Legal Studies

Section 1 - the Law and relationships

Lesson 2 - The roles / responsibilities of the federal and provincial government with respect to family law

Family law deals with the relationships among family members  between husband and wife, same-sex partners, parents and children, and other parties, such as grandparents and step-parents. Federal, provincial, and territorial statutes are the primary sources for Canadian family law. The Constitution Act, 1867, divided the power of making marriage laws between the federal and the provincial governments. 

The federal government has jurisdiction over the essentials of marriage and divorce. 

Provincial and territorial governments have jurisdiction over the  solemnization of marriage , the formal requirements of the marriage ceremony. In turn, municipal or local governments are responsible for issuing marriage licenses.  The provinces have the power to pass laws about property and civil rights - for example, laws governing property division and support payments if a marriage breaks up. 

We will now look at the laws that relate to entering into a partnership or marriage in Canada. 

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