The central legal concepts with respect to divorce and separation are found in the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act. The Divorce Act is a federal statute which applies to every province within Canada, whereas the Family Law Act is a provincial legislation. This means each province has its own variation of the legislation.
The Divorce Act outlines issues such as jurisdiction, grounds for divorce, child support, spousal support and custody orders. Procedural matters on these issues are governed by each province. In British Columbia, these procedural rules can be found in the Supreme Court Family Rules. There are 3 grounds for seeking a divorce based on the breakdown of the marriage:
the parties are separated and have been separated for at least one (1) year;
the other spouse has, since the celebration of the marriage, committed adultery; and
the other spouse has, since the celebration of the marriage, treated the spouse with physical or mental cruelty of such a kind as to render intolerable the continued cohabitation process.
To begin a divorce proceeding a Notice of Family Claim must be filed. Even though a proceeding must be commenced and the Supreme Court of British Columbia has to grant you the Divorce, this does not mean that matters relating to the breakdown of the relationship cannot be dealt with outside of court. Often a collaborative approach of mediation, negotiation, and interim court applications is used to resolve issues such as child and spousal support, parenting arrangements, and division of matrimonial property and debt.
Since every case and relationship is unique to its facts, it is best to consult a Divorce lawyer to determine the appropriate course of action for your case. The breakdown of any marriage or relationship can be very emotional and difficult so let the lawyers at Gill & Gill Law assist you with this process and achieve favourable results for you.
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