“The Elder began by performing a smudge ceremony, easing the circle into a sense of connectedness. She then shared a bit about herself: her 12 years of residential school; the loss of her brother to suicide; her career as a registered nurse, working in psychiatric care; and her commitment to the Aboriginal Family Healing Court Conference.”
You’ve filed an application in BC Provincial Court, asking for an order under the Family Law Act, or you’ve filed a reply to an application. Then you went to court for a First Appearance and the judge directed that you come back for a Family Case Conference on a future date. What happens at a Case Conference? How should you prepare?
The Provincial Court of BC has been a leader among Canadian courts in its enthusiastic use of digital communications to engage with the public. It offers an active website, featuring bi-weekly “eNews” articles, and uses social media with a refreshing, conversational tone to interact with followers.
In BC, when there are child protection concerns and the family disagrees with the Ministry of Children and Family Development about the way forward, a case conference is often scheduled. A case conference is an informal meeting between the parties and a judge to try to resolve the disagreement before positions become hardened and the case escalates to a trial.
There’s no doubt that being involved in a family court trial is stressful. The issues – often affecting relationships with children and/or financial security - are central to people’s lives. And emotions usually run high. If you’re trying to present your case without a lawyer you have the added stress of navigating an unfamiliar court system.