Initiatives & Projects:
Conflicts in the Law and Domestic Violence
"Not with a ten-foot pole" Report
Civil Legal Rights of Abused Women
Queer as Family
Women's Experiences in Family Law (affidavit campaign)
Single Mothers' Human Rights
Ever since its inception, West Coast LEAF has recognized the profound impact Family Law has on women’s lives.
The Family Law Act (FLA) is the BC law that covers marriage breakdowns, guardianship, access, spousal and child support, and the division of property. The FLA and the federal Divorce Act are interpreted by judges to create legal precedents. The combination of two laws and numerous legal precedents creates a web of family law that is very complex, as anyone knows who has had to go through relationship breakdown where children, safety, and/or property is involved.
The goal of the Family Law Project is to look at the intersection between women’s equality and the family law system. The family law project works closely with a broad range of community organizations, family law practitioners, and academics in the development of long-term strategies for addressing emerging issues.
To identify family law issues that create barriers to women’s right to equality;
To address issues of systemic inequalities that results from the family law justice system;
To advocate for the rights of women to access the justice system;
To develop resources on family law issues for advocates, community groups, and women navigating family law;
To bring together community advocates and family law lawyers to work together in the delivery of family law services to women most in need;
- To make submissions both provincially and federally to recommend changes to the law that will support the substantive equality rights of women;
- To ensure BC families are healthy and safe by providing a voice for gender reform of the family law system when needed.