The Divorce Act Changes Explained

Duties – Court

Information regarding other orders or proceedings
(Section 7.8(2), Divorce Act)

New section

Information regarding other orders or proceedings

(2) In a proceeding for corollary relief and in relation to any party to that proceeding, the court has a duty to consider if any of the following are pending or in effect, unless the circumstances of the case are of such a nature that it would clearly not be appropriate to do so:

(a) a civil protection order or a proceeding in relation to such an order;

(b) a child protection order, proceeding, agreement or measure; or

(c) an order, proceeding, undertaking or recognizance in relation to any matter of a criminal nature.

In order to carry out the duty, the court may make inquiries of the parties or review information that is readily available and that has been obtained through a search carried out in accordance with provincial law, including the rules made under subsection 25(2).
Old section


What is the change

This amendment requires the court in all proceedings where there is a claim for corollary relief (for example a parenting order or support order), to consider, unless clearly inappropriate, whether other relevant proceedings, orders or instruments exist. To fulfill this duty, the court may inquire of the parties, or refer to information that has been obtained in accordance with a search provided for under provincial law.

Reason for the change

To properly consider an issue, the court must be aware of all relevant information, including legal orders and proceedings involving the parties. The amendment lists three general categories.

  1. Civil protection: Proceedings related to or orders made to protect a person’s safety. For example, a civil protection order limiting contact between family members can be relevant when the court considers a parenting matter or how the parties are to provide up-to-date information to one another in relation to support.
  2. Child protection: Proceedings or measures taken or orders made in the child protection context can be relevant to the determination of parenting matters.
  3. Criminal: Pending or existing criminal proceedings or orders, undertakings or recognizances are also potentially relevant. For example, a criminal court can order that an accused have no contact with a specific person for a specific period.


March 1, 2021.