The Alberta Court of Queens Bench has recently implemented new disclosure rules that add a few more speed bumps to the Court process. What does this mean for family law lawyers and their clients?
Understanding Albertas New Disclosure Rules
I recently attended a Canadian Bar Association family law section lunch, where Wendy Best, Q.C. from Dunphy Best Blocksom LLP, presented a speech on civility in a Family Law Practice. She discussed different ways that lawyers can be more civil with one another. One of the topics she discussed was: dont play the inadequate disclosure game. She stressed the importance of providing disclosure voluntarily and fully. Given the new disclosure rules, cooperation and civility is even more important. Perhaps when the rules were being crafted, the Justices were thinking precisely this.
Alberta’s New Disclosure Rules
With the new disclosure rules in place, and you wish to bring an application for a notice to disclose or child support, you must prepare a specific Schedule, which sets forth all of the disclosure that you must provide. There are five different Schedules depending upon whether or not youre bringing an application under the Family Law Act or the Divorce Act, as well as what application you are bringing.
If this is making your head spin, just wait, theres more! Lawyers must also prepare a Disclosure Statement that must be sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths. Finally, the disclosure set out in the specified Schedule must be provided to the Court and the opposing party. Once you pass all three of these check points, youre then permitted to bring your application for a Notice to Disclose or child support.
What to Do?
If you want to avoid all this, practice Wendy Bests mantra, and be civil with the opposing counsel or opposing party. Be sure to provide disclosure voluntarily and provide absolutely everything that is required in a Notice to Disclose – including everything relevant to their particular property. While these speed bumps will likely be inevitable for certain situations and certain litigants (including self-represented litigants), everyone should do their part in making disclosure a smooth journey.
What do you think of Albertas New Disclosure Rules?
Are you or is someone you know going through a separation or divorce? Our Calgary team of family lawyers is fully equipped to navigate through not only these new rules, but any sticky divorce issues.
Connect with us for a consultation.