How to File for Divorce in British Columbia in 2023
A divorce in British Columbia can be one of two varieties:
A contested divorce occurs when one or both spouses strongly oppose the divorce. Disagreements about parenting plans, child support, and the equitable distribution of assets and liabilities are common sources of tension in a contentious divorce. In a contested divorce, one spouse must present evidence of irreconcilable differences with the other as a means to justify the divorce. They have the burden of proof to show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably due to adultery, a year of separation, or spousal abuse.
When a couple decides to divorce without fighting, they sign a separation agreement outlining the terms of the divorce. A lower number of court appearances and lower overall costs characterize these types of divorces.
Whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, in British Columbia there are specific requirements that must be met in order to get a divorce that is recognized by the court. As we mentioned up top, you and your partner need to have been BC residents for at least a year before you file for divorce. You and your spouse must prove to the BC court that your marriage has truly ended after you have both moved there and become residents. It is possible to do this in a contested divorce by demonstrating that at least one party has been living apart from the other for at least a year. Abusive or adulterous behavior can also be used as legal grounds. If you do this, the court will almost certainly grant you a divorce.
This is typically a straightforward procedure in the case of an uncontested divorce. When divorcing parties are able to settle their differences amicably, the legal process can be completed quickly. This method is significantly more convenient and usually requires much less time and money.
Divorce in British Columbia requires a few legal steps to be taken, by both parties and their counsel, before proceeding
- Any disagreements regarding parenting time, child support, property and debt distribution, and so on, must be resolved before an uncontested divorce can be pursued.
- Then, if your partner accepts a Upon filing a "Notice of Family Claim" with the Supreme Court, you will be able to initiate divorce proceedings.
- If the divorce is contested, you will need to go through the court system to work out the details of property division, child custody, etc. The court process from this point on can take anywhere from 6 months to 15 months, and sometimes longer if agreements cannot be reached without a judge's order, which typically happens when one spouse fails to respond to the Notice of Family Claim.
- Interim orders can be obtained to resolve urgent matters during the court process, but these are typically only required in lengthy, contentious cases.
The family law attorneys at Ganapathi Law - PC should be consulted if the time has come for you to initiate divorce proceedings in British Columbia. ganapathico.com today Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions or would like some guidance on how to move forward.
Since this is the least burdensome to prove, it is the most popular reason for a divorce in British Columbia. Divorce proceedings can begin in British Columbia once a couple has separated. There is no need to specify the cause of separation in the Divorce Order; if they have been living apart for 12 months, it will be considered final.
Some technical details also need to be discussed. The first has to do with attempted reconciliation Even if divorce proceedings have already begun, a couple can try to re-establish their marriage by cohabiting for 90 days or less. This will not reset the clock on the required 12-month separation period. The one-year divorce waiting period begins again if the couple reconciles for more than 90 days after initially deciding to divorce.
While waiting for their Divorce Order, couples can live together in the same residence for up to 12 months. However, they will need to provide proof that they are living "separate and apart," which can be challenging in some cases.
Getting a divorce in British Columbia on the grounds of adultery is trickier than on other grounds because you have to provide evidence of the adultery. The adulterous partner of your spouse need not be revealed. There is no need to "catch them in the act," but there should be strong evidence to support the conclusion that adultery occurred.
The most straightforward evidence of adultery is a signed affidavit from the cheating ex-spouse. In addition, a court appearance or discovery examination can be used to prove adultery. It's a lot more challenging to use these methods than to convince your partner to admit you. Before filing for divorce on those grounds, you and your lawyer should spend significant time discussing the matter.
If adultery is stated in a divorce petition, both spouses must swear under oath that they did not conspire to end the marriage. Infidelity must have actually taken place, and it must not have been condoned by the other spouse. Having sexual relations outside of marriage is not a valid reason for a divorce in British Columbia for those who are in an open marriage.
Getting a divorce in British Columbia via this route is notoriously challenging. Canadian case law has established that extreme cruelty can be grounds for divorce. It is essential that you be able to provide evidence of this cruelty. Cruelty is a relative concept that should never arise from petty disagreements.
You have a good chance of getting a divorce in British Columbia if you can show that the physical or mental cruelty you've endured was unjustified. A judge might rule against you if they think the cruelty in the relationship is due to factors beyond your control, such as, say, bad tempers on both sides. It is crucial that you get sound legal counsel before filing for divorce on these grounds.
Since a divorce or legal separation in British Columbia can be a trying and emotional time, it's important to have a lawyer you can trust completely by your side. If you are going through a legal separation, Ganapathi Law Group is here to help you every step of the way. Don't wait to get in touch with us for your no-cost consultation.
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