Wesley Shields, a family lawyer in our office was appointed as a member of the Provincial Court Family Rules Working Group in 2017. The Committee began its work in 2014 on implementing changes and reforms to the B.C. Provincial Court Family Rules. In the edition of The Lawyer’s Daily article titled “B.C. family law reform proposals aimed at less adversarial system, smaller burden on courts” they interviewed Wesley Shields on the new recommendations proposed regarding Provincial Family Rules, and you can read the interview with an overview of the work of the committee here.
The British Columbia Provincial Family Rules have not been updated since 1998. The Provincial Court Family Rules Working Group provided a new set of recommendations that would essentially prioritize urgent matters. Other recommendations of the Group were: having the parties attend an early assessment and referral process that would identify the clients needs and concerns; as well as a mediation process to see if the issues can be resolved before resorting to court; attending a mandatory parenting information and education program; and lastly, attending a family management conference which is designed to help parties to devise a plan if court is necessary.
Wesley explained that taking a more holistic approach to family law is important. By identifying what the family issues are earlier on, will make it easier to resolve these problems as well as making the decision on what options are best for the parties to undertake. He also believes it will be beneficial to have more options at an earlier stage, as it will keep many people out of court who don’t necessarily need to be there.
Wesley has been practicing law since 1990 and is one of our most experienced family lawyers. He also practices in the areas of civil litigation and estate litigation. The Lawyers at FH&P support Wesley’s commitments to this important committee and to the legal profession.
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