Family Law

Divorce and separation are some of the most stressful situations a family can experience and family law is complex. This website provides general information. You are encouraged to contact a lawyer for professional legal advice and help with family law issues.

Family Law

The Divorce Act changed as of March 1, 2021. There are no changes to the grounds for divorce or how to apply for divorce. The most significant difference is the change in terminology. The Act now uses “parenting arrangements” (formerly known as “custody and access”) to describe where the children will live and how decisions about them will be made.

The Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act (FOAEAA) changed as of November 15, 2023. Part I of the FOAEAA now allows for the release of a person’s income information to assist in support cases . For more information see Helping with Family Obligations.

As of February 1, 2024, families in Ontario and Manitoba may be eligible to receive child or spousal support for which they were not previously eligible from parents outside Canada. Families in British Columbia may be eligible on March 1, 2024. To learn more, see Enforcement of child and spousal support payments between provinces, territories and countries.

Services and information

Changes to family laws

Changes to the Divorce Act came into force on March 1, 2021. Changes to federal support enforcement laws will come into force at different times over the next two years. Learn how these changes may affect you.

Child Support

Children need financial support from their parents – and they have a legal right to it.

Divorce and Separation

If you separate or divorce, you will need to make many important decisions such as where you will live and how you will manage your finances.

Helping with Family Obligations

A support order from a court is a legal document.

Family Justice Services

If you are dealing with divorce, separation or other family law issues, you're not alone.

Parenting Arrangements

When deciding how to care for your children during and after a separation or divorce, there are a lot of things to think about.

Spousal Support

Spousal Support is money paid by one spouse to the other after they separate or divorce.


Please note that, as of November 18, 2013, Publishing and Depository Services no longer administers Crown copyright and licensing on behalf of Government of Canada departments and agencies.

Provincial and Territorial Government Web Sites

The Constitution gives federal, provincial and territorial governments specific powers for family law in Canada.

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The Department of Justice does not provide any direct legal assistance or advice to the general public nor does it assist in legal research.