The Family Division
Associate Chief Justice Marianne Rivoalen
The Court of Queen’s Bench (Family Division) deals with family disputes exclusively. The judges who sit in the Family Division are family law specialists. They handle all family and child protection matters arising in Flin Flon, Morden, Selkirk, St. Boniface, The Pas, Thompson and Winnipeg.
The basic philosophy of the Family Division is to encourage litigants to resolve their differences without the need of contested court hearings wherever possible. To that end, the Family Division offers a multi-disciplinary range of services including:
- Mandatory parenting programs, and optional mediation, brief consultations for teenage children and home assessments at no cost through Family Conciliation;
- Dispute resolution through mandatory case management prior to most contested hearings;
- Longer term dispute resolution through continuing case conferences or extended case conference sessions;
- Aggressive case management for contested matters – setting deadlines and laying out a litigation timetable;
- Relatively timely contested litigation dates for the cases that cannot be resolved amicably.
Always mindful of the needs of the families, the Family Division has adopted the definition of a meaningful court appearance as a Mission Statement concerning the framework for the work we do as we continue to strive to assist families and the children living in those families at a stressful and emotion filled time. The following factors are included in the definition of a “meaningful court appearance”:
- The event requires judicial skills, knowledge and authority;
- The event has a defined purpose that is known to the litigants, their lawyers, the administration and the judge;
- All relevant documentation to enable the court to deal justly with the issue has been filed in a timely fashion and on notice to the opposite party;
- The parties and their lawyers are prepared and ready to deal with the issue(s);
- What is sought to be accomplished at the court appearance could not have been achieved in any other way;
- The subject matter of the appearance is essential to the advancement of the case toward a cooperative or adjudicated resolution; and
- Something is accomplished that could not have occurred without the last appearance.
Our processes are principally governed by Rule 70 and Forms 70A to 70AA.
Associate Chief Justice