Inventory of Reforms
Yukon Family Law Case Conferences (Practice Direction 40)
Practice directive mandating judicial case conferences providing information to family law litigants on available alternative dispute resolution procedures and allowing parties to discuss the appropriate procedure for their case.
Supreme Court of Yukon
May 1, 2007: Practice Direction 40 took effect
Rules of Court for the Supreme Court of Yukon
Practice Direction No. 40, governing family law case conferences, came into effect on May 1, 2007.
“[T]to ensure that all parties are aware of the alternative dispute resolution procedures that are available and to discuss the appropriate procedure for the particular case” (Practice Direction at 1).
Description of Reforms:
This practice direction applies to all family law proceedings including a divorce petition or any proceeding where a claim for custody, access, child support or property division is made. It requires a family law case conference to be held with a judge within 60 days of the date of service of the proceeding, except in those cases that are exempt. Failure to hold a family case conference within 60 days may result in an application being struck or adjourned by the presiding judge (Practice Direction at 1).
An exemption from the requirement that a family law case conference be held can be granted by a judge (either upon an application, or without it):
- where each party is represented by a lawyer and the lawyers agree that a conference is not required;
- where there is a lawyer representing the claimant/applicant and the other party does not file an appearance
- where there has been a history of violence or abuse and a party requests that there be no conference, or that each party have a separate conference;
- where there is urgency or convenience.
The purpose of the family law case conference is to:
- consider alternative procedures of private mediation, collaborative practice, judicial mediation, settlement and arbitration
- consider some of the well-established principles of custody, child support, spousal support and property division
- identify and narrow the issues
- set timelines where appropriate.
Following the case conference, the judge may make any order that could be made under Rule 35 for pre-trial conferences. The judge may also:
- appoint a single expert to report on financial and property issues;
- order substituted service, interim interim or interim custody and child support, financial disclosure, preservation of property and other orders that may be appropriate based upon affidavit evidence, where matters are unopposed or uncontested;
- recommend that a custody and access report be prepared or that a Child Advocate be appointed.
This summary was last reviewed in Aug 10, 2012