Federal government delays implementation of Divorce Act amendments

5 June 2020

By Kevin Zakreski

Citing “extraordinary circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the federal department of justice announced today that it is delaying the implementation of significant amendments to the Divorce Act. Bill C-78 was slated to come into force on 1 July 2020, but with today’s announcement “the coming into force date has been deferred until March 1, 2021.”

As the department’s news release explained,

Many courts across the country are currently hearing only urgent family law matters, and governments are focused on addressing pandemic-related urgencies and priorities. All of this has made it impossible to undertake the necessary steps for implementation. We understand the changes to the Divorce Act are highly anticipated by family law professionals, provincial and territorial partners and Canadians affected by separation and divorce. However, our partners throughout the family justice system need enough time to implement the legislative changes, including by adjusting their own laws and regulations.

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