Why do you need to learn about Family Law?

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When we hear the words “family law” we usually think about child custody disputes, or things related to marriage or divorce.

It deals with all of these and more. Family Law is a type of law that is important for anyone who is part of a family or planning to have one.

What is Family Law?

Family Law covers all regulations that affect family matters including:

  • marriage
  • civil unions
  • domestic partnerships
  • adoption
  • surrogacy
  • child protection and adoption.

It also defines what is considered a family unit, legal ties, legal rights and obligations as a parent and spouse, and laws for abuse victims. It is composed of both federal and provincial laws.

These laws can be vastly different from what we’re familiar with back in our home countries. It’s good to know your rights and responsibilities under the law now that you’re in Canada.

Where can you learn about Family Law?

The province has many resources. The Family Law Manitoba website is where you can get information and resources, as well as legal assistance. It is comprehensive and easy to read.

Aside from this website, you can also check the following:

Specific Acts:

COVID-related:
(Vaccination for children)

Where to get legal help:

Settlement provider agencies may have programs that provide information or help for newcomers with specific concerns. You can check out the list from Family Law Manitoba (see the menu on the left-hand side, click on “Looking for resources?”). You can filter results by region, category, and service type.

If you need a lawyer who specializes in Family Law, the Community and Legal Education Association (CLEA) has the Law Phone-in and Lawyer Referral Program. It can provide a free, 30-minute consultation with a lawyer and lawyer referral. If you need a lawyer but cannot afford to hire one, contact Legal Aid Manitoba. Another option is the Legal Help Centre which provides help to low-income households. The centre provides legal information, advice, and referrals to community resources.
 
Article updated March 17, 2023.
 
Sources: Family Law lecture, MANSO, Robynne Kazine, Community Legal Education Association (CLEA).

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