There have been some recent and exciting new laws in the areas of family law and Calgary municipal law that have come into effect recently:

Domestic Violence:

Known as Claire’s Law, Bill 17 has been passed as a law in Alberta.  This new law (modeled from the Claire’s Law in the UK) allows individuals to be given information from policing agencies about a current or potential partner’s criminal history (if any) with domestic violence. The government is currently working out the details of its deployment while the law in its infancy (Written by Cyndy D Morin, Family Lawyer, Resolve Legal Group).

Divorce Act:

On January 1, 2020, Albertans saw the first change to family law legislation for the year 2020: the replacement of the Matrimonial Property Act, and introduction to the Family Property Act. This change gave rights to some “common law” couples (referred to as “Adult Interdependent Partners” in Alberta) to share in their partner’s property upon the breakdown of the relationship. This change also allows partners to enter into cohabitation agreements that distribute their property upon breakdown of the relationship. These agreement are now also governed by the legislation itself rather than the law of contract, a right previously only afforded to married couples through prenuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements (written by Katie Ayer Student-at-Law Resolve Legal Group).

 Family Property Act – Are you in an unmarried partnership?The second change to the legislation will take effect on July 1, 2020. This change consists of  amendments made to the Divorce Act, which affects families across Canada. The Divorce Act will be amended to change how we deal with custody and access, the “best interests of the child” test, including when there is family violence, and relocating with a child of the marriage. These changes will help simplify the divorce process in Canada by providing guidelines for lawyers and families going through divorce where the above issues are present. (written by Katie Ayer Barrister and solicitor, Resolve Legal Group)