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DivorceMate updates forms to reflect Family Law Rules amendments

DivorceMate Software Inc. updated its Forms products in Ontario to incorporate amendments to the province’s Family Law Rules, O. Reg. 114/99, says the company’s consultant Christine Montgomery.

“Often when the rules change, it has a knock-on effect on our forms,” Montgomery, who is also a lawyer, tells AdvocateDaily.com. “In this case, there are significant changes to time limits that practitioners in the area should be aware of, and a number of form changes, as well as a new form that have been introduced as a result of the changes.”

The changes came into effect on July 1 and affect timelines concerning motions and conferences, with a number of deadlines extended.

“The idea is that parties can properly respond with more advance notice, which hopefully will result in fewer adjournments,” Montgomery says.

The amendments concerning motions include the following:

  • Initiating motion materials, affecting Forms 14, 14A and 14B, must be served at least six days before the motion date and filed at least four days before. The old rules allowed them to be served as few as four days in advance and filed within two days of the motion date

  • Responses to Form 14 must be served and filed at least four days before the motion date (responses to Form 14B must be served and filed within four days of being served)

  • Replies to Form 14 must be served and filed at least three days before the motion date (replies to Form 14B are not allowed)

  • Form 14C, the Confirmation of Motion, must be filed with the clerk before 2 p.m. three days before the motion date, a day earlier than under the old rules. Issues must also have been discussed, or at least attempted to be discussed, with all other parties, before filing, and the Confirmation must have been provided to all parties, except in child protection cases. Any corrected Confirmations must also go to all parties and the clerk before the motion.

For conferences, Montgomery says the following changes have been made:

  • The Requesting Party’s Brief must be served at least six days in advance of the conference date, compared with seven days under the old rule. This is actually an extension of time as Rule 3(2) provides that for time periods less than seven days — Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays do not count as part of the time period

  • The Confirmation of Conference, which is the new Form 17F, must be provided to the clerk before 2 p.m. three days ahead of the conference, one day earlier than the old rules. Like the rules for motion confirmations, conference issues must also have been discussed, or at least attempted to be discussed, with all other parties before filing. The Confirmation must have been provided to all parties, except in child protection cases, and any corrected Confirmations must also go to all parties and the clerk.
Montgomery cautions that anyone who tries to file the outdated forms with the court will have them rejected, and it is therefore important to ensure that you have updated your DivorceMate software.

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