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How to prepare for a consultation in a high asset divorce

Finding the right legal counsel is critical when ending a marriage. For this reason, many British Columbia individuals going through a high asset divorce will have consultations with multiple different potential lawyers in order to find the right fit. In order to do this effectively, it is a good idea for people to come prepared and ask the right questions in order to really understand how the lawyer might be able to help them.

Getting documents in order and bringing them to a consultation is ideal to get the most value out of the initial meeting. For example, if there is a restraining order or a divorce filing, these documents should be provided upfront for the lawyer to peruse. Additionally, a bird's eye view of the finances involved in the separation will help to clarify the main assets that will be involved in the breakup.

How will the courts handle custody order non-compliance?

Like you, a Vancouver family law court's primary concern during a custody dispute is the well-being of the child. Decisions a judge makes focus on the best interests of the child even when those interests may conflict with the desires of a parent. Once a court order for custody, parenting time or visitation is in place, it is not optional, and both parents must adhere to the terms of the order.

If you are struggling because your child's other parent refuses to comply with custody orders, you may feel frustrated and even angry. Whether is it because the other parent regularly fails to uphold his or her scheduled custody appointments or the other parent refuses to allow you court-ordered access to the children, you would be wise to seek legal advice about how best to proceed.

Planning can help people avoid mistakes in high asset divorce

When it comes to a divorce, seemingly everything is on the line: custody of children, property, investments and even future earnings. For British Columbia individuals undergoing a high asset divorce, a mistake can have serious consequences. Here are a few things people should know to avoid missteps when ending a marriage.

Today, many soon-to-be exes take a collaborative approach to separation agreements. This can help to save on costs and prevent lengthy court battles. Collaborative divorce is a good idea when possible, but if the break up is particularly contentious people should prioritize finding the right lawyers to lead each party through the legal system.

Prenuptial agreements an increasing family law trend

In the excitement of a new engagement, the topic of a prenuptial agreement can be difficult to raise. But the people who are willing to discuss this critical family law issue can find it lead to helpful conversations and important planning. While it may seem counterintuitive to discuss divorce when planning a marriage, British Columbia couples who choose to do so may find that it opens the door to better understanding and more security.

A recent survey found that 62 percent of lawyers had seen an uptick in the total number of clients seeking prenuptial agreements in the past three years. Specifically, those surveyed noted that millennials in particular were seeking these agreements at a higher rate. This may be driven by debt as much as by protecting assets, with many engaged millennials concerned about liability for a partner's student loans.

Are grounds for divorce required under B.C. family law?

One of the common misconceptions about divorce in Canada is that a person needs "grounds" to file for divorce. The majority of British Columbia divorces are no-fault, meaning that no reasoning is required to get the separation and subsequent divorce under family law. Understanding how separation and divorce work from a legal perspective is critical for anyone seeking to end their marriage in the province.

In British Columbia, divorce is governed primarily by Canada's Divorce Act. Under this legislation, a divorce can be granted one year from the date of separation. The way in which the costs associated with filing for separation are handled is typically referred to in the separation agreement.

Family law considerations when divorcing with a business

Business owners may be used to being in charge, but in a divorce they may have less control. Family law can be complicated when it comes to businesses, especially if both spouses had a hand in their creation or if the valuation is difficult to pin down. Advance planning with marriage and shareholder agreements can help significantly to clarify these cases for British Columbia families.

Advance planning on business succession and valuation is not only useful in the case of divorce, but also for unexpected death. These documents may clarify issues enough to allow for collaborative law or mediation options instead of going the court route, as these alternative dispute resolution options can be less expensive for couples. Regardless of how the divorce occurs and what planning has been done, however, the emotional and social outcomes can be unavoidable.

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.

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