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Status Updates

Legislation passed - Bill 17

June 2022

    The Family Law Act, The Family Support Enforcement Act and The Inter-jurisdictional Support Orders Amendment Act received Royal Assent on June 1, 2022.

    The legislation includes two new Acts and an amending Act. The two new Acts repeal The Family Maintenance Act and replace it with The Family Law Act which governs the rights and duties of family members and The Family Support Enforcement Act which governs the enforcement of support obligations.

    The Family Law Act will harmonize Manitoba’s main family law statute with the Divorce Act to the extent possible. The two new Acts and the amending Act will come into force on a date set by proclamation.

    Schedule A–The Family Law Act

    • Governs the rights and duties of family members, including determination of parentage, child and spousal support, parenting arrangements, contact between children and grandparents or other family members others
    • Enhanced emphasis on the best interests of the child, minimizing conflict and promoting co operation
    • New family violence provisions to enhance awareness of impact and protection for family members in family law matters
    • Harmonizes Manitoba law with recent changes to the federal Divorce Act

    Schedule B–The Family Support Enforcement Act

    • Governs enforcement of support orders by the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP)
    • Carries over the existing provisions and includes new provisions to simplify certain processes and facilitate out of court resolution

    Schedule C–The Inter-jurisdictional Support Orders Act

    • Enable electronic transmission of documents and facilitate streamlined procedures relating to inter-jurisdictional child and spousal support cases
    • Harmonize procedures with recent changes to Divorce Act, including authority for the designated authority to refer incoming ISO child support applications & variation applications to the Child Support Service where appropriate.

    Note explicative is available at:



    Manitoba introduces Clare’s Law

    May 2022

      In November 2019, Manitoba’s Speech from the Throne committed to implementing Clare's Law in Manitoba, ensuring that residents could access information about their partner's past history of domestic violence and that police, shelters and privacy experts would be consulted to develop a disclosure protocol. This commitment was reiterated in the 2020 Mandate Letter to the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.

      Manitoba Status of Women and Manitoba Justice have moved forward together to advance a made in Manitoba approach in-line with the spirit of Clare’s Law. Successful development and implementation necessitates a citizen-centered and collaborative approach, led by a diverse Working Group comprised of community organizations, policing entities, and provincial service providers.

      A project team with experience in innovation and co-design assisted the Working Group to identify, define and recommend a made in Manitoba approach.

      The Manitoba government introduced Bill 43, The Disclosure to Protect Against Intimate Partner Violence Act, to give Manitobans access to an intimate partner’s documented history of violence and supports in May 2022.

      The design team continues to work with privacy experts to ensure the province’s approach to disclosure is appropriately respectful of the privacy of the person whose information is being disclosed. The bill is enabling legislation and many of the details of the process would be contained in the accompanying regulations and policies. The Act would come into effect on proclamation within the next 18 months approximately to allow time for further consultations and co-design work to be completed.

      Bill 43, The Disclosure to Protect Against Intimate Partner Violence Act - Loi sur la communication de renseignements pour la protection contre la violence de la part d'un partenaire intime with Explanatory Note – Note explicative is available at:



      Manitoba Government proclaims legislation to include parentage determinations for families that use assisted reproduction

      January 12, 2022

        The Manitoba government has made changes to The Family Maintenance Act to include parentage legislation for children conceived through assisted reproduction with or without surrogacy.

        The legislative changes came into effect December 2, 2021 and are included in The Family Maintenance Amendment Act.

        The Family Maintenance Act.

        The Family Maintenance Act, including the amendments.

        Information about parentage law, including the changes

        More information on the Family Law Modernization Action Plan.

        Vaccination for children

        December 29, 2021

          In a pandemic, conflict about vaccinating children can be very polarizing. This can cause great stress for parents and for children.

          The following are resources to assist parents:

          • The Family Resolution Service can offer mediation at no cost to separating or separated parents. To access the services of a Family Guide, please contact the service during regular business hours Monday- Friday at 204-945-2313 or Toll Free at 1-844-808-2313. You can also email getguidance@gov.mb.ca.
          • Mediation Services Winnipeg has recently launched a course on Covid conversations to support partners working through their opposing views. You can find more information at Covid Conversations: A Roadmap To Existing Together With Opposing Views.

          If you and the other parent are unable to mediate, you can connect with your family law lawyer for court based resolution options to address your concerns. The Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba has issued a Practice Direction regarding court applications about parental decision making on the vaccination of a child. Additional information is provided in the Practice Direction which can be found here:

          Practice Direction - Contested Motions Respecting the Vaccination of a Child

          University of Manitoba Community Legal Clinic is re-locating

          March 8, 2021

            The University of Manitoba Community Law Centre located on the campus of the University of Manitoba at Robson Hall is relocating to the Legal Aid Manitoba offices at 287 Broadway Ave, effective March 8, 2021.

            Re-locating to the downtown area increases access for clients, law students and Legal Aid practitioners, and is close to the Manitoba Law Courts. This location is accessible via several transportation routes and modes. This move ensures greater accessibility for those who require legal assistance.

            The office primarily handles summary conviction offences. In addition, it may provide assistance for Highway Traffic Act offences, small claims cases that involve consumer problems and individual disputes with Manitoba Public Insurance.

            To find out if you qualify for their services, please call 204-985-5206 and visit Legal Aid Manitoba's website for more details

            Changes to the Federal Divorce Act are in effect

            March 1, 2021

              For information about the March 1, 2021 changes to the Divorce Act (Canada), go to Information for families on the Justice Canada website.

              New Child Support Service able to make initial child support decisions and recalculations outside of court

              July 1, 2020

                Effective July 1, 2020, the Child Support Service will have the authority to make an initial child support calculation decision based on income information obtained from one or both parents, depending on the type of child support requested. The service can also recalculate an existing child support order, family arbitration award, or agreement by adjusting child support based on updated financial information. Decisions will be enforceable by the Maintenance Enforcement Program.

                For more information, see the Child Support section of the Family Law Manitoba website.

                The single-window Family Resolution Service Launched

                June 24, 2020

                  Phase 1 of the new single-window Family Resolution Service delivers a seamless continuum of public, private and community-based services to Manitobans and supports existing and future changes to family law. This “digital first, but not digital only” service allows for services to continue to be delivered uninterrupted by social distancing requirements. It recognizes Manitobans asked for more online options, but that others may prefer or require phone or in person support.

                  Examples of new services include:

                  • the ability to request information or provincial services through a single Get Guidance email and telephone number;
                  • Early Resolution Support Services (Phase 1 - see diagram) delivered by Family Guides with expertise in domestic violence and safety planning, conflict resolution and mediation, family law and court processes;
                  • triage and referrals to culturally and linguistically appropriate specialized services, which could include the new Child Support Service, Legal Aid or other financial, legal or health and social services; and
                  • support to complete any pre-requisites for court.

                    Manitobans can access the service by contacting a Family Guide at GetGuidance@gov.mb.ca or by calling 204-945-2313 (Winnipeg) or 1-844-808-2313 (toll-free).

                    Detailed information about the new service is available through the links below:

                    Manitoba Justice advances 100 Day Action Plan commitments on family law reform

                    Jan 2 2020

                    Speech from the Throne signals continued implementation of family law reforms

                    Nov 19 2019
                    • “Implement the remaining portions of the Family Law Reform initiative, to allow more families to benefit from the new processes for family law that are self-guided, support children and reduce red tape.”

                    100 Day Action Plan identifies family law reform as a priority for Manitoba Justice

                    Sep 18 2019
                    • “Implement the remaining portions of the Family Law Reform initiative, to allow more families to benefit from the new processes for family law that are self-guided, support children and reduce red tape.”

                    Schedules C and E of The Family Law Modernization Act come into force

                    Jul 1 2019
                    • Expanding administrative authority of the Maintenance Enforcement Program so parents can make support arrangements outside of court
                    • Ensuring arbitration awards made for Manitobans are enforceable

                    Bill C-78 Divorce Act Receives Royal Assent Jun 21 2019

                    Jun 21 2019
                    • Bill C-78 makes the first substantive changes to federal law in over 20 years
                    • Changes to the Divorce Act are anticipated to come into effect March 1, 2021

                    The Family Law Modernization Act is passed by the Manitoba Legislature

                    Jun 3 2019
                    • The Family Law Modernization is passed. Each Schedule comes into force on prescribed dates and upon Royal Assent.

                    Focus Groups are held to test a prototype of a Family Law app

                    Apr 28, 29 2019
                    • Over 50 service providers from the legal, social service, community,  academic, financial, domestic violence and court operations sectors test an app designed based on Manitobans’ feedback. Their input informs business requirements. Further testing to take place with Manitobans.

                    Manitoba Justice convenes first Collaboration Table to support Family Law Modernization

                    Apr 23 2019
                    • Monthly meetings of stakeholders from the public, private, community, and academic sectors provide advice and client perspectives to inform the design of new and improved family law services.

                    Bill 9 Family Law Modernization Act Introduced to the Manitoba Legislature

                    Mar 12 2019
                    • Bill 9 Family Law Modernization Act includes:
                      • Schedule A – The Family Dispute Resolution (Pilot Project) Act
                        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.
                      • Schedule B – The Child Support Service Act
                        Establish the Child Support Service and simplify child support processes so that thousands of matters can be addressed outside of court.
                      • Schedule C – The Arbitration Amendment Act (Family Law)
                        Ensure that family arbitration awards made for Manitobans are enforceable.
                      • Schedule D – The Provincial Court Amendment and Court of Queen’s Bench Amendment Act
                        Amend provisions respecting the appointment of a family evaluator, social worker or other person to evaluate a custody, access or related matter. The court may apportion the costs of evaluation between the parties.
                      • Schedule E – The Family Maintenance Amendment Act
                        Expand the administrative authority of the Maintenance Enforcement Program so parents can make support arrangements outside of court.
                      • Schedule F – The Inter-Jurisdictional Support Orders Act
                        Eliminate the need for copies of support orders from other jurisdictions to be certified before they can be filed in a Manitoba court; streamlining the process for the Maintenance Enforcement Program.

                    Manitoba Justice hosts public engagement sessions seeking innovative ideas for modernizing family law

                    Jan 2019
                    • Over 250 ideas were generated, converging into six big ideas:
                      • Responsive Web Application: Online profiles and tools for self-service
                      • Timelines, Incentives, and Penalties
                      • Support and Training for Parents
                      • Support and Education for Children
                      • Mandatory Mediation
                      • Improved Service Coordination

                    Manitoba Justice engages service providers to map clients’ journey through the current family law system

                    Nov 2018 – Feb 2019
                    • Dialogues with service providers identify key actions, touch points, resources and challenges faced by clients seeking to finalize a separation or divorce. Challenges point to key areas for improvement and better coordination of public, private and community service providers.

                    Speech from the Throne 2018 announces greater supports for victims of domestic violence in the family law system

                    Nov 20 2018
                    • “My government is enhancing supports for victims of domestic violence through two new pilot programs that, if successful, will be expanded throughout the province. The Family Support Worker Program will assist complainants who have been in an abusive relationship to navigate through our family court process. It will complement the family law modernization strategy and provide a full range of services to victims of domestic violence.
                    • Too often, the needs of victims have been overlooked as their partners were provided with programming through restorative justice and diversion programs. Victims of domestic violence, as well as offenders, need assistance to move forward with their lives. They will be provided with support to participate in the restorative justice processes, and the opportunity to take programming that will provide meaningful and healthy tools to help them process their experience.”

                    Budget 2018 references family law modernization efforts

                    Mar 12 2018
                    • “We are creating a more affordable, less adversarial family law system”

                    Speech from the Throne 2017 signals significant shifts in family law system

                    Nov 21 2017
                    • “We are reforming our family law system to better protect parents and children. Manitoba is putting families first with changes that will make family law more accessible and less adversarial for those who interact with the system.”

                    Advisory Committee on Modernizing Family Law Announced

                    Oct 18 2017
                    • The Manitoba government commits to modernizing family law.
                    • Allan Fineblit announced as chair of an advisory committee of representatives from the Court of Queen’s Bench, family lawyers and other community leaders.