Upcoming Divorce Act Changes

  • February 05, 2021

As of March 1, 2021, both the Divorce Act and the Children’s Law Reform Act will be amended to include significant changes to divorce, separation and parenting. The changes to the Divorce Act include amendments to the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings regulation under that act. 

Beginning March 1, 2021, parties who apply for a divorce must provide the following new/additional information to the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings (CRDP) unit:

  • Each spouse’s surname and given names on the day before the day of the marriage, and
  •  Each spouse’s date of birth and gender on the day before the day of marriage

The forms under the Family Law Rules have been amended to include text fields for the collection of the above information. Please note that , effective March 1, 2021, parties must file using the correct family court form or their filing will be rejected and they will need to refile with the new version.

In order for staff to be able to process existing divorce claims in a timely way, the filing of divorce applications will not be accepted by email or through the Family Submissions Online portal from February 24, 2021 until March 1, 2021. Applications and Answers in which a claim for divorce can be made will also be temporarily removed from the dropdown list of eligible submissions on the portal during that time. The portal will, however, remain open for all other types of document submissions.

On a related note, the regulation to amend (most of) the Family Law Rules and forms has now been filed with the Registrar of Regulations. A smaller number of forms will be amended shortly (and prior to March 1). You can view the amended forms on the Ontario Courts website now and the updated, consolidated regulation on the e-laws website in the coming days. The amended forms will be greyed out and cannot be used prior to March 1, 2021, but we hope that by making the forms publicly available, members of the bar can take this time to familiarize yourselves with the changes prior to March 1st.