FAQ Posts

15 08, 2016

How Much Will It Cost?

This is a question most lawyers get asked frequently. There are different approaches to billing for legal services including: hourly fees; flat fees; contingency; and value-added fees. The most common form of billing is hourly fees, which is the approach our firm takes. Hourly fees for various services are clearly set out in your retainer [...]

12 08, 2016

The Rules of Disengagement

Dealing with family breakdown can be like trying to put Europe back together after WWII. To ensure that getting your order for divorce, property division, parenting arrangements and/or support costs you less than the treaty-making process after a world war, turn to family and friends, counsellors, and spiritual advisers, and most of all turn inward [...]

9 06, 2016

My ex-partner is trying to kick me out of our house.

It is usually not a good idea to leave the matrimonial home until you have met with a lawyer and understand your rights and obligations with respect to staying or going. On the other hand, in situations involving family violence, safety of the parties and other family members absolutely comes first. If you leave for [...]

9 06, 2016

How do I get my Partner (or my Child’s Partner) to Sign a Prenup or Cohabitation Agreement?

Given the changes in the law in BC, a good cohabitation agreement (also referred to as a “cohab”) can reduce or eliminate disputes on separation. The cohab should deal with (a) who owns/owes what at the time the relationship began or the time of the agreement and the values of each asset or debt; (b) [...]

9 06, 2016

Do I have to support children over 19 years old?

Section 3(2) of the FCSG provides that if the child is over 19 but still a “child of the marriage” in need of support: (a) the amount determined by applying the Guidelines as if the child were under 19; or (b) if the court considers that approach to be inappropriate, the amount that it considers [...]

9 06, 2016

My ex-partner is hiding/spending assets.

Section 19(1) of the Federal Child Support Guidelines (FCSG) permits the court to impute income if it appears that income has been diverted and that diversion affects the level of support payable under the FCSG, and/or if the spouse has failed to provide income information when under a legal obligation to do so. In the case Bodine-Shah v. [...]

9 06, 2016

I want to keep my pet if we split up.

The case Haywood v. Carrasco 2016 BCPC 71 reflects the state of the law pertaining to the “custody” of pets. When the common-law couple split up, they shared the dog, Kali, until one occasion, while under the common-law ex-husband’s care, Kali escaped the fenced yard and was found running on the Barnet Highway. The common-law [...]

9 06, 2016

I do not want to pay my partner’s debts if we split up.

The starting point for division of debt under the Family Law Act (FLA) is s. 81, which provides that spouses are both responsible for family debt, regardless of their respective use or contribution, and that on separation, each spouse is equally responsible for family debt. However, the court may order an unequal division of family debt if it would be [...]

9 06, 2016

I do not want to share my money/business/property with my spouse/common law partner if we split up.

There are four basic ways you may not have to share your property if you split up with your spouse or common-law spouse. Excluded Property: The Family Law Act, which came into force in March 2013 adopted an “excluded property” model. Separating spouses end up with a “communal pot” of family property to divide, but [...]

9 06, 2016

There is an order from the court that I am not happy about.

If the court has made an order that you are unhappy about, you must make arrangements to apply to the court of have the order varied, set aside or appealed. You must not simply ignore an order. Even if you think an order is wrong, you must nonetheless obey it. “A court order, made by [...]