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How-tos in Divorce or Separation – Explained by Vancouver Divorce Lawyer

We understand going through separation or divorce is stressful, especially when you do not know the legal process. This post is part of our How-tos in Divorce or Separation series. We address few frequently asked questions. If you have more questions about your separation or divorce, give us a call or send us a request for initial consult. Our Vancouver divorce lawyers are here to help. There is no harm in finding out what your rights and obligations are and to speak to a divorce lawyer, who knows more about this area than you do.

How do I get a divorce in BC?

The first question in our How-tos in Divorce or Separation series is of course about getting divorced in BC. To get a divorce in BC, you need a court order for divorce. To get the divorce order, you need to file a notice of family claim, personally serve the other side, wait for 30 days, submit the supporting affidavits, requisition, and order to the court, then wait till a judge reviews your materials. For more information, check out our blog post where our Vancouver divorce lawyer explains the process and what forms you need to fill out.

Should I videotape my ex at exchanges?

The second spot in our How-tos in Divorce or Separation series goes to videotaping your ex. We suggest that you do not videotape your ex when you are exchanging children. Videotaping your ex may send a message to your children that there is something wrong. You want your children to feel safe with both parents. Consider other options before videotaping your ex such as doing exchanges at a public place or asking a family member for help. Check our video on this topic to get more information.

Should I record my child?

In Canada, it is illegal to record a private conversation. However, if one of the people in the conversation consents to the recording, then it is not illegal. Regardless of issue of illegality, we suggest you think twice before recording your child. Consider the impact this may have on your relationship with your child. Recording may be used in court but only in limited circumstances, therefore, it may not be worth it, especially when you consider the damage it may have on your relationship.

Do I have to pay spousal support, if he/she cheated?

We get this question a lot. It is unlikely that the cheating would affect spousal support. Canada has a no fault divorce system.

My ex said not to contact him/her, what should I do?

It is best to give your ex some space, if there is nothing urgent that you need to sort out. Afterwards, send an email to your ex detailing what needs to be addressed in terms of parenting arrangement, support, and property division. You can also hire a divorce lawyer to contact your ex on your behalf or to start a court action.

My ex is abusive, what can I do to protect myself?

If your ex has abused you and you are concerned that the abuse may escalate with the separation, you may be able to get a protection order in place. Your protection order would say something like your ex cannot communicate with you or come to your residence, place of employment, etc. The wording of the protection order depends on your circumstances. For example, if your ex has guns, the protection order may include provisions for removal of guns by the RCMP. In BC protection orders are enforced under the criminal code. This means that if your ex breaches the protection order, the police can arrest him.

How do I terminate child support?

If your child has reached the age of majority or is no longer residing with your ex, you may be able to terminate or reduce your child support obligation. If your child is attending university and is not residing with your ex, you still have an obligation to support him or her. However, you may be able to reduce the amount of child support. Check our blog post on child support for more information. In this post, our Vancouver divorce lawyer explains what happens to child support when your child is attending university or post secondary education.

How do I reduce spousal support in BC?

What’s a How-tos in Divorce or Separation series, without addressing reducing or terminating spousal support, eh?

If you have an agreement or court order for spousal support, you need to apply to court to reduce or terminate your spousal support obligation. The legal test for terminating or reducing your spousal support depends on the wording of the agreement or the order. If the agreement provides for a review, you do not need to show a material change in circumstances. Otherwise, in order to be able to change the spousal support, you need to show material change in circumstances. Check out our blog post on terminating spousal support, where our Vancouver divorce lawyer explains how to terminate your spousal support.