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My “Big Three” BC Family Law Information Powerhouses

by Susanna Jani
March 2012

Distance Family Mediation by Susanna Jani

Susanna Jani

It comes as no surprise that many of our readers have been wondering about British Columbia’s new Family Law Act. I confess to wondering about it also. It has been quite a few months since it received Royal Assent, and the suspense about it is beginning to grow. When will it actually come into force? What will it look like once it is all dressed up in its rules and regulations? How will mediation fit in? And – most importantly for many of our readers undergoing separation or divorce – what will the new Act mean for them and for their children?

If you are anything like me, you don’t want to miss the answers to these questions as they become available. But, where do you go if you want to be in the complex information loop we’ve got happening these days?

Below are three information powerhouses I am personally keeping a watchful eye on. I’ll be looking to these sites not only because I figure they are the most likely to quickly release the latest news on the Act, but also because they have historically, consistently given me the type of information I look for when it comes to BC family law matters:

1. The Courthouse Libraries BC Family Law Practice Portal
This site, in my view, is peerless in its coverage of family law developments in BC. Be sure to check out “New and Notable”, the amazing “Asked and Answered” section and their immensely popular blog, “The Stream: Family Law”, with its stellar guest bloggers. The site also links to a variety of key family-related resources, such as the Divorce Act, Family Maintenance Enforcement Act, Federal Child Support Amounts: Simplified Tables, BC Supreme Court Family Rules and Forms. You can stay on top of the new postings by subscribing to the site’s RRS or Email Alert.

2. JP Boyd’s BC Family Law Resource Blog
The incomparable JP Boyd is my all-time favourite family law blogger. His Family Law Resource blog is a veritable treasure trove of easy to understand facts and interpretations about everything related to BC family law. He has also been proving himself to be particularly fast when it comes to getting news out about the new Family Law Act. Were I a betting woman, I’d put my money on JP being the first out of the gate with the next updates on the Act. To keep a tab on this superb blog, you can subscribe to the RSS feed. You may want to note that it is a bit of a hunt to find the subscription buttons – they are in the right hand panel, just under “Popular Links”.

3. The Legal Services Society Family Law website
This website is hard to beat for sheer breadth of information. With all its self-help guides, factsheets, information videos, multilingual resources, links to acts and regulations (and much, much more), the site covers pretty well any family related topic I can think of – and in language even I can understand. Their Family Law News page provides a wonderfully succinct, bird’s eye view of developments in BC. It also links to the Society’s brand new blog on the Family Law Act, posted on their Electronic Legal Aid News website. RSS feeds are available to help you keep a watch on updates to both pages.

These are my “Big Three”. If you have your own favourite sources for information on BC family law, in particular the new Family Law Act, I hope you’ll let us know what they are.


For a decade, Susanna Jani was Roster Administrator for the B.C. Mediator Roster Society*, managing its day-to-day operations, activities and projects, including the initial research phase of the Distance Family Mediation Project. In 2009, she followed her passion for this environmentally-friendly project and became Project Coordinator for its second, pilot phase which tested the delivery of distance family mediation services in remote, non-urban areas of British Columbia. She remains Project Coordinator for the current, province-wide test phase of the Distance Family Mediation Project. Prior to her work for the Society, Susanna worked as an independent researcher, conducting field research and providing data analysis and interpretation for evaluations and projects relating to justice, employment, social and family services.

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