What happens to my restraining orders made under the Family Relations Act?

Starting March 18, 2013, restraining orders will no longer be made under the Family Relations Act. As of March 18, 2013, the court will make protection orders under the Family Law Act.

Restraining orders made under the Family Relations Act remain in place and are not affected by the Family Law Act. This ensures people do not lose the protection of restraining orders without their knowledge.

Having a restraining order does not prevent a person from seeking a protection order.

Where there is an ongoing safety risk, the person should consider seeking a protection order. A Family Law Act protection order has more benefits than a Family Relations Act restraining order, including more effective enforcement.

The Family Relations Act restraining orders are enforced through the family court, whereas the Family Law Act protection orders are enforced through the criminal justice system. This change makes enforcement more effective because it uses tools police are already familiar with.