TORONTO, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - In an ongoing effort to contribute to family law
reform in Ontario, the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) today issued a
Consultation Paper inviting public input on a possible new family law reform
project for the LCO. The LCO will take responses into account in selecting one
of two potential projects.
The first proposed project deals with an overarching process issue within
the family justice system - the need to clarify the roles of system users
(children, parents and spouses, for example) and workers (social workers,
mediators and lawyers, for example) in order for the system to work
The second proposed project deals with Ontario's law related to the
matrimonial home. The project would analyze how different pieces of
legislation regulate ownership and use of matrimonial homes in Ontario and
also look at the impact of this legislation on specific groups such as
common-law couples and Aboriginal women.
Written submissions from the public are welcome until Friday, March 13,
The Consultation Paper summarizes key issues that were raised during
previous LCO consultations about family law, especially during the Family Law
Roundtable held by the LCO on September 13, 2008. It describes two options for
reform, which are intended as focal points for discussion and consultation.
Based on responses to the Consultation Paper and its own research, the LCO
will develop a family law project proposal to be submitted to its Board of
Governors for approval.
Previous LCO consultations made clear that there are widespread concerns
in the area of family law in Ontario. Issues range from specific substantive
issues such as the non-deductibility of the matrimonial home at the date of
marriage in the Family Law Act to overarching process issues such as the
interaction between public and private dispute mechanisms.
The LCO has already completed one project about pension division upon
marriage breakdown, an area of particular urgency. It is aware that much more
work must be done to increase access to justice in this area. "It has been
obvious from the beginning that family law is in need of considerable reform,"
said Dr. Patricia Hughes, Executive Director of the LCO. The task for the LCO
is to determine where it can make the greatest contribution in helping bring
Dr. Hughes said the LCO hopes to hear from diverse groups of Ontarians
who are active in family law. "We want to be sure our work is informed by
different perspectives on and experiences with family law," she added.
Launched last September, the LCO operates independently of government to
recommend law reforms to enhance access to justice.
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For further information:
For further information: Julie Lassonde, Research Lawyer, Law Commission
of Ontario, (416) 650-8232, JLassonde@lco-cdo.org