DivorceMate Forms update released
By Jennifer Pritchett, Associate Editor
DivorceMate Software Inc. has recently updated its Forms products in Ontario primarily to incorporate legislative changes as a result of the new Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 — which replaced the Child and Family Services Act, says the company’s president Michael Perlman.
The majority of changes in the new legislation came into force on April 30, he tells AdvocateDaily.com.
Perlman says Divorcemate works closely with government representatives to ensure that the Canadian software supplier updates its products in a timely fashion to reflect all legislative changes.
On its Ministry of Children and Youth Services website, the provincial government confirmed that the new law came into force on April 30, except for Part X, which comes into force in January 2020.
“The legislation puts children and youth at the centre of decision-making, and supports more accountable, responsive and accessible child, youth and family services. It also strengthens oversight for children's aid societies and licensed residential services,” the ministry says.
One key change includes raising the age of protection from 16 to 18 to increase protection services for more vulnerable youth in unsafe living conditions, to support their education and to reduce homelessness and human trafficking, says the government website.
Another change focuses on improving oversight of service providers, including children's aid societies, so that children and youth receive consistent, high-quality services across Ontario, it says.
To ensure DivorceMate’s products reflect these and other changes, approximately 35 child protection, status reviews and adoptions forms, plus a couple of mainstream family law forms (Form 10: Answer; Form 36A: Certificate of Clerk (Divorce)) were updated, Perlman says.
Perlman notes those forms have been updated in DivorceMate’s desktop software in MS Word only, although the mainstream forms have been updated in WordPerfect as a courtesy to those users who have not yet switched over to MS Word or DM Cloud.
“We also updated Form 10: Answer in DM Cloud, and added Form 36A: Certificate of Clerk (Divorce),” he says. “We don’t currently have child protection forms in our DM Cloud software, but will be adding them soon.”
DivorceMate additionally included upcoming changes to Form 14: Notice of Motion, Form 14C: Confirmation of Motion, and added the new Form 17F: Confirmation of Conference, as a result of imminent changes to the rules and timelines relating to service, filing and confirmations for both motions and Conferences. Although available now, these forms are not effective until July 1.
All users will be prompted to update their DivorceMate forms when they open their software, Perlman says.
“The update will automatically be available for DM Cloud users when they log in,” he says. “No action is required.”
Perlman recommends that users refer to the Family Law Rules, O. Reg. 114/99 and http://ontariocourtforms.on.ca/en/family-law-rules-forms/, for further detail.
On April 23, rule changes came into effect to support the Ministry of the Attorney General’s electronic filing service for joint divorce applications.
On April 30, multiple rule and form changes to support the new Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, S.O. 2017, c. 14 (including, but not limited to, changes to rules 8, 17, 25, 33 and 34, as well as 35 court forms) came into effect on the same date the new legislation was proclaimed.
On July 1, the rules and timelines relating to service, filing and confirmations for conferences and motions will also change. There are new confirmation forms for both motions and conferences.
Also on July 1, updated rules relating to costs — specifically sub-rules 17(18), 17(18.1) and 24(10) - 24(12.1) — will come into effect.