Manitoba. Court of Queen's Bench Divorce Court Help Share Link

History and Function


Court of Queen's Bench Divorce Court

Dates of Existence 



The Divorce Court of the Court of Queen's Bench held jurisdiction over divorce for the residents of Manitoba.

Administrative History 

The first divorce case was brought before the Court of King's Bench of Manitoba in 1917. Although there was no federal or provincial legislation governing divorce at this time, lawyers claimed that the provincial superior courts (the Court of Queen's Bench in Manitoba) had jurisdiction over this area, inherited from the British legal system that was adopted upon joining Confederation in 1870. Although the Court of King's Bench did not support the claim, the Court of Appeal allowed it. On consideration by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in May of 1919, it was determined that the superior courts of the prairie Provinces did indeed have jurisdiction over divorce on grounds of adultery.

Since the initial case, the Court of King's Bench (or Queen's Bench, as the case may be) has accepted and tried motions for divorce, granting divorce in cases where merited. However, it was not until 1968 that federal legislation regarding divorce was passed. This new legislation made divorces easier and more equitable (prior to this, the legal fees associated with divorce were prohibitive to many, and grounds for divorce were often difficult to prove). The relative ease with which divorces could be acquired after the new Divorce Act was passed is reflected in the dramatic increase in divorces in Manitoba after 1968. In Manitoba, divorce hearings were separated from other civil proceedings, and were heard in separate sittings of the Queen's Bench.

In 1984, the court system in Manitoba was restructured and an electronic Court Registry System (a database for the registration and control of court documents and files) was launched. After 1984, divorces were handled by the Family Division of the Court of Queen's Bench.

Legislative Authority 

The Divorce Act (Statute of Canada, 1968)

Other names 

Court of King's Bench Divorce Court


Archival Record Series Created by this Entity


Portage la Prairie divorce files


Winnipeg divorce files


Regional divorce files


Brandon divorce files


Dauphin divorce files


The Pas divorce files


Swan River divorce files



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