Whether you're moving in with someone new, separating from your spouse, or dealing with the care of children, new family arrangements can be challenging. We can help you by providing advice, drafting agreements, negotiating, or representing you in court.
Marriage and Co-habitation
Marriage agreements and cohabitation agreements are legal contracts, just like any other type of contract.
If you are getting married, moving in with someone, or approaching two years of living together (and becoming common law), it's wise to consider what might happen in the event of relationship breakdown, especially if you come into the relationship with significant assets. It may seem unromantic , but a well drafted cohabitation or marriage agreement can help navigate the painful process of separation should your relationship end.
Separation and Divorce
In BC, there is no such thing as "legal" separation. You do not need to see a lawyer or file some sort of court document to obtain a separation. You just need to tell your spouse that it's over, and take whatever steps are necessary to put an end to the partnership qualities of your relationship. If you are married, you can be separated prior to getting a divorce. Ultimately, some couples separate but never divorce. Whether you enter a separation agreement or get a divorce is up to you. Either way, splitting up with your spouse will make you separated in the eyes of the law.
There are many issues to consider when you separate, particularly if you have children. You'll need to consider parenting time, holidays, spousal support, child support, asset division, debt division, and the logistics of parenting separately. Sometimes you'll be able to negotiate a settlement with your former spouse. If you can come to an agreement, that is usually the most efficient and painless way to resolve any disputes. If you can't agree, you'll have to work with a mediator or go to court.
We can help you after a relationship break down by drafting a separation agreement, negotiating with your ex-spouse or their lawyer, representing you in court, or preparing divorce paperwork on your behalf.
It can be hard to cooperate with an ex-spouse or partner to arrange for the care of your children. If you want to change support payments, relocate, or reschedule your parenting time, you'll need to get the agreement of the children's other parent.
Even if you have been separated for a while and you and your former spouse get along, issues can arise that become contentious. If these issues can't be sorted out by agreement, you may have to go to court to resolve them.