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Surrey British Columbia Family Law Blog

More facts about property division in British Columbia

When a marriage or marriage-like relationship ends, one life suddenly becomes two. As the couple splits apart, so too must all their belongings. During the process of property division, the combined assets and liabilities of a couple are spread between the former partners before they go off to live separately. Here are some answers to the questions men and women may have about dividing assets in British Columbia.

The Family Law Act of March 2013, brought many changes to the rules for property division in BC. As things stand now, former partners will typically be granted an equal share of the value of their combined assets and debts. Property brought into the marriage or long-term relationship remains in the possession of the original owner. Be aware that time restrictions are enforced: an application for property division must be made within two years of the divorce order, or within two years of the date of separation for unmarried couples.

For the sake of the kids, consider a civilized divorce

When a husband and wife go their separate ways in British Columbia, they only have their own interests to consider. However, when a mother and father get a divorce, there is a lot more at stake. For the sake of the children, parents should strive to approach the situation with respect and consideration. One former couple has made a sensation on the internet with their extremely touching devotion to their son, even after a divorce split the family in two.

A man and woman divorced in the spring of 2015, when their son was only a couple of years old. Realizing after the divorce that a family photo had not been taken since 2013, the mother arranged for a photographer and invited her ex-husband to join them. He agreed to come along for the photos. 

When there is no respect in the courtroom, a divorce can go badly

No one expects the end of a marriage to be a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, some people seem to forget that the person on the opposite side of the struggle is a human being with feelings. In the struggle to come out of a divorce with the settlement one desires, it is usually best to remember to act respectfully and with a measure of consideration. A divorce case in British Columbia went horribly wrong for one man when the pressure finally became too much to bear.

A man in B.C. was brought to the brink by an excess of support obligations. His ex-wife of eight years had him in court for allegations that he was not paying the child support he owed her, and he was attempting to have the amount reduced. While the struggle was ongoing, she accused him of assault and had him arrested; however, the judge stayed the charges. She also insisted he be fined $10,000 for contempt of court for his failure to pay. That, too, was stayed, but his appeal to have the support amount reduced was dismissed.

Delinquent ex avoids jail, agrees to pay support after divorce

A British Columbia courtroom isn't always the best place to sort out the details of a marriage gone bad. However, sometimes it is necessary to take one's issues there to have them dealt with effectively. For example, failure to pay support can possibly lead to criminal proceedings. One Hollywood celebrity recently learned this first hand when his ex-wife threatened him with allegations of contempt, after he reneged on a divorce settlement and stopped paying court-ordered spousal support.

In 2005, actor Dean McDermott left his wife, TV chef Mary-Jo Eustace, for actress Tori Spelling. The two have since married, and now have five children together. In March 2017, Eustace took her ex-husband to court, claiming he had not paid any spousal support since July 2016.

3 tips that could save money during a divorce

Canadians of all ages continue to end their marriages. The overall divorce rate is at 40 percent, and even older married couples are divorcing at a rate of 10 percent, double what it was in the 1990s. One of the chief concerns for anyone whose marriage is ending is the fate of their finances. Divorce is never free, but there are ways to curb expenses and make sound plans for a new financial situation.

Residents of British Columbia have the option to pursue a divorce outside the usual channels. Alternative dispute resolution techniques, like mediation, enable two people to work together in association with their representatives and an impartial mediator to formulate a separation agreement that best suits them. The results may be more satisfactory than a judge's ruling, and the process may be shorter (and hence less expensive) than spending time arguing in court.

Family law sometimes requires support from non-biological dads

To be a father to a child is not the same as fathering a child. One does not need to be a biological parent to enjoy a loving, parental relationship with a child. However, when the relationship with the mother ends, what family law requirements are there of a non-biological dad to pay child support? A British Columbia mom recently found out one possible answer to that question.

A child was born on March 30, 2009, to a woman and a man in an eastern province. In June 2012, the couple split, and the terms of their separation agreement made clear there were no children of the marriage. It had come out by that time that the man was not the father of their little boy. The woman and the child moved to B.C. after the divorce finalized in 2014, and the man stayed behind. A year and a half later, she served him with a demand for child support.

Pre-plan property division with a marriage agreement

A marriage agreement is not the kind of thing two starry-eyed newlyweds discuss across a bistro table at a British Columbia ski resort. It is, however, an important topic for any married couple, especially after assets have accumulated over the years. Though no happily married couple wants to get a divorce, it may be comforting to know that if it should ever happen, the complex and contentious matter of property division is already dealt with.

Like its well-known counterpart, the prenuptial agreement, a marriage agreement (or postnup) allows a couple to make practical decisions about their assets in case of a divorce. It may be possible to make better decisions while still on good terms than it would be after a marriage has gone sour. A predetermined course of action can save time and money in the future.

Prepare for a new financial reality after a divorce

If one has never been the sort to prepare for the future, it may be time to start when the end of a marriage is at hand. Divorce leaves many people in British Columbia in financial situations they did not foresee, and that can make life stressful and challenging. There are some simple techniques, however, that may result in a better outcome.

When on the cusp of divorce, the time is right to start living a bit more frugally, if one wasn't already. It may be prudent to set a budget based on a realistic projected income as soon as possible and stick to it. While impulse buys and sudden splurges can be immediately satisfying, that money could probably be better spent. Unexpected expenses are not uncommon during a divorce, and it is always best to have funds available when they crop up.

Basics to know about property division in British Columbia

The accumulated assets of a marriage can sometimes be substantial. In fact, some people may not be aware exactly how extensive their holdings are until it comes time to split them up during a divorce. For those with questions about property division in British Columbia, here some useful facts on the subject.


Assets should not be hidden during property division

When it comes to divorce, both parties typically want to move on as quickly as possible, but with the assurance that a fair settlement has been reached. Understandably, two people who feel they can no longer continue together may have differing ideas on the definition of "fair". At times, some parties may be tempted to eschew full disclosure during the property division process. But is this permissible in British Columbia?

The simple answer is, no. The law requires that all assets be revealed during a divorce. This applies even to assets that a person may have kept hidden during the marriage itself. Those assets may now be considered family property and will likely factor into the division process.