April 30, 2019

Implications of M.T. v. R.A., 2014 BCSC 795

Summary trial can resolve some relocation cases

Recent BCSC case has ramifications on some relocation cases.

A recent case in BC Supreme Court has established that it may be possible to resolve some relocation cases relatively quickly and inexpensively by way of summary trial.

In the case of M.T. v. R.A., 2014 BCSC 795, the parties were jointly parenting a 7-year-old girl under a written agreement that had been in effect for approximately five years. One of the terms of the agreement was that subject to further agreement or court order the parties would live within the boundaries of "Vancouver West". The mother had remarried and she and her new husband had a three-year-old son. The evidence indicated that the child of the parties was doing well and had a good relationship with her half brother and her parents.

the approach to be taken under the new Family Law Act is to move toward resolution of family disputes in a "just, speedy and inexpensive" manner whenever possible

The mother applied to the court for permission to move to Victoria with the child. The father opposed the move. The mother applied for an assessment and report to be done by a psychologist and also sought an order that the case be placed on the trial list. The father opposed the report, saying it was unnecessary and intrusive. He also opposed placement of the matter on the trial list, saying that the matter was suitable for summary determination under the new Family Law Act.

After hearing the mother's application, Mr. Justice Saunders seized himself of the matter and ordered that a psychological assessment and report should be done. However he refused to place the case on the trial list. He stated that in his view the provisions of the new Family Law Act are intended to provide for summary determination of relocation issues in cases where there had been a prior agreement or court order regarding parenting arrangements, although the court must retain discretion to order a trial where that appeared to be necessary. He concluded that, unless the assessment and report of the psychologist indicated that the case required a trial, he would hear and decide the matter in a summary fashion after the report was released.

This case, which appears to indicate that a speedy and inexpensive method may be available for resolution of relocation cases in some situations, appears to confirm that the approach to be taken under the new Family Law Act is to move toward resolution of family disputes in a "just, speedy and inexpensive" manner whenever possible.

THE BRIEF

Read more from Kitsilano Family Law’s blog — The Brief.

Dealing with International Assets
April 30, 2020

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?

Weathering the Storms of Life
April 14, 2020

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.

International Parenting Disputes During Covid-19
April 8, 2020

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?

Hear for you
Everything we do at Kitsilano Family Law is informed by listening. We can provide guidance about your family law situation during your free 30-minute consultation. Learn about your options today.
SCHEDULE FREE 30-MINUTE CHAT