Schedule An Appointment With Us 604-800-8853
Family Law Blog

Vancouver Family Law Blog

Therapy can help with the emotional outcomes of family law

When going through divorce, people face financial, legal and emotional hurdles. While many experts recommend staying level-headed and businesslike when dealing with family law issues, this can be difficult for those also dealing with feelings of betrayal, hurt, sadness and resentment. Some people divorcing in British Columbia may find it helpful to speak with a counsellor or therapist while divorcing to manage these emotional issues in a separate and constructive way.

There are a few situations in particular who where a therapist would be helpful. For example, if the divorce will mean a major life change due to financial constraints or new time commitments, it may be helpful to have an outside perspective to make a plan for the future. It can be easy to get hung up on individual issues when working through a separation agreement, but therapy can help people emotionally move past those things and focus a bit more on the future.

Divorcees should understand pensions splitting under family law

When it comes to divorce, splitting Canada Pension Plans can be a difficult matter. One British Columbia man is learning this complexity the hard way. After contributing for over 40 years, he is only getting $338 per month after tax from CPP -- after agreeing to split the amounts with his now late ex-wife. In B.C., divorcing couples are not required by family law to split pension credits, so it is important to make an informed decision about this issue. 

The man agreed upon his divorce to split CPP earnings with his wife after their 30-year marriage ended. Although he worked more years and contributed more to CPP than his ex-wife, he did agree to these terms so the spouses could have similar pensions. However, his former wife died of an illness a year before the husband turned 60 and claimed his CPP.

Controlling your parenting plan after a divorce

It may be difficult to think clearly now, and your head may be spinning from the many decisions you have to make in light of your impending divorce. Perhaps the most difficult decisions are those involving your children. Undoubtedly, you have witnessed the struggle other divorcing parents – perhaps your own parents – have gone through in attempting to achieve the least stressful resolution for their children.

Fortunately, the evolution of thinking concerning child custody issues is moving toward a gentler, more equitable sharing of parental responsibility. As you and your spouse work through your divorce, you may be pleasantly surprised at the control you have over the outcome.

Who Gets To Keep The Family Pet?

Most couples don’t enter a marriage anticipating divorce. When left with no other choice but to part ways, emotions and stress are typically at an all-time high. Navigating the divorce process can be complicated and contentious, especially when it comes to handling sensitive topics.

Unfortunately, the issue of how to manage custody of the family pet often causes the most disaccord in part due to how the law perceives domestic animals. While pet parents will fervently defend their animal’s position as a beloved member of the family, legally speaking, the family dog is considered property.

The Rights Of A Grandparent During A Divorce

When a couple with children divorces, the main focus is often directed at how the kids will fare. The concern for their well-being as well as financial and custodial situations are typically prioritized.

While conversations about parental custody are common, grandparents may find themselves wondering what, if any, right they have to in terms of seeing their grandchildren post-divorce.

Property division in British Columbia includes engagement rings

In an era when people are scratching their heads over cryptocurrencies, battling over an engagement ring seems archaic. However, there have been cases across Canada in which divorcing couples will each claim that storied -- and often valuable -- piece of jewellery. Unlike Alberta where a promissory ring still falls under breach of promise, British Columbia family law treats all engagement gifts under property division.

It can become quite a tangle. The giving of a ring as a promise to wed does not imply that the marriage will last forever. This applies as well when a house, car or other large item is gifted to show the commitment to marry, with or without an engagement ring. In other provinces, courts deliberated on whether engagement rings were conditional or unconditional gifts.

High asset divorce in British Columbia must include all income

Definitions of income are outlined in tax laws to clearly establish status on which tax exemptions may be claimed. However, income as defined in the federal child support guidelines is what family law courts in British Columbia must base their decisions on. Accordingly, in a high asset divorce, all income must be disclosed in order for the court to make determinations about spousal or child support, and in particular, what the amounts of those payments should be.

It seems self-evident that nondisclosure, or even hiding, of income during or after the dissolution of marriage will, at some point, lead to legal mayhem. In a recent application for both child and spousal support, the judge called full disclosure as "the most basic obligation" in family law. In what reads like a cautionary tale, the ex-spouse claimed that his only income came from provincial disability payments, falling well below the threshold for child support.

Cryptocurrency can cause disclosure issues in high asset divorce

One of the reasons divorces can last so long is that some parties refuse to be forthcoming with asset disclosure. While British Columbia family law requires all assets to be disclosed in order to finalize a divorce settlement, those going through a high asset divorce may find themselves dealing with a partner who attempts to hide information. The costs of trying to hide assets far outweigh the positives, and such actions can leave people in vicious court battles for months or even years.

One of the most recent ways people have attempted to hide assets in British Columbia divorces is through cryptocurrency. These present a unique challenge for courts, as cryptocurrencies are more difficult to trace due to their decentralized nature. There is no physical form of these assets and they only exist on a protected network, so proving their existence can be difficult if not impossible.

How to deal with Bitcoin in property division proceedings

Dividing assets during a divorce can be a challenging process. Recently, cryptocurrencies have added an additional complication to the property division process. The volatility of these assets, the difficulty splitting their ownership using the blockchain and the potential to hide these assets have made them a difficult new issue in British Columbia divorce law.

Cryptocurrency, the most common of which is Bitcoin, is a decentralized digital currency. It is not produced or controlled by a central government, and can be owned by anyone who chooses to purchase it. Purchases can be conducted online or through Bitcoin ATMs. Bitcoin's value is highly volatile; its value increased by 2000 percent in 2017 but has been declining from this peak throughout 2018.

Do divorces have to split their pension with their ex?

Spouses who have financially supported a marriage can sometimes feel bitter when their financial obligations continue after a divorce. For this reason, some of the biggest points of contention for British Columbia couples during property division are retirement savings and pensions. Current family law standards may require those who have grown a pension over the course of a long-term marriage to split that with their ex-spouse, regardless of the circumstances around the divorce. 

Back to top

vancouver office
1367 West Broadway, Suite 504
Vancouver, BC V6H 4A7

Phone: 604-800-8853
Fax: 604-734-6366
Vancouver Law Office Map


See what’s currently happening in the law and with our firm. Read the latest posts on our Vancouver Family Law Blog!

Visit Our Blog

We Value Your Opinion

We strive to provide quality services to our clients and invite you to share your opinion of our legal services.

Review Us