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Family Dispute Resolution Service Pilot

The Family Dispute Resolution (Pilot Project) Act, which is part of The Family Law Modernization Act, was introduced to create a process outside the traditional court system for resolution of family disputes. Participation in the process will be mandatory for people in Winnipeg who have disputes about custody, access or support under The Family Maintenance Act, or who have disputes about family property under The Family Property Act and other Manitoba laws.

The Family Dispute Resolution (Pilot Project) Act, is not yet in effect. However, it can be viewed on the Manitoba Legislative Assembly website at: https://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2019/c00819e.php#A

The new process is intended to minimize the number of cases needing to go through the family law court system and to assist parties in resolving their disputes out of court. Parties will be required to go through this process instead of making a court application in Winnipeg and their family dispute is about:

  1. parenting arrangements (custody or access) or support, when The Family Maintenance Act of Manitoba applies
  2. property, whenThe Family Property Act or other Manitoba law applies

Parties seeking a divorce and whose family disputes are about the above mentioned topics and meet other eligibility requirements will have the option to participate in the new process.

A resolution officer will assist the parties in reaching an agreement.  In some cases, the parties will be referred to other services to help them reach agreement about specific issues. If this fails, then the parties will be referred to a designated adjudicator.  Proceeding to court will become the last resort for these type of cases.