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Filing for Divorce in British Columbia

If you are considering filing for divorce in British Columbia (BC), it’s important to understand the legal requirements and processes involved. This post outlines the grounds for divorce, and the key areas you need to agree upon or let the court decide.

Grounds for Divorce

In BC, divorce is granted based on the principle of marriage breakdown. There are three recognized ways to prove this:

  • Living Separate and Apart for One Year: This is the most common ground for divorce. You can live together for up to 90 days (to attempt reconciliation) without restarting the one-year period.
  • Adultery: A divorce can be granted if one spouse has committed adultery, meaning they had sexual intercourse with a person who is not their spouse.
  • Physical and Mental Cruelty: If a spouse has been subjected to treatment so cruel that it becomes intolerable to live together, this can serve as grounds for divorce.

For the latter two grounds, evidence must be provided, typically through an affidavit of the person admitting to the adultery or cruelty.

Matters to Agree Upon or Let the Court Decide

When filing for divorce, there are several key issues that need to be resolved. These can be agreed upon mutually between the parties or decided by the court in the absence of agreement:

  • Child Support: The amount of child support should be in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines. This is typically based on the income of the paying parent and the number of children.
  • Parenting Arrangement and Care of Children: Decisions need to be made about where the children will live, how much time they will spend with each parent, and how decisions about the children will be made.
  • Spousal Support: If one party is unable to support themselves financially, they may be eligible for spousal support from the other party.
  • Division of Property: Both parties must agree on how to divide their property and assets. This includes things like homes, cars, pensions, and other assets acquired during the marriage.
  • Responsibility for Debt: Debts accrued during the marriage must also be divided. This could include credit card debt, loans, or mortgages.
  • Family Law Agreements: If there are pre-existing agreements like prenuptial agreements or separation agreements, these will also be considered.
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Melissa has 8+ years of combined Commercial, Business and Contract Law experience as In-House Counsel in manufacturing, health, real estate development, and broadcast communication industries. She is instrumental in developing strategies to minimize legal risk and ensure regulatory compliance.

She has 6+ years of Human Resources Management experience and a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation. Her practice includes Family Law, Civil Litigation, Wills & Estates and Real Estate & Conveyancing.

For fun, she visits ancient sites and ruins and belts out popular Broadway tunes.

northam law corporation

Northam Law is a boutique law firm offering advisory services in Real Estate Law and Conveyancing, Business Law, and Human Resources. Our practice areas also include Wills & Estates and Family Law. Notarization services are also available.

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