Bill 207, the Moving Ontario Family Law Forward Act, received Royal Assent on November 20th.

Likely to come into effect in conjunction with the revised Divorce Act on March 31, 2021, these changes to how courts will make parenting arrangement decisions offer new hope for women with children who are fleeing abuse.

Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre provides frontline services to women in Durham Region who are leaving abusive relationships and are involved with family law/court, and engages in research, training, education and system reform advocacy at the community, provincial and national levels.

Legal Director Pamela Cross notes:

“We are delighted to see the passage of this Bill. The detailed definition of family violence to include non-physical and non-criminal behaviours, and the requirement that it be considered when courts make decisions about parenting arrangements will increase the safety of women and children who flee abusive relationships. However, without mandatory family violence screening and family violence education for lawyers, judges and other players in the family court system, the new law won’t be as strong as it could have been.”

Read the Luke’s Place Bill 207 Brief, endorsed by 39 women’s equality organizations across Ontario.

To arrange an interview, please contact or 905.728.0978 x229.