Archive for the ‘Family Law’ Category

Demystifying Pensions in Family Law

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Under the BC Family Law Act, benefits in a pension plan are” family property,” which means that separating spouses are entitled to equally share the benefits accumulated during cohabitation.

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Unbundled Family Law Services: Limited Scope Retainers

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Traditionally, family law lawyers have been retained to represent clients by assisting them in resolving their disputes from start-to-finish.

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Child Support: Don’t Avoid the Issue!

By Leneigh Bosdet
Categories: Blog, Family Law
In early February, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the appeal of a B.C. lower court decision dealing with retroactive child support.

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The Benefits of Mediation in Family Law Disputes

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
I am frequently asked by my family law clients if it is possible to resolve their family law disputes in a less adversarial and less formal way than the traditional litigation process.

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Strategies for Managing High Conflict Parenting Situations

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
When parents separate it is fairly common for the parties to experience some level of conflict during the transition period.

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The Pitfalls of Litigating Parenting Disputes

By Leneigh Bosdet
Categories: Blog, Family Law
I recently heard the litigation process in parenting disputes described by a mediator as “the dark side.” I generally agree.

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Child Support – Some Common Misconceptions

By Leneigh Bosdet
Categories: Blog, Family Law
When parents separate with dependent children both parents have a legal obligation to continue to financially support their children to the best of their abilities.

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New Developments in the Law of Property Division in BC

By Leneigh Bosdet
Categories: Blog, Family Law
On April 28, 2016 the British Columbia Court of Appeal came out with a decision called V.J.F. v. S. K. W., 2016 BCCA 186. This decision called into question how property is to be divided in BC upon the breakdown of a spousal relationship under the Family Law Act.

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A Child’s Perspective on Divorce

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
As a Family Law Lawyer who is also a divorced parent, some of my most challenging cases are those involving an acrimonious child custody dispute.

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Family Law Update: Important Tax Changes Coming for Parents

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Effective July 1st 2016 the Government of Canada will issue a new Canada Child Benefit.

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Am I Legally Separated?

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
When meeting new clients one of the most frequent questions asked is: Am I legally separated?

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Who Keeps the China? An Overview of Property Division Under the Family Law Act

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
If you are in the midst of separating from your spouse you may be wondering how your family property and debt will be divided.

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“How Do We Divide Our Property if We Separate?”- The Basics of Property Division Under the Family Law Act

By Leneigh Bosdet
Categories: Blog, Family Law
The Family Law Act changed the law in BC in several ways and one of the most significant ways is property division on the breakdown of a spousal relationship.

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Will I Have To Pay Spousal Support?

By Leneigh Bosdet
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Whether you will have a legal obligation to pay spousal support upon the breakdown of your relationship depends on quite a number of factors.

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It Doesn’t Matter Whose Fault It Is…

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Family lawyer Monica McParland discusses Canada's no-fault divorce system.

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Exceptions To The Federal Child Support Guidelines

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Under BC Family law a non-custodial parent is required to pay monthly child support to the custodial parent in an amount prescribed by the Federal Child Support Guidelines.

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It Doesn’t Matter Whose Fault It Is!

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
In Canada we have what is commonly referred to as a “no fault” divorce system. Although there are still two “fault based” grounds for divorce available, in practical terms it doesn’t matter whether or not one spouse wronged the other spouse.

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Without A Net: Unintended Tax Consequences of Child Support Payments

By Matthew Canzer
Categories: Blog, Family Law, Tax
What a great night out that was! I owe you $100 for my concert ticket, and you owe me $150 for dinner and drinks. Why don’t you just give me $50 and we’ll call it even Steven? While most people don’t think twice about settling their debts this way, parents who owe each other child […]

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Tax Matters Toolkits for Family Law

By Melodie Lind
Categories: Blog, Family Law, Tax
As a result of a recent collaboration between the Canadian Bar Association, Justice Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency and Finance Canada, two Tax Matters Toolkits have been developed. Both of the Toolkits are designed to assist with understanding the tax laws that can apply on separation or divorce, which can be complex and difficult to […]

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Family Law Checklist: What Should I Bring to the First Meeting with My Lawyer?

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Let’s face it: booking your first appointment with a family law lawyer can be a bit daunting. If you are going through a Separation or Divorce you are likely experiencing a period of significant change in your personal life and you may be feeling stressed or anxious. In order to reduce some of the stress […]

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Do I Really Have to Pay? Spousal Support in British Columbia

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Are you in the process of separating and wondering if you have to pay spousal support to your “Ex”? Spousal Support is certainly not automatic but it may be awarded in some cases. What is Spousal Support? Spousal support is money paid by one spouse to the other when a couple separates at the end […]

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Do I Need a Prenup? Cohabitation and Marriage Agreements in British Columbia

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
You don’t need to be Gwyneth Paltrow or Brad Pitt to benefit from a “prenup”. A prenup, or what lawyers call a Cohabitation Agreement, is an agreement that you and your partner make before you move in together, or while you are living together, which addresses several important decisions both during the course of your […]

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“I Want To Move…And He Won’t Let Me Take the Kids!”

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Family Law disputes often arise when one parent wants to move out of town with the children. The move may be motivated by a new relationship, a better job, or by a desire to be closer to family support. Frequently the other parent objects to the move since it could hamper their ability to see the children, and may negatively impact his or her relationship with the children. In British Columbia, the law takes two different approaches to [...]

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I Want To See My Grandchild!

By Monica McParland
Categories: Blog, Family Law
In British Columbia grandparents may be surprised to know that they are not automatically entitled to spend time with their grandchildren. This issue often surfaces in the context of a family law dispute between the children’s mother and father. Grandparents may be entitled to visits with the grandchildren but it’s not straightforward and a court order or an agreement may be required.

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Non-Removal And Relocation Orders Under The Family Law Act

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
I. NON-REMOVAL ORDERSFamily Relations Act - Under the Family Relations Act, the Courts had general discretion to prohibit the removal of a child from an area within the province or from the province as a whole, if the Courts considered that this restriction was necessary and reasonable in the best interests of the child:  Section 35 (4).  We often saw these Orders being made early on in family law proceedings, in order to [...]

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Who Pays The Bill?

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
In my opinion and personal experience with divorce, parenting coordinators (“PC”) are a welcome addition to the current legislative Family Law Regime in British Columbia.Couples are often not on amiable terms in the situations leading up to divorce. Discussions on holidays, parenting time and expenses often end in “phone-slamming.” The inevitable next step is fighting and arguing, which children unfortunately witness. [...]

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The Importance Of Disclosure In Negotiating A Family Law Agreement

By Taryn Moore
Categories: Blog, Family Law
If you have read any of my articles over the past two years or the articles of my colleagues over the same period, there is little doubt that you have heard us describe the changes to family law under the Family Law Act.

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BC’s New Family Law Act – An Overview

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
The Family Law Act (the “Act”) passed third reading on November 23, 2011 and received Royal Assent November 24, 2011.  It will come into force on March 18, 2013.Along with the Act will come amendments to:

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Ask A Lawyer – Does My Child Have A Say In Where He Or She Will Live Following My Separation From My Spouse?

By Taryn Moore
Categories: Blog, Family Law
When a couple separates, there often is a plethora of uncertainties to deal with, financial, emotional and practical. Where a child (or children) will reside and with whom is top of the mind for parents when separating.

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Family Law Christmas Access

By Taryn Moore
Categories: Blog, Family Law
It has been almost three years since I wrote Family Law Christmas and it is the article about which I get the most comments from my clients. With that in mind, I thought it time to write another pre-emptive article with the same theme.

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Ask A Lawyer – Am I Legally Separated?

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
As a divorce and family law lawyer, I am often asked by clients whether or not they are legally separated.  When two people who have been living together as a married couple or in a marriage-like relationship (in the case of common-law spouses) cease living together, they are separated.  There is actually no such thing as a “legal separation”.

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The New Family Law Act As It Relates To Care And Time With Children

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
As we have explained in earlier Legal Alert articles, in late 2011 the British Columbia Legislature passed Bill 16, which will be our new Family Law Act. Once in force, it will replace the Family Relations Act. The new legislation provides for many changes to family law in British Columbia.

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Settling Your Family Law Dispute Outside Court

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Despite the fact that the divorce rate in Canada hovers between 40% and 45%, most family law disputes settle outside of the court system. While only the Supreme Court of British Columbia can grant a divorce Order, the remaining issues that couples must deal with on marriage breakdown - custody, child support, spousal support, division of assets – can all be resolved outside of the court system.There are a variety of ways to do this, [...]

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Family Law Act Receives Royal Assent

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
This article will focus on some of the upcoming changes to family law in British Columbia as a result of the implementation of the Family Law Act.  Subsequent articles will deal with provisions of the new Family Law Act in terms of property division, common-law relationships, and other topics.

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Trial Marriage?

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
In late September 2011, lawmakers in Mexico City proposed a new marriage license that would allow a couple to have a 2 year trial marriage.  If, at the end of those 2 years, the couple still wanted to be together, they could renew their marriage license indefinitely.  If, however, the married life, or their chosen spouse, is not what they had hoped for, they would go their separate ways, without having to go through a lengthy, [...]

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Tax Court Of Canada Renders Decision About Deductibility Of Spousal Support Payment

By Taryn Moore
Categories: Blog, Family Law
The Tax Court of Canada rendered an interesting decision on March 4, 2011 in the case of Hovasse v. R , 2011 TCC 143. The case dealt with an appeal from an ex husband to the Tax Court following CRA’s rejection of his ability to claim the entirety of his spousal support payments over a year to his ex-spouse.

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Relocation Under The Proposed Family Law Act

By Taryn Moore
Categories: Blog, Family Law
As discussed in several of our department’s article since the summer of 2010, the provincial government of British Columbia released the White Paper on Family Relations Act Reform: Proposals for a new Family Law Act (the “Family Law Act”). As discussed, the Family Law Department at Pushor Mitchell wishes to produce a series of Legal Alert Articles outlining various parts of the Family Law Act that we believe are interesting [...]

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Access By Grandparents To Grandchildren

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
One of the issues that arises from time to time as an unfortunate result of separation and divorce in families is whether or not grandparents are entitled to continue relationships with their grandchildren. Typically, in a divorce proceeding, parents are fighting about custody, guardianship and access in respect of their minor children.  The Family Relations Act of British Columbia, provides, however, that on application, the Court [...]

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“Virtual Visitation”…A New Trend?

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
It appears that technology is making its way into Canadian family Court cases.  Traditionally, when one parent has day to day care of a child, the other parent has visitation, which can be specified times in a Court Order or Agreement, or regular visits as arranged between the parents.  Of course, one typically thinks of visitation as a time when a parent and child are together in person for a dinner visit, a weekend, a holiday, [...]

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Divorce Cases Undone By Facebook

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Facebook is increasingly being used as evidence in family law cases. Evidence posted is being used against the posters in court. One man who claimed to be unemployed was getting alimony from his soon-to-be ex-wife. On his Facebook page, however, he identified himself as a business owner and described his vacations to exotic destinations with […]

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A Review Of The Key Themes Of The Proposed Family Law Act

By Taryn Moore
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Further to my article in July of 2010, the provincial government of British Columbia released the White Paper on Family Relations Act Reform: Proposals for a new Family Law Act (the “Family Law Act”). As discussed, the Family Law Department at Pushor Mitchell is going to produce a series of Legal Alert Articles outlining various parts of the Family Law Act that we believe are interesting and significant. This will by no means be [...]

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Major Reform Coming To Family Law

By Taryn Moore
Categories: Blog, Family Law
On July 19, 2010, the provincial government of British Columbia released the White Paper on Family Relations Act Reform: Proposals for a new Family Law Act.This comprehensive document outlines the outcome of the province’s review of its legislation relating to family law, respecting both married and unmarried couples. The Family Relations Act is the current provincial statute that addresses issues of custody, guardianship, access, [...]

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The New Supreme Court Family Law Rules

By Taryn Moore
Categories: Blog, Family Law
On July 1, 2010, the new British Columbia Supreme Court Family Law Rules (the “Family Law Rules”) come into effect. It is the first time where a family law proceeding is governed by its own complete code – that is to say these rules are restricted to family law procedures exclusively.The Family Law Rules coincide with the Supreme Court Civil Rules which come into force on July 1st as well and will mark a substantial [...]

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BC Court Of Appeal Clarifies The Law Around Jurisdictional Questions In Custody Applications

By Taryn Moore
Categories: Blog, Family Law
The Court of Appeal of British Columbia recently clarified the law and procedure surrounding when the British Columbia Court will take jurisdiction of a case where one parent removes a child who was cared for by both his or her parents and takes the child to another jurisdiction and commences a court proceeding in the new jurisdiction.

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Family Law Christmas

By Taryn Moore
Categories: Blog, Family Law
In Family Law, the holiday season often brings with it significant stress, confusion and disappointment for families who are experiencing a recent separation; and, even for families that have been separated for some time.

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British Columbia’s Court Of Appeal Upholds Return Of Child To Ireland

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
The Court of Appeal of British Columbia recently handed down its first case regarding the interpretation of Article 13 of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction to which Canada is a signatory. In the case of Beatty v. Schatz, 2009 BCCA 310, the Court was hearing an appeal on an expedited […]

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Pre-nup Agreements, Enforcability With No Independent Legal Advice

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Enforceability of Marriage AgreementsThe Family Relations Act of British Columbia is one of the Statutes which is applicable when there is a breakdown of a marriage.  The Family Relations Act recognizes the existing of a marriage agreement, often commonly referred to as a prenuptial agreement, as one of the factors to be considered when looking at a division of assets on marriage breakdown.  The Act does, however, allow the Court [...]

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The Law Of Spousal Support

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
On the breakdown of a marriage, or in the event of a termination of a common law relationship which has lasted at least two years, one of the many issues which may arise is whether there is an entitlement by one of the parties to spousal support.

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Obligations of Step-parents to Support Children

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
One of the issues that can arise on the breakdown of a marriage or a common law relationship is whether or not there should be child support paid by the non-custodial parent.  While these matters are generally fairly straightforward when it comes to the biological children of the parties, when there are step-children involved, discussions often ensue about whether or not child support obligations exist.

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Differences Between Marriage and Common Law Relationships

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Family Law
Rights and obligations of married versus common law couples have become more similar over recent years, particularly in the area of spousal support, or “alimony”.  If you are married, then regardless of the length of your marriage, be it eighteen months or eighteen years, you are “spouses” as defined by federal and provincial legislation, and in the event of a separation, you may be entitled to receive, or be [...]

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