Family law in BC after March 18, 2013

Family law in BC changes under the new provincial Family Law Act, effective March 18, 2013.

The information on this site is updated to reflect the new law. If you have an agreement or court order made before March 18, 2013, it doesn't change under the new law.

If you're in the middle of a family law case started under the old provincial Family Relations Act, you don't have to refile any documents or change anything you've done so far.

Generally, the Family Law Act will apply to your case. There is one important exception: if you filed your case before March 18, 2013, the Family Relations Act (the old law) will continue to apply to any property issues in your case (except pensions).

If your family law case uses/used the federal Divorce Act, nothing will change. The changes only apply to cases under provincial law.

We've updated all our relevant materials to reflect the new law, including our:

We've also created a few new fact sheets and publications. See below for links to new and renamed material.

We'll continue to add new resources to the site to help you use the Family Law Act, so stay tuned. If you think something is missing, please send us an email to let us know.

Fact sheets

Best interests of the child
How can you become a guardian?
Making an agreement when you live together
Making an agreement after you separate
Parenting apart
Spending time with a child if you're not a guardian: Contact
When can you change a final order?

Who can help you reach an agreement?

Revised name Old name
All about court orders What makes an order final?
Can you appeal an order? Can you appeal an order for custody, access, guardianship, or child/spousal support?
Can you become a guardian of your younger brother or sister? Can you get custody of your younger brother or sister?
Can you move — With or without your child? Can you and your children move to another city when you share child custody and your ex doesn't agree with the move?
Costs and expenses Costs
Dealing with debts after separation (for married and common-law couples) Debts and common-law relationships
Divorce Contested (defended) divorce
If you started your Supreme Court case before July 1, 2010 Going to Supreme Court? Read this first!
Children's right to time with grandparents Grandparents' access rights
Guardianship: Parenting time and parental responsibilities Guardianship
How to divide property and debts Property issues and common-law relationships
Separation Separation agreements
Step-parents' rights and responsibilities Step-parents' rights

Self-help guides

Revised name Old name
How to start a family law case in Supreme Court How to fill out a Notice of Family Claim (Form F3)
How to get an interim family order in Supreme Court if you can't agree How to get a non-final family order if you can't agree
How to get an interim family order in Supreme Court if you both agree How to get a non-final family order if you both agree


Family Law in BC: Quick Reference Tool
Guide to the New BC Family Law Act
How to Become a Child's Guardian
New BC Family Law Act: Frequently Asked Questions
Revised name Old name
Aboriginal Child Protection Process (flow chart) Aboriginal Child Protection Process: Information for Aboriginal Parents and Communities
For Your Protection: Peace Bonds and Family Law Protection Orders For Your Protection: Peace Bonds and Restraining Orders

The Keeping Your Children Safe section in the Live Safe, End Abuse fact sheets and folder

Live Safe — End Abuse Fact Sheets: Custody, Guardianship, and Access

Getting Parenting and Support Orders: Provincial (Family) Court

Getting Initial Orders for Custody, Guardianship, Access, and Support Flow Chart: Provincial (Family) Court


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