48 came in before Hryniak v. Mauldin.0 9 months ago
I think it could be useful. Some scenarios
1) No kids. Simply divorce. Parties married for 30 days before separation, and now separated for 5 years. Statement of Claim issued for divorce only. Statement of Defence contests there has been a separation. Is this really something requiring trial? If evidence clearly shows there is no triable issue, why the extra steps?
2) Special chambers sorts out all parenting and support. Justice now sees there remain no further triable issues. Why not have summary judgment as an option to just get it done?
3) Parties are following an agreement they signed, and defendant is just not coming to the table to sign a divorce judgment. Again, no issues in dispute. Does plaintiff really need to be scheduling chambers to set the status quo in place and permission to file for divorce without consent?
I get that there are concerns about it potentially being abused, or not appropriate in murky situations of parenting, child support, spousal support, income, etc. But we could find a better middle ground. Perhaps no summary judgment without leave? Perhaps no summary judgment when there is no interim or final order for support?
Hryniak and Maudlin talks about the "culture shift" - trial should not be viewed as a default approach. Perhaps our rules should take this more seriously? And especially there may be a pragmatic purpose now with things being scheduled many months out that probably don't need that.
Just a thought I had, haven't really weighed the pros and cons, throwing it out there.