Family Justice in Ontario to be Reformed

Provincial Attorney General Chris Bentley today announced improved access to the family justice system.

The reforms are intended to:

  • Provide more information to families up front about the steps they need to take and the impact on children when relationships break down;
  • Enhance opportunities to identify issues, ensure early disclosure and provide community referrals to better support families in reaching resolutions;
  • Improve access to legal advice as well as less adversarial means of resolving issues such as mediation and collaborative family law; and,
  • Streamline and simplify the steps involved for those cases that must go to court

As of 1st March 2010, the reforms provide that:

  • Every person applying for custody of or access to a child will complete a sworn statement, setting out the facts and circumstances that relate to the child’s best interests.
  • Financial information relating to child support payments will be required to be disclosed on an annual basis.
  • A parent whose name was left off their child’s birth certificate will be able to apply to a court to have their surname added to the child’s surname when the court grants a declaration of parentage.