On March 18 2013, the new Family Law Act came into force. The Act dramatically changes many aspects of family law in B.C.
For persons newly separated, and wishing to resolve their family issues outside the court process, the Act specifically provides for the use of mediation and arbitration before the parties go to court.
The Act provides that, in matters of parenting, the court and the parents should only consider the best interests of the child in developing a parenting plan. Part of the best interest test will be the views of the child, if appropriate.
Property ownership and division are radically changed under the new act, and the property of common law spouses is included in the definition of family property.
Parties will now need to seriously consider whether they will need an agreement before marriage or cohabitation that will deal with how they will divide property and pay support if they separate. On separation, they will need to negotiate a separation agreement that resolves all the issues of parenting the children, dividing property, and paying support.
Parents who wish to develop a parenting plan will need to determine how they will involve the wishes of their children in that process.
At Just Family Solutions, Ron Smith is able to provide assistance in developing a pre marriage agreement or separation agreement. Ron has been mediating since 1985, and is certified by the Law Society and Mediate B.C. to mediate the resolution of family disputes. Ron is also certified as an arbitrator of family disputes, and is on the Hear the Child Society roster of child interviewers. Ron welcomes your enquires as to how he can provide solutions to the difficult task of finding solutions for family dispute.