The new B.C. Family Law Act will result in a number of changes to the law, including an emphasis on resolving family disputes by agreement without going to court via processes such as mediation and collaborative law and an attempt to promote a wider understanding of domestic violence and problems resulting from it. An attempt is made to reduce tensions by introducing less emotive language in cases regarding children as "custody" and "access" are changed to "guardianship" and "parenting time" and "contact". The B.C. Family Law Act creates new clearly defined property rights for unmarried couples as it stipulates that when a couple lives together for more than two years they will have the same property rights on separation as married couples.
For many of our clients, having businesses and other property in our parts of the world was a normal part of their lives. But when these individuals have a looming separation or divorce, it soon becomes clear that their separation or divorce will be quickly complicated by the possible division of these overseas businesses and properties. What can you do to get full disclosure or prevent dissipation of overseas assets? What can you do when you dispute BC's jurisdiction and want another jurisdiction to make a determination over your separation or divorce issues?
Even with the best planning, we cannot entirely avoid the challenges that are inherent to life. We can, however, make plans to weather those storms. Having a will and a representation agreement is a very practical way to “weather the storms” of life.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed most people’s everyday lives in a matter of a couple of weeks. Effective March 19, 2020 and until further notice, the BC Supreme Court has suspended regular operations of all of its locations. However, the Court will continue to hear “essential and urgent matters”. What constitutes as an “essential and urgent” matter?