The Manitoba government is introducing groundbreaking, first-in-Canada legislation that would modernize the province’s family law system to improve outcomes for families and children, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“Our government is committed to making a difference in the lives of Manitobans by modernizing our family law system to make it less complex, less adversarial, and less damaging for families and children,” said Cullen. “To move forward with this strategy, we are introducing enabling legislation and strengthening the services available to Manitobans. Modernization of the family law system will be phased in over the next two years with Manitobans acting as essential partners in designing the tools and services they need.”

Manitoba’s modernization of family law will focus on improving access to justice, ensuring timeliness and service excellence, creating value for money for Manitobans, and lessening the social cost of conflict caused by divorce and separation. To help achieve this, the Manitoba government has introduced the family law modernization act, which would:
• simplify child support processes so that thousands of matters can be addressed outside of court, beginning this fall;
• expand the administrative authority of the Maintenance Enforcement Program so parents can make support arrangements outside of court;
• ensure that family arbitration awards made for Manitobans are enforceable, beginning this fall; and
• create a three-year pilot to test a new family dispute resolution model, which includes the creation of a new Family Dispute Resolution Service to more effectively deal with matters outside of court, to be launched in early 2020.

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