Along with the encouragement of the Court to try settlement or resolution outside of a courtroom, there are upcoming changes to the previous DRO program at the Court of King’s Bench with an emphasis on parties to the litigation having quality settlement discussions before appearing before a Justice for a decision. The new program requires that the parties to a child support matter have provided and have received disclosure, in order to successfully make offers and review recommendations for child support from his or her resolution officer.
Starting on November 1, 2022, the Calgary “Dispute Resolution Program (DRO)” and the “Child Support Resolution” Office in Edmonton shall become the harmonized as the Court of King’s Bench "Child Support Resolution Program” (CSR).
While under a new name, the program shall remain similar to the DRO which parents have attended in the past. The primary focus shall be for resolution of child support issues, which includes the variation of child support from previous orders, section 7 child support and the amounts and percentages payable by each party, and retroactive support which may still need to be paid. Spousal/partner support may also be addressed when child support is also at issue.
The changes to the program will come from the changes to the Court of King’s Bench Family Law Practice Note 4.
The most significant updates to the program and the practice note are as follows:
- Attendance at the CSR will be mandatory for represented and self-represented parties after being ordered by a Family Docket Court Justice to participate in the program;
- Parties with or without counsel shall still have the option to attend CSR voluntarily without having to first attend Docket Court;
- At least 14 days before the scheduled date for the CSR, parties must exchange their financial disclosure as ordered in FDC and provide a copy of the filed financial disclosure to the CSR;
- If disclosure is not ordered in FDC, the parties must file and exchange the disclosure required by the Alberta Court of King’s Bench Notice to Disclose (items 1-9 only) and provide copies to CSR 14 days before the KBCSRP meeting;
- If the parties have not settled all their child support issues, the CSR Officer may direct parties to FDC for assessment and next steps. The Officer will note any recommendations on the CSR Report which he or she may have. These recommendations will be provided to parties and placed in the Court file (physical file/electronic file); and
- The program will continue with remote service delivery which allows the parties and their counsel to attend via electronic means.
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