As with most things in life making the decision to end a marriage or a common law relationship may take some planning. British Columbia married couples who have made the decision to divorce may find it helpful to have a road map of some sort as they move ahead as single individuals. Having a checklist of the things that need to be done may help the divorce process to be less complicated and less time-consuming.
Bill C-78 recently received Royal Assent in the federal parliament. The bill -- which affects British Columbia residents in the throes of divorce as well as other couples in the country -- strengthens federal family laws and also brings them into the 21st century. These are the first changes made in 20 years to three major laws affecting families.
There are times when child support doesn't end when a child turns 18 years old. British Columbia family law rules indicate that, if there is a maintenance order or an agreement that states otherwise, a payor must continue to pay child support until the order is no longer in effect or until the date stipulated in an agreement, which could mean until a dependent child finishes his or her post secondary education. Other factors that make an older child a dependent can include the child continuing to live at home, having a disability or a chronic medical condition, or being unable to find sustainable employment to live on his or her own.
The last thing most couples who are divorcing want is added tension during the process. To keep things as civil as possible, many British Columbia couples are opting for divorce help, such as alternative dispute resolution or mediation. When a divorce ends up in litigation, it is harder for everyone involved, and that could include children.
There is one crucial clause to insert into a spousal support agreement. If the payor of spousal support in British Columbia doesn't want to continue paying a former spouse after the spouse dies, the agreement must stipulate that payments cease upon death of the payee. Although inherent in the Divorce Act is the assumption that support ends when the recipient dies, it is still best to get that in writing within the body of the support document.
What is the difference between a separation and a divorce?