Surrey British Columbia Family Law Blog

Understanding property division laws could help prevent disputes

When couples in British Columbia end their relationships, there are often two primary concerns -- what happens to their children and what happens to their property. Unless you entered into an agreement prior to your relationship that divides your property upon divorce, you will need to address this issue during your proceedings. You will also need to go through this process if your common law relationship lasted for a minimum of two years.

The trick is knowing what category each piece of property falls into since this will dictate how it will be divided. Having at least a basic understanding of how the property division process works could help avoid any unnecessary disputes borne out of not understanding how the law views your assets.

Family law: Some kids' places off limits after divorce

Children are especially vulnerable after their parents divorce. Kids in British Columbia need places where they feel safe and they're away from the possible angst created by their parents' divorces. Most often, those places are day cares or schools. Those places are usually havens for children whose parents are involved in divorce proceedings, and when parents bring their family law issues into those settings it can be especially disturbing for their kids.

Arguments that happen between divorced or divorcing spouses in these settings can also put day care providers or teachers in precarious, uncomfortable positions. No one wants to get in the middle of a disagreement between the parents of the children in their care. A classroom is no place to air the personal issues that accompany divorce, including child custody and child support issues.

Choosing Family Law Mediation

In part due to British Columbia’s Family Law Act, mediation has become an increasingly popular way to work towards dispute resolution in divorce. From handling child custody matters to resolving property division issues, mediation can be an effective, solution-oriented way of navigating the separation and divorce process.

While there are certainly benefits to choosing family law mediation, it may not be a tool that is right for all couples. Taking the time to understand the process can help in the decision as to whether to proceed.

The Importance Of Intelligent Co-Parenting

When a couple with children is considering divorce, the primary concern is almost always directed at how the kids will handle it. Thanks to Canadian family law, children’s welfare is a top priority and divorce situations are no exception.

How can parents ensure that their children adjust as well as possible post-divorce? According to one certified facilitator and parenting instructor and co-parenting coach, the solution lies in adopting a new perspective.

Parental Rights For Same-Sex Parents

Same-sex couples, whether married or common-law, have the same rights and responsibilities as their heterosexual counterparts. From ensuring that same-sex families with more than two parents have equal parenting responsibilities to recognizing issues often associated with assisted reproduction, some practical considerations often need to be made when navigating certain obstacles.

The Complexities Of Spousal Support In British Columbia Divorces

What happens when a couple used to the finer things in life gets divorced? In some cases, it could depend on the real estate market or a host of other seemingly unrelated factors. Spousal support, or money that is paid to one spouse by the other following a divorce, is assessed based on a range of factors. The intention behind spousal support is to ensure that neither party suffers from economic hardship as a result of the marriage’s breakdown and often takes into account the length of the relationship, economic positions, and the role that each spouse played in the relationship.

 

Do marriage counsellors ever recommend divorce?

Most couples having problems want to try everything to work things out. No one gets married with the idea that the union will end in divorce. But if a British Columbia couple has gone through the gamut of tools in their arsenal to try to work things out and nothing seems to be working, does a therapist ever suggest that perhaps divorce is the answer after all? 

Part of a therapist's job is to facilitate communication between people who are having problems. In an ideal situation, the couple will come to the conclusion on their own about the future of the marriage. Therapists say they don't like to give direct advice, even if it's apparent that the couple may be headed for divorce because of either the fighting or lack of communication altogether. 

Family law: Can kids pick which parent with whom to live?

When parents separate, it often puts their children in a precarious position. If the kids are very young, the impact may be minimal since they may not even realize what's happening, but older children will feel the pain as much as their parents do. In fact, children in Canada may often wish to choose with whom they're going to live, but ultimately, that should be the decision of the parents. Under family law, if they can't come to an agreement, the court will make a decision for them.

Older children have more of a say when it comes to the decisions that may affect their lives. It is most apt to be kids around the age of 12 and older, although that is not carved in stone since many children younger than 12 show a great depth of maturity. Even though children may be encouraged to have their say, a parent should never pit his or her children against the other parent.

Catching a financial cheater in the divorce process in Canada

When separation means having to share certain assets, there may be occasion when one spouse is less than stellar when it comes to being transparent about all earnings or assets. Divorce in Canada can bring out the worst in some people and that includes greediness. So, it may be necessary for one spouse to catch the other spouse who is being dishonest about finances.

Those who have a lot financially at stake may try to find ways of hiding it such as opening out-of-country bank accounts or asking other family members or friends to safekeep the funds for them. The law says couples going through a divorce must completely disclose their finances to each other. Those figures are used to ascertain child and spousal support amounts in many instances.

Family law in Canada: Ironing out child custody issues

Fighting over who gets the kids in a divorce situation rarely does anyone any good, and it's especially stressful for the kids. Battling parents may be able to use the tools provided by family law in Canada to iron contentious issues when it comes to child custody. High conflict parents may do more harm to their children than they realize, including a court order to have the children placed in care.

There are ways to limit the tension and to come to a consensus when it comes to child custody. A peaceful resolution is in the best interests of everyone and may help the mental health of children who are going through the divorce as well. By being cordial and non-accusatory, more can be accomplished. In no way should a child ever be used as a go-between for his or her parents. 

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