In Manitoba, when families experiencing a family breakdown want an order that sets out the terms of family reorganization, for example, parenting arrangements, child or spousal/common-law partner support, sale or occupation of the family home or division of family property, those matters are heard in the Family Division of the Court of Queen’s Bench.
The Judge may make a decision at end of a hearing or a trial, or may give a written or oral decision on a later date. Although the Judge’s decision usually takes effect that day, the terms of the Judge’s decision must be put into a written order that is prepared by the parties or their lawyers and is signed by the Judge. Like many legal documents, some orders can be difficult to understand. Unclear orders can cause problems for parents and enforcement officers who must obey its terms.
The use of standard wording or clauses for court orders, written in plain language, help make the terms of orders more easily understood. The consistent use of standard clauses means Judges can more easily review and approve written orders, resulting in orders being signed and enforceable sooner.
In recognition of problems with orders and benefits of standard clauses, in 1998 the Court of Queen’s Bench made use of standard clauses mandatory in most court orders in family proceedings (see Queen’s Bench Rules 70.31(11)-(13)). The standard clauses have been updated regularly (2006, 2009, 2012 and 2018) to reflect changes in family law. Current version of the standard clauses, as below.
For more information contact FJRCinquiry@gov.mb.ca