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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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. [...]
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.
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:
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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, [...]
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.
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, [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 […]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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.
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.
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 […]
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 [...]
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.
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.
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 [...]