Family law legislation

On October 1, 2005, Alberta's Family Law Actcame into effect. The Act is part of the Alberta Justice’s Family Law Strategy aimed at creating a simple, integrated and effective family law system that promotes the well-being of children and families. The Act replaced the Domestic Relations Act, the Maintenance Orders Act, the Parentage and Maintenance Act, and parts of the Provincial Court Act and the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.

The federal government is responsible for divorce legislation and issues involving spousal support and children in the context of a divorce. Alberta’s Family Law Act deals with issues that fall under provincial law including the legislation that governs married couples (after separation, but before divorce), adult interdependent partners, parents and children.

The Family Law Act can be viewed and printed from the Alberta Queen’s Printer website at

A number of amendments to the Family Law Act were passed as part of the Family Law Statutes Amendment Act This link opens in a new window, 2010 and came into effect on August 1, 2011. An overview of the amendments is available in Family Law Act Amendments 2010 Overview.

Related Alberta legislation: 
Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act– covers child welfare matters including adoptions
Minor’s Property Act– covers children’s property 
Matrimonial Property Act– covers the division of matrimonial property

Related federal legislation:
Divorce Act– covers divorces, which are orders signed by a judge that legally end a marriage. For additional information see Supporting Families Experiencing  Separation and Divorce, located on the Justice Canada website.

Additional information about the Act is available in the Family Justice Servicessection of the Alberta Courts website:

Family Justice Services logo Family Justice Services are a group of programs and services offered by Alberta Justice in collaboration with the courts of Alberta. Family Justice Services works directly with individuals and also with the judges of the Alberta Provincial Court and Court of Queen's Bench to help people get appropriate solutions for their family law issues. For detailed information, visit the Family Justice Servicessection of the Alberta Courts website.