Does the Court have any authority to overturn an order by a judge in a family law matter?

Nova Scotia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Doncaster v. Field, 2019 NSCA 61 (CanLII):

This Court has consistently stressed the need to show deference to trial judges in family law matters. In the absence of some error of law, misapprehension of the evidence, or on the award that is clearly wrong on the facts we will not intervene. We are not entitled to overturn an order simply because we may have balanced the relevant factors differently. (Hickey v. Hickey, 1999 CanLII 691 (SCC), [1999] 2 S.C.R. 518, ¶10-12.)

Findings of fact, or inferences drawn from the facts are reviewed on a standard of palpable and overriding error. Matters involving questions of law are subject to a correctness standard. When the matter is one of mixed fact and law and there is an extricable question of law, the question of law will be reviewed on a correctness standard. Otherwise, it is reviewed on a palpable and overriding standard. (Housen v. Nikolaisen, 2002 SCC 33). Analysis

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