The responsibility for family law is split between the provinces and the federal government.
The federal government is responsible for divorce legislation and issues involving spousal support and children in the context of a divorce.
The Family Law Act deals with many more areas of family life in situations other than divorce:
- defining who are the parents of a child, including those situations where assisted reproduction is used
- setting out the responsibilities and powers of parents and guardians of children
- enabling contact between children and grandparents or other people who might be important to the child
- enabling enforcement of time with a child
- allowing courts to make parenting orders when parents are living apart but cannot agree on their respective parenting responsibilities
- child support
- support for spouses or adult interdependent partner support.