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FAMILY LAW SIMPLIFIED

01 February 2020

FAMILY LAW SIMPLIFIED

Even though Provincial family law was changed in British Columbia in 2013 by the Family Law Act (FLA), most people do not know about these changes nor how these laws could affect you and your family after marital separation. SEA TO SKY LAW can help = 778-728-0208.


To find your answers, it is often helpful to first separate and organize family law issues into adult legal issues and child legal issues.  We recommend you use a three-ring binder to help you organize your notes and documents.


Adult family law issues and all related facts and documents can then be organized into these categories = divorce, spousal support (alimony), division of assets & debts, and safety issues.


Child family law issues and all related facts and documents can be organized into these categories = Guardianship, Parenting Responsibilities, Parenting Time, Contact Time, Child Support and safety issues.


The old Family Relations Act (FRA) used several terms to describe parenting rights and obligations including Custody and Access as well as Guardianship. Under the 1979 FRA, you could have had one or more of these rights eg Guardianship but no Custody, or Access but no Custody nor Guardianship but the custodial parent could not deny the access parent all rights eg to take the child to a different church. The 2013 FLA uses only the term Guardian to describe an adult eligible to have Parenting Responsibilities (decision making) and Parenting Time of a child. To confuse everyone, other legislation like the Federal Divorce Act and the Provincial CFCSA which manages child protection law both still use the terms custody and access.


Now under the FLA, only a Guardian can have Parenting Responsibilities and Parenting Time of a child. If you are not a Guardian then you can apply for an Order for “Contact” time with a child but the Guardian can object to who can have Contact time with a child for which they have the relevant Parenting Responsibilities.


Support for both spouses and children is still determined by the applicable Guidelines. Use of the Child Support Guidelines is mandatory but the calculation is only straightforward if you are an employee with just T4 income eg see the online government calculator = https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/child-enfant/2017/look-rech.asp However, it is more complicated if you are self-employed. Sea to Sky Law can help 778-728-0208


In our decades of experience, the best result in resolving family law issues is a fair agreement achieved through professional mediation not court litigation especially when children are involved. Too often angry spouses increase their stress and for their children instead of taking steps to reduce the conflict and related stress.  Based on our experience, it is almost always better to mediate the legal issues. However, success often depends on good preparation for mediation as well as litigation since knowledge is power and facts matters. SEA TO SKY LAW can help.


Call us today for help 778-728-0208; [email protected]

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