Family Law Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3

JurisdictionOntario

Family Law Act

R.S.O. 1990, Chapter F.3

Consolidation Period: From April 19, 2021 to the e-Laws currency date.

Last amendment: 2021, c. 4, Sched. 9, s. 7.

CONTENTS

Preamble

Whereas it is desirable to encourage and strengthen the role of the family; and whereas for that purpose it is necessary to recognize the equal position of spouses as individuals within marriage and to recognize marriage as a form of partnership; and whereas in support of such recognition it is necessary to provide in law for the orderly and equitable settlement of the affairs of the spouses upon the breakdown of the partnership, and to provide for other mutual obligations in family relationships, including the equitable sharing by parents of responsibility for their children;

Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Definitions

1 (1) In this Act,

“child” includes a person whom a parent has demonstrated a settled intention to treat as a child of his or her family, except under an arrangement where the child is placed for valuable consideration in a foster home by a person having lawful custody; (“enfant”)

“child support guidelines” means the guidelines established by the regulations made under subsections 69 (2) and (3); (“lignes directrices sur les aliments pour les enfants”)

“cohabit” means to live together in a conjugal relationship, whether within or outside marriage; (“cohabiter”)

“court” means the Ontario Court of Justice, the Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice or the Superior Court of Justice; (“tribunal”)

“domestic contract” means a domestic contract as defined in Part IV (Domestic Contracts); (“contrat familial”)

“parent” includes a person who has demonstrated a settled intention to treat a child as a child of his or her family, except under an arrangement where the child is placed for valuable consideration in a foster home by a person having lawful custody; (“père ou mère”, “parent”)

“regulations” means the regulations made under this Act; (“règlements”)

“spouse” means either of two persons who,

(a) are married to each other, or

(b) have together entered into a marriage that is voidable or void, in good faith on the part of a person relying on this clause to assert any right. (“conjoint”) R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 1 (1); 1997, c. 20, s. 1; 1999, c. 6, s. 25 (1); 2005, c. 5, s. 27 (1, 2); 2006, c. 19, Sched. C, s. 1 (1, 2, 4); 2014, c. 7, Sched. 9, s. 1; 2020, c. 25, Sched. 3, s. 1.

Polygamous marriages

(2) In the definition of “spouse”, a reference to marriage includes a marriage that is actually or potentially polygamous, if it was celebrated in a jurisdiction whose system of law recognizes it as valid. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 1 (2).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

1997, c. 20, s. 1 - 01/12/1997; 1999, c. 6, s. 25 (1) - 20/11/1999

2005, c. 5, s. 27 (1, 2) - 09/03/2005

2006, c. 19, Sched. C, s. 1 (1, 2, 4) - 22/06/2006

2014, c. 7, Sched. 9, s. 1 (1, 2) - 04/04/2016

2020, c. 25, Sched. 3, s. 1 - 20/11/2020

Procedural and other miscellaneous matters

Staying application

2 (1) If, in an application under this Act, it appears to the court that for the appropriate determination of the spouses’ affairs it is necessary or desirable to have other matters determined first or simultaneously, the court may stay the application until another proceeding is brought or determined as the court considers appropriate. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 2 (1).

All proceedings in one court

(2) Except as this Act provides otherwise, no person who is a party to an application under this Act shall make another application under this Act to another court, but the court may order that the proceeding be transferred to a court having other jurisdiction where, in the first court’s opinion, the other court is more appropriate to determine the matters in issue that should be determined at the same time. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 2 (2).

Applications in Superior Court of Justice

(3) In the Superior Court of Justice, an application under this Act may be made by action or application. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 2 (3); 2006, c. 19, Sched. C, s. 1 (1).

Statement re removal of barriers to remarriage

(4) A party to an application under section 7 (net family property), 10 (questions of title between spouses), 33 (support), 34 (powers of court) or 37 (variation) may serve on the other party and file with the court a statement, verified by oath or statutory declaration, indicating that,

(a) the author of the statement has removed all barriers that are within his or her control and that would prevent the other spouse’s remarriage within that spouse’s faith; and

(b) the other party has not done so, despite a request. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 2 (4).

Idem

(5) Within ten days after service of the statement, or within such longer period as the court allows, the party served with a statement under subsection (4) shall serve on the other party and file with the court a statement, verified by oath or statutory declaration, indicating that the author of the statement has removed all barriers that are within his or her control and that would prevent the other spouse’s remarriage within that spouse’s faith. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 2 (5).

Dismissal, etc.

(6) When a party fails to comply with subsection (5),

(a) if the party is an applicant, the proceeding may be dismissed;

(b) if the party is a respondent, the defence may be struck out. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 2 (6).

Exception

(7) Subsections (5) and (6) do not apply to a party who does not claim costs or other relief in the proceeding. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 2 (7).

Extension of times

(8) The court may, on motion, extend a time prescribed by this Act if it is satisfied that,

(a) there are apparent grounds for relief;

(b) relief is unavailable because of delay that has been incurred in good faith; and

(c) no person will suffer substantial prejudice by reason of the delay. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 2 (8).

Incorporation of contract in order

(9) A provision of a domestic contract in respect of a matter that is dealt with in this Act may be incorporated in an order made under this Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 2 (9).

Act subject to contracts

(10) A domestic contract dealing with a matter that is also dealt with in this Act prevails unless this Act provides otherwise. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 2 (10).

Registration of orders

(11) An order made under this Act that affects real property does not affect the acquisition of an interest in the real property by a person acting in good faith without notice of the order, unless the order is registered in the proper land registry office. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 2 (11).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2006, c. 19, Sched. C, s. 1 (1) - 22/06/2006

Mediation

3 (1) In an application under this Act, the court may, on motion, appoint a person whom the parties have selected to mediate any matter that the court specifies. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 3 (1).

Consent to act

(2) The court shall appoint only a person who,

(a) has consented to act as mediator; and

(b) has agreed to file a report with the court within the period of time specified by the court. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 3 (2).

Duty of mediator

(3) The mediator shall confer with the parties, and with the children if the mediator considers it appropriate to do so, and shall endeavour to obtain an agreement between the parties. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 3 (3).

Full or limited report

(4) Before entering into mediation, the parties shall decide whether,

(a) the mediator is to file a full report on the mediation, including anything that he or she considers relevant; or

(b) the mediator is to file a limited report that sets out only the agreement reached by the parties or states only that the parties did not reach agreement. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 3 (4).

Filing and copies of report

(5) The mediator shall file with the clerk or registrar of the court a full or limited report, as the parties have decided, and shall give a copy to each of the parties. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 3 (5).

Admissions, etc., in the course of mediation

(6) If the parties have decided that the mediator is to file a limited report, no evidence of anything said or of any admission or communication made in the course of the mediation is admissible in any proceeding, except with the consent of all parties to the proceeding in which the mediator was appointed. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 3 (6).

Fees and expenses

(7) The court shall require the parties to pay the mediator’s fees and expenses and shall specify in the order the proportions or amounts of the fees and expenses that each party is required to pay. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 3 (7).

Idem, serious financial hardship

(8) The court may require one party to pay all the mediator’s fees and expenses if the court is satisfied that payment would cause the other party or parties serious financial hardship. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 3 (8).

PART I
FAMILY PROPERTY

Definitions

4 (1) In this Part,

“court” means a court as defined in subsection 1 (1), but does not include the Ontario Court of Justice; (“tribunal”)

“matrimonial home” means a matrimonial home under section 18 and includes property that is a matrimonial home under that section at the valuation date; (“foyer conjugal”)

“net family property” means the value of all the property, except property described in subsection (2), that a spouse owns on the valuation date, after deducting,

(a) the spouse’s debts and other liabilities, and

(b) the value of property, other than a matrimonial home, that the spouse owned on the date of the marriage, after deducting the spouse’s debts and other liabilities, other than debts or liabilities related directly to the acquisition or significant improvement of a matrimonial home, calculated as of the date of the marriage; (“biens familiaux nets”)

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