Family Law in B.C.
Family Law is a commonly used term that encompasses many areas of a relationship between couples that have issues or breakdowns in agreement.
- Family Law Separation Agreements
When an occasion arises where couples, either married or in common law marriages,it is best dealt with by co-operation between the husband and wife with both acting fairly and reasonably. This saves a lot of acrimony and legal expense by so acting and obtaining Independent Legal Advice of their respective rights and obligations. Such Agreements set out terms of settlement of assets, parenting times and obligations, Child Support and Spousal Support where warranted. With this Agreement, both parties know their new situation and can govern their future decisions with some clear structure and confidence.
In many cases, there are issues that may need to be dealt with by professionals, be they Family Law lawyers , Accountants, Pension experts, Financial Advisors or Realtors.
- Family Law Mediation
Mediation in Family law matters can be used to assist parties to know their rights and obligations as well as the information that needs to be produced for the Mediator to arrive at a fair settlement for the parties and avoid the high costs of a contested Divorce or Separation. Both members are usually required the share the costs of the Mediator- which can be expensive but less than each paying their own lawyer to work out an Agreement in an adversary environment.
Family Law Mediation is also often ideal to resolve particular issues that may arise after an Agreement is signed but circumstances have changed and new terms need to be negotiated.
- Family Law – Divorces
The term Family Lawyer is often used to include a Divorce lawyer and the terms interchanged but refer to the same experienced lawyer in Divorce and Family Law.There are two separate types of Divorces in Family law.
- a. Uncontested Divorces, where both parties are in full agreement and there are Family Law Agreements in place or no issues that the couple needs to resolve. This then becomes a process of preparation of a number of legal documents that result in a Court Final Divorce Order.
- b. Contested Divorces, where there is disagreement by the couples involved as well as their lawyers. This involves the appearance at a Judicial Case Conference (JCC) before a Judge who defines the issues, seeks to encourage settlement and makes Orders for the full production of relevant documents such as Tax Returns, Bank Accounts, Pensions, RRSP’s and investments. Often an Appraisal of the family home is involved. Thereafter there may be a series of Interim Applications over parenting time, spousal & child support and other issues. Ultimately, if the case is not settled, there can be an expensive somewhat lengthy trial.
- Family Law Issues
Apart from the Divorce itself, which most couples are in agreement to take place when their relationship has broken down, there are other side issues that can result in prolonged litigation. This can be a contest over parenting rights, or Spousal Support or the division of Assets.