The Family Law Act

The Family Law Act came into force on March 18, 2013. It replaces the Family Relations Act.

The Family Law Act puts the safety and best interests of the child first when families decide not to live together anymore. The act also:

  • Encourages families to resolve their disputes out-of-court
  • Clarifies parental responsibilities and the division of assets when couples separate and divorce
  • Addresses family violence, and
  • Provides a framework to determine legal parentage

The Ministry of Justice has prepared resources to support transition to the new act:

  • The Family Law Act Explained details the act section by section. It describes the intent of each section and notes where a section replaces, changes or carries-over a section of the Family Relations Act.
  • The Family Law Act Regulations Explained details the regulations section by section.
  • Answers to common questions about the act and the regulations.
  • The Table of Concordance lists corresponding section numbers between the Family Law Act and the Family Relations Act, and details which Family Relations Act sections the new Family Law Act sections carry forward, in full or in part.
  • Amendments to Court Rules gives information about amendments to the Supreme Court (Family) Rules and the Provincial Court (Family) Rules that reflect the Family Law Act.

You can find these and additional resources here.

This fact sheet by the Legal Services Society also provides answers to frequently asked questions about the Family Law Act, including information about what happens if you were separating or separated before the act took effect.

Legal Help & Advice

Check out these resources from the Legal Services Society:

Visit a Justice Access Centre:

Talk with a family justice counsellor at a Family Justice Centre.

Other Legal Resources

Child Support Information

International Child Abduction

British Columbia has a central authority that assists left-behind parents whose children have been abducted across international borders.
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