Quick Escape

Status Updates

New Child Support Service able to make initial child support decisions and recalculations outside of court

July 1, 2020

    Effective July 1, 2020, the Child Support Service will have the authority to make an initial child support calculation decision based on income information obtained from one or both parents, depending on the type of child support requested. The service can also recalculate an existing child support order, family arbitration award, or agreement by adjusting child support based on updated financial information. Decisions will be enforceable by the Maintenance Enforcement Program.

    For more information, see the Child Support section of the Family Law Manitoba website.

    The single-window Family Resolution Service Launched

    June 24, 2020

      Phase 1 of the new single-window Family Resolution Service delivers a seamless continuum of public, private and community-based services to Manitobans and supports existing and future changes to family law. This “digital first, but not digital only” service allows for services to continue to be delivered uninterrupted by social distancing requirements. It recognizes Manitobans asked for more online options, but that others may prefer or require phone or in person support.

      Examples of new services include:

      • the ability to request information or provincial services through a single Get Guidance email and telephone number;
      • Early Resolution Support Services (Phase 1 - see diagram) delivered by Family Guides with expertise in domestic violence and safety planning, conflict resolution and mediation, family law and court processes;
      • triage and referrals to culturally and linguistically appropriate specialized services, which could include the new Child Support Service, Legal Aid or other financial, legal or health and social services; and
      • support to complete any pre-requisites for court.

        Manitobans can access the service by contacting a Family Guide at GetGuidance@gov.mb.ca or by calling 204-945-2313 (Winnipeg) or 1-844-808-2313 (toll-free).

        Detailed information about the new service is available through the links below:

        Legal Help Center shifts service delivery to reduce spread of COVID19

        Apr 13, 2020
        • Legal Help Center is a not-for-profit organization that helps disadvantaged members of our community understand and access their social and legal rights. Visit the Legal Help Center for detailed information on changes to service delivery and eligibility criteria.

        Family law matters during the COVID19 pandemic

        Apr 9, 2020
        • As part of efforts to help limit the spread of COVID-19, family law matters are only being heard in urgent circumstances. The pandemic can create additional stress and worry for parents and children - especially those going through separation or divorce. Families can use these resources to help address some of their concerns:

          For non-urgent questions call our Get Guidance line during regular business hours: 204-945-2313 (Winnipeg) or 1-844-808-2313 (toll-free). Emails may also be sent to GetGuidance@gov.mb.ca but are being monitored less frequently.

          Other important contacts:

          • If you are experiencing domestic violence and are in an emergency call 911. If you are in crisis, contact the domestic violence crisis line at 1-877-977-0007.
          • Contact Manitoba Justice’s Victim Services at 204-945-6851 or toll free at 1-866-484-2846 if you are:
            • a victim of intimate partner violence,
            • your child has been a victim of crime,
            • you or your family member is a designated victim under The Victims’ Bill of Rights, or
            • you need information about the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights or criminal compensation.
          • If you require information about a protection order, please contact Manitoba Courts at 204-945-1699 or Victim Services at 204-945-6851, toll free at 1-866-484-2846. You can also check Family Law Manitoba for other agencies that can help with domestic violence and protection orders.
          • For questions or concerns about family law services - including changes to service delivery for mediation, recalculation or maintenance enforcement - visit Family Law Manitoba or Manitoba Courts.

          To get support to mediate family issues related to COVID-19, such as child access, please call our Get Guidance line at 204-945-2313 (Winnipeg) or 1-844-808-2313 (toll-free) or email GetGuidance@gov.mb.ca with COVID-19 Assistance in the subject line.

        For the Sake of the Children in-person sessions cancelled to reduce the spread of COVID-19

        March 26, 2020
        • For the Sake of the Children in-person sessions are cancelled until further notice, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. For more information about alternatives to in-person attendance, please call our Get Guidance line at 204-945-2313 (Winnipeg) or 1-844-808-2313 (toll-free) or email GetGuidance@gov.mb.ca with FTSOTC in the subject line.

        Maintenance Enforcement Program temporarily suspends in-person client services

        Mar 18, 2020
        • The Manitoba Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) has temporarily suspended in-person (face-to-face) client services to may limit the exposure and spread of COVID-19. There may be some delays with services and response times and we appreciate your patience.

          The Brandon MEP office is entirely closed to the public. The Winnipeg Office is able to accept in person debit or cash payments. To minimize risk to clients and staff, we encourage clients to make electronic payments through their financial institution or by submitting the Pre-Authorized Debit (form).

          The MEP is experiencing higher than usual telephone call volumes at this time. To help us efficiently managing your inquiries, please contact us and submit documents by email at ManitobaMEPInquiries@gov.mb.ca.

          PAYMENTS TO CREDITORS

          The MEP has committed resources to maintaining the timely delivery of support payments to creditors and to reduce any disruptions that may affect the delivery of support payments.

          Payments may be interrupted if the debtor has been affected by COVID-19 related issues, such as being laid off or being unable to work. The MEP will make efforts to work with debtors to maintain payments or to resume payments as soon as possible.

          ENFORCEMENT

          If you are a debtor and financially affected by circumstances related to COVID–19, the MEP cannot change your support payments or Court order. We may be able to suspend or partially suspend enforcement if suitable information is provided. For more information, please see Administrative Suspension of Enforcement webpage.

          Please note that assessment of enforcement and Administrative Suspensions of enforcement will be determined with the intent of meeting both the needs of those required to make support payments, and the needs of support recipients and families that may also be facing financial difficulties.

        Child Support Recalculation Service shifting service delivery approach to reduce the spread of COVID-19

        March 18, 2020
        • The Child Support Recalculation office located at 201 – 373 Broadway is closed to the public until further notice, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The CSRS staff continue to work on the recalculation of child support.

          Documents to support recalculation may be sent by:

          Email : csrs@gov.mb.ca

          Mail : Room 201-373 Broadway, Winnipeg MB, R3C 4S4

          Fax : 204-948-2423

          Personal : Dropping them off at court registry by entering the temporary entrance at 405 Broadway in Winnipeg.

          If you wish to discuss your matter with us please call 204-945-2293 or toll free at 1-800-282-8069 (ext. 2293).

        Manitoba Justice advances 100 Day Action Plan commitments on family law reform

        Jan 2 2020

        Speech from the Throne signals continued implementation of family law reforms

        Nov 19 2019
        • “Implement the remaining portions of the Family Law Reform initiative, to allow more families to benefit from the new processes for family law that are self-guided, support children and reduce red tape.”

        100 Day Action Plan identifies family law reform as a priority for Manitoba Justice

        Sep 18 2019
        • “Implement the remaining portions of the Family Law Reform initiative, to allow more families to benefit from the new processes for family law that are self-guided, support children and reduce red tape.”

        Schedules C and E of The Family Law Modernization Act come into force

        Jul 1 2019
        • Expanding administrative authority of the Maintenance Enforcement Program so parents can make support arrangements outside of court
        • Ensuring arbitration awards made for Manitobans are enforceable

        Bill C-78 Divorce Act Receives Royal Assent Jun 21 2019

        Jun 21 2019
        • Bill C-78 makes the first substantive changes to federal law in over 20 years
        • Changes to the Divorce Act are anticipated to come into effect March 1, 2021

        The Family Law Modernization Act is passed by the Manitoba Legislature

        Jun 3 2019
        • The Family Law Modernization is passed. Each Schedule comes into force on prescribed dates and upon Royal Assent.

        Focus Groups are held to test a prototype of a Family Law app

        Apr 28, 29 2019
        • Over 50 service providers from the legal, social service, community,  academic, financial, domestic violence and court operations sectors test an app designed based on Manitobans’ feedback. Their input informs business requirements. Further testing to take place with Manitobans.

        Manitoba Justice convenes first Collaboration Table to support Family Law Modernization

        Apr 23 2019
        • Monthly meetings of stakeholders from the public, private, community, and academic sectors provide advice and client perspectives to inform the design of new and improved family law services.

        Bill 9 Family Law Modernization Act Introduced to the Manitoba Legislature

        Mar 12 2019
        • Bill 9 Family Law Modernization Act includes:
          • Schedule A – The Family Dispute Resolution (Pilot Project) Act
            Create a three-year pilot to test a new family dispute resolution model, which includes the creation of a new Family Dispute Resolution Service to more effectively deal with matters outside of court.
          • Schedule B – The Child Support Service Act
            Establish the Child Support Service and simplify child support processes so that thousands of matters can be addressed outside of court.
          • Schedule C – The Arbitration Amendment Act (Family Law)
            Ensure that family arbitration awards made for Manitobans are enforceable.
          • Schedule D – The Provincial Court Amendment and Court of Queen’s Bench Amendment Act
            Amend provisions respecting the appointment of a family evaluator, social worker or other person to evaluate a custody, access or related matter. The court may apportion the costs of evaluation between the parties.
          • Schedule E – The Family Maintenance Amendment Act
            Expand the administrative authority of the Maintenance Enforcement Program so parents can make support arrangements outside of court.
          • Schedule F – The Inter-Jurisdictional Support Orders Act
            Eliminate the need for copies of support orders from other jurisdictions to be certified before they can be filed in a Manitoba court; streamlining the process for the Maintenance Enforcement Program.

        Manitoba Justice hosts public engagement sessions seeking innovative ideas for modernizing family law

        Jan 2019
        • Over 250 ideas were generated, converging into six big ideas:
          • Responsive Web Application: Online profiles and tools for self-service
          • Timelines, Incentives, and Penalties
          • Support and Training for Parents
          • Support and Education for Children
          • Mandatory Mediation
          • Improved Service Coordination

        Manitoba Justice engages service providers to map clients’ journey through the current family law system

        Nov 2018 – Feb 2019
        • Dialogues with service providers identify key actions, touch points, resources and challenges faced by clients seeking to finalize a separation or divorce. Challenges point to key areas for improvement and better coordination of public, private and community service providers.

        Speech from the Throne 2018 announces greater supports for victims of domestic violence in the family law system

        Nov 20 2018
        • “My government is enhancing supports for victims of domestic violence through two new pilot programs that, if successful, will be expanded throughout the province. The Family Support Worker Program will assist complainants who have been in an abusive relationship to navigate through our family court process. It will complement the family law modernization strategy and provide a full range of services to victims of domestic violence.
        • Too often, the needs of victims have been overlooked as their partners were provided with programming through restorative justice and diversion programs. Victims of domestic violence, as well as offenders, need assistance to move forward with their lives. They will be provided with support to participate in the restorative justice processes, and the opportunity to take programming that will provide meaningful and healthy tools to help them process their experience.”

        Budget 2018 references family law modernization efforts

        Mar 12 2018
        • “We are creating a more affordable, less adversarial family law system”

        Speech from the Throne 2017 signals significant shifts in family law system

        Nov 21 2017
        • “We are reforming our family law system to better protect parents and children. Manitoba is putting families first with changes that will make family law more accessible and less adversarial for those who interact with the system.”

        Advisory Committee on Modernizing Family Law Announced

        Oct 18 2017
        • The Manitoba government commits to modernizing family law.
        • Allan Fineblit announced as chair of an advisory committee of representatives from the Court of Queen’s Bench, family lawyers and other community leaders.