Ontario Family Law Changes (Part III – Notable Rules Amendments – Conferences)

Ontario Family Law Changes
Effective July 1, amendments to the Family Law Rules will impact the practice of Family Law in Ontario. Here are some of the most important changes relating to filing and serving documents specific to Conferences.
Current subrule 17(14), which simply required parties to file Confirmations of Conferences (current Form 14C, which will no longer be applicable to Conferences), will be revoked and replaced (effective July 1, 2018) with a more comprehensive set of rules, requiring Parties to Confirm Attendance. Let’s break them down.
First, parties will be required to “confer or attempt to confer orally or in writing with every other party about the issues that are in dispute.”
Parties will also be required to give a copy of the Confirmation of Conference (new Form 17F) to every other party, before being further required to give the Confirmation to the clerk.
The Confirmation will have to be given to the clerk no later than 2pm, 3 days before the conference date, via delivery to the court office or, if available, by fax or email.
Also effective July 1, 2018, old subrule 17(14.1) is revoked, and replaced with a series of rules prohibiting Late Briefs. Specifically, if a Confirmation is not filed with the clerk in accordance with the (above rules), there will be no conference. Further, there will be a duty to update and or correct given Confirmations where there is an opportunity to do so before the Conference date, by giving each other party and the clerk an updated copy (or in the case of a child protection case, only the clerk).
Moreover, there has been a minor change in the language of subrule 17(18) relating to Costs of an Adjourned Conference, providing for the rule’s application despite the otherwise contradictory and also to be amended subrule 24(10). A new subrule, 17(18.1) further explains that the court may elect to award such costs at a later stage in the case.
As you can see, these things can be tricky. We’re here to help.
Call us any time at 905-851-5909, or visit us at 240 Chrislea Road, Suite 100 in Vaughan, ON.
That’s all for now! Be sure to check out our next post about amendments to the Costs rules!

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