What is family property, and what isn’t? How is property divided when a relationship ends?
Serving Families in Burnaby, New Westminster & Coquitlam:
If you are struggling with a family law dispute, Valerie M. Little Law Corporation is a great resource when you need a family lawyer. At Valerie M. Little Law Corporation in New Westminster, we know that nothing is more valuable than the family—and because your family is important to you, protecting your family is important to us.
We do all we can to serve your family and defend your rights. We understand that no two situations are identical, and we get to know your personal situation so that we can tailor our legal expertise to your unique needs. We have had experience with mediation and collaborative law, which means we can solve many disputes without ever going to court.
At Valerie M. Little Law Corporation we recognize that the most worthwhile things in life are not free. As such, we do not try to entice you in by offering a free initial consultation as these typically offer very little advice or value. The old adage “you get what you pay for” has never been so true in dealing with one of the most important decisions of your life. From our years of experience in Family Law, we have come to recognize that by gaining a thorough understanding of your specific situation in your initial consult, we empower you with both valuable and timely advice which can greatly impact the success rate of resolving your specific family law issue.
To enquire about our rates or to schedule your initial consultation, call or email us today!
From legal separation to adoptions to asset division, we have the knowledge and experience to protect you. We can also help you prevent potential problems by offering prenuptial, marriage and separation agreements. If you are wondering if Burnaby lawyers are requisite for your family's situation, contact Valerie M. Little Law Corporation today. We are happy to sit down and talk with you about your own situation and advise you on how to move forward with your life.
At the heart of Valerie M. Little Law Corporation is a commitment to providing personal, trusted and experienced legal services. We believe that when you hire a lawyer in Coquitlam, you are entering into a pact of trust. We honour this trust by explaining your rights to you and helping you understand what your options are. Then, we outline the steps and strategies we will employ to provide you with the legal protection you deserve. This transparency is part of our dedication to you and facilitates the communication needed to secure your family's legal rights.
Since we are centrally located in New Westminster, we are also pleased to represent parents and spouses who reside in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, Surrey and other parts of the Lower Mainland. Our reputation and high level of customer satisfaction have helped us to expand our practice and increase our success. If you have a family law matter and are in need of advice, contact Valerie M. Little Law Corporation.
The amount of child support depends on several factors, including the paying parent’s income. If that parent is self-employed, determining their true income can be very complicated. Here is what you need to know about how child support is calculated when a parent is self-employed.
Going through a separation from your spouse can be stressful. If you have children, it can be very hard on them too. The many unknowns feel overwhelming. If you decide to hire an experienced family lawyer, you may wish to consider obtaining the assistance of a trained legal advocate.
Are there “happy” ways to resolve the family law issues that arise after separation? Absolutely. The legal side of separation does not have to be adversarial or hostile. There are ways to resolve legal issues without going to court and without experiencing added stress.
Selling a house after separation can be a contentious family law issue. Spouses often disagree on who should get to live in the home, whether it should be kept, or if selling the house due to separation makes more sense.
You can get a divorce in Canada even if you were legally married in an Islamic country, such as Iran, Iraq, or Afghanistan. You do not need your husband’s consent to divorce in Canada, and it does not matter where your husband lives now. The prospect of divorce may seem scary or impossible, but Valerie M. Little can help you achieve your freedom by getting a Canadian divorce. Here is what you need to know.
“If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree!”
The thought of going through a separation can be frightening. For some people, the prospect is overwhelming. Change can feel impossible to achieve. If you find yourself unhappy and in an unhealthy and dysfunctional relationship, it may be time to make a move. After all, you are not a tree.
What is family property, and what is not family property? How is property divided when a relationship ends? The basic and initial starting point in BC is that all family property is shared equally when spouses separate. It seems straightforward but currently the division of family property is one of the most contentious aspects of BC family law. It can be difficult for spouses to know which assets are family property that must be shared and which assets do not qualify as family property.
If you are in a common law relationship, do you have the same rights on separation as a married spouse? The answer is yes, but only if you qualify as a common law "spouse" as defined by BC's Family Law Act. Here are some top FAQs for common-law couples.
There are often many decisions to make and many issues to deal with if your relationship is at an end. A family lawyer is trained to guide you through this challenging period in your life. Here are some top reasons you should hire a family law lawyer when going through a separation.
When spouses separate, the starting point is an equal division of family property, even if one spouse contributed more than the other spouse. The same is true of family debt. The presumption is that both spouses are equally responsible for the debt regardless of who incurred the debt or in whose name the debt is registered.
The end of a marriage is never easy, but it does not have to be ugly. A happy divorce is possible. It is true that issues arising from your relationship need to be sorted out. But you and your spouse can choose to work together to resolve any issues and get a divorce without the need for drawn-out litigation. Here is the approach that can lead to getting happily divorced.
Second marriages are more and more common as is cohabiting with a new partner after divorce. A frequently asked question is whether the new relationship will end spousal support. Let’s discuss whether spousal support is reduced because of a new partner’s financial contributions, and how a new partner’s income may be relevant when determining spousal support in BC family law proceedings.
Here is what you should know and why you may consider not waiting to start the legal process.
If you are not married and you are wanting live with your partner, you may wish to consider protecting your rights, obligations and property by signing a Cohabitation Agreement. Cohabitation Agreements are used to determine mutual rights and obligations at the beginning of a relationship.
Let’s have a look at the issue of children’s views on post-separation parenting arrangements.
Here are some of the things you should do and think about before you separate from your husband or wife.
“Getting to the age of 62 without paying a dollar voluntarily ... should not be rewarded.”
Cocaine use was a major factor in the discussion of parenting issues in a recent BC family law case.
Parents have a duty to provide financial support for their children. The legal obligation to contribute to the cost of raising a child continues after parents separate. But when does it end? Let’s look at how long child support must be paid.
Shared goals and expectations are the foundations of a good relationship. With that in mind, Prenuptial Agreements can be viewed in a positive light. “Prenups” provide an opportunity for open, honest discussion with your partner and may help avoid future conflict. Here are the top FAQs about Prenuptial Agreements in BC.
When a common-law relationship ends, disagreements about property, debt and spousal support often arise. If you are not married and live with your partner, a cohabitation agreement can help you avoid disagreements should your relationship dissolve in the future.
Separating spouses who are still amicable may attempt to negotiate a separation agreement between themselves. Some separating spouses are tempted to use online templates or do-it-yourself kits and are lured by the promise of “quick” and “cheap” solutions.
Moving with a child after separation or divorce is one of the most litigated family law issues. The Divorce Act was changed as of March 1, 2021, to contain new rules for relocation and changes of residence.
A Separation Agreement is made at a specific time. Usually, a Separation Agreement is intended to deal with issues for years to come. However, life is always changing. People move away, enter new relationships and change careers. Income goes up and down. Children get older and their needs and activities change over time.
The decision to adopt a child is life-changing. There are many important factors that go into the decision to adopt, and for many, there are a lot of questions about the BC adoption process. A significant concern for the child, adoptive parents and biological parents alike is the permanence of an adoption order.
The only way to legally end a marriage is by divorce. In the vast majority of cases, spouses will have to be separated for a certain amount of time before they can qualify for a divorce. One or both spouses can apply to the courts for a divorce order any time after the relationship ends, but the reality is that BC courts will not grant a divorce until the spouses have been separated for one year, with a few limited exceptions which will be discussed below.
Family violence can take many forms, and it is known to have a profound effect on children. Separation and divorce can exacerbate an already violent relationship and the period following separation is the highest time of risk. Despite all that is known about family violence and its potential impacts on children and parenting, the Divorce Act was silent on this important issue.
Even if you and your spouse have separated and you both agree that you want to divorce, the only way to legally end a marriage is by getting a divorce order. In BC, a divorce order must be issued by a judge of the Supreme Court. That being said, it is possible to get a BC divorce order without setting foot in a courtroom if you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on all marital issues such as parenting, child support, spousal support, division of property and debt. Here is what you need to know about getting a divorce without going to court.
As of March 1, 2021, the terms “custody” and “access” have been removed from the federal Divorce Act. Those terms have been replaced with language that looks at parents’ responsibilities for the children. The significant changes to family law are intended to change not just the way we talk about these concepts—but also the way we think about parenting after separation.
Children have a right to support, and every parent has a duty to seek employment that will earn the income necessary to maintain his or her children. Canada’s Federal Child Support Guidelines are used in BC family law matters to determine a fair standard of child support so that children continue to benefit from both parents’ incomes after separation or divorce.
Important changes to the Divorce Act came into force on March 1, 2021. These were ushered in by the long-awaited Bill C-78. This marks the first major amendment to federal family laws in more than 20 years. Here is an overview of the key changes for married people going through separation and divorce in BC.
Parents who pay child support have a duty to disclose their true income. Unfortunately, some parents use inadequate or delayed disclosure of income increases as a strategy to avoid paying child support.
After a marriage breaks down, it can be very challenging for spouses to reach an agreement on important issues such as parenting time, child support, spousal support and division of family property/debt. Unfortunately, after all the hard work at reaching an agreement and incorporating the terms into a Separation Agreement, one spouse may fail to follow the agreement that was reached.
Are there situations where it is preferable to have a consent court order instead of a separation agreement? The answer is yes. In this article, BC family lawyer Valerie M. Little will discuss the differences between separation agreements and consent court orders and why married or cohabiting spouses may want to get a consent court order to resolve their family law issues.
Whether you are married or in a common-law relationship, you can make an agreement after you separate to deal with issues such as how to divide family property (assets and debts), child custody, parenting time (access issues), child support, and spousal support (also known as alimony). In fact, the majority of spouses do resolve the issues between them by way of a negotiated separation agreement.
The traditional view of divorce is that it is a “win-lose” situation with spouses as enemies, locked in a protracted legal battle trying to defeat each other. It is stressful to work against each other and in the end, it may feel like no one really “won.”
The end of a relationship brings about the untangling of both emotional and financial aspects of a couple’s lives.
Life as we know it has been drastically altered by the coronavirus pandemic.
If you have made or are in the process of making the difficult decision to separate from your spouse, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the number of unknowns that come along with that decision. Who should move out of the family home?
The arrival of a new year brings about reflection on what is important in life, such as family and relationships. For some, this may mean taking new steps in a relationship or committing to making a relationship work.
When parents separate or divorce, arrangements must be made for where their children will live, how often each parent will see the children, and how parenting decisions will be made.
Child support is the right of the child. Parents have a legal obligation to support their children – even if they do not live with, take care of, or see the children
If you are married and you want a divorce, you need to get a divorce order to end your marriage legally.
Close, committed family relationships can come about in “non-traditional” ways, at times giving rise to the wish to legally recognize a parent/child relationship with a person who is now an adult. When such situations arise, clients ask family lawyers whether adoption is still possible once the child to be adopted has reached the age of majority. Continue reading to learn more.
Many grandparents are uncertain about the meaning of legal terms such as custody or guardianship and are unclear about the rights and obligations associated with each term. This post is intended to provide an overview of some of the key terms relating to guardianship of grandchildren.
A common question for BC family lawyers is whether spousal support ends at retirement. Payors of spousal support often assume that when they retire, their obligation to pay spousal support will terminate.
When parents separate or divorce, an arrangement for child custody and access will be put in place, either by agreement or court order. So long as both parents live in the same area, this arrangement protects the child continuing relationship with both parents. What happens when one parent wants to move away and change the principal residence of the child?
Here are some ideas to stop your legal bills from spiralling out of control.
It is true that in today's environment where the cost of living and the cost of housing is high many couples simply cannot afford to divorce.
Our divorce lawyers recently discussed the issue of whether Canada will recognize a divorce that was granted in a foreign country. There are special rules that apply to divorcing outside of Canada such that a foreign divorce will be recognized in Canada only if certain conditions are met.
Family lawyers are often asked how the BC adoption process works and what legal effect adoption has on the adoptive parents, the adopted child, and the biological parents. The purpose of today’s post is to review some key information about the process and legal ramifications of a BC adoption.
There are many reasons to get independent legal advice from family lawyer before signing a Separation Agreement. A few of those reasons are provided here below.
Whether you are getting separated, divorced or your marriage is to be annulled, there are steps you should take to prepare. A separation is where you and your spouse live separately and apart with the intent of getting a divorce, while an annulment is a court order that declares a marriage to be invalid from the start. These are each described in more detail below.
If you are separated with children from your former partner, your family law lawyer may suggest you consider adding in a parenting coordination clause into your separation agreement. There are many factors to consider in making this choice.
There are special rules that apply when you are divorcing your spouse outside of Canada. Your divorce is valid if you divorced outside of British Columbia only if one of the spouses lived in the country where the divorce was granted for at least one year prior to the divorce. This is usually an important prerequisite if the validity of divorce is in dispute.
If you are thinking about getting remarried, you may want to consider the impact of obligations from a prior marriage. You may also want to better prepare for a second potential separation by planning for the distribution of your assets in advance.
If you are initiating divorce proceedings, you may be tempted to resort to online toolkits or first try navigating the process yourself. It may appear that pursuing a divorce without a lawyer will save you time and money. This is often not the case, and you may risk overlooking complex legal issues or drawing out the process for longer than necessary. Below are some of the issues to consider before attempting a divorce on your own.
When you have decided to separate from your life partner, many factors must be taken into consideration from a legal standpoint. Because you may be deeply involved in the emotional aspects, it can be difficult to be forward-thinking or understand what the division of assets will entail.
Today, many couples consider a prenuptial agreement, whether for a first, second or later marriage. Below are some things you may want to consider if you are getting married or are considering a prenuptial agreement.
It’s sad but true that separation is a modern day reality. You may know a number of people who have gone through the separation process. If you have been thinking of separating, you should consider getting professional legal advice from a lawyer specializing in family law.
Family disputes can be extremely complicated, tense and emotional. When trying to resolve your family issues, it is always prudent to hire a family lawyer to help you.
Whether you are just beginning the divorce process or you have recently gone through it, you may now be facing the issue of determining child and spousal support.
Though it’s not something most people like to think about, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed yearly when it comes to dealing with your family lawyer. At Valerie M. Little Family Law, we take the time to make sure that you understand everything you need to know to keep your house in order.
A prenuptial agreement, also known as a cohabitation or marriage agreement, is an agreement made between two parties setting out how property will be valued and divided if the couple were to separate.
It’s an understandably difficult time when a marriage breaks down; both, emotionally and financially. However, in order to move forward in an expeditious and efficient manner, it is vital to follow the legal requirements of disclosure.
In order to successfully annul your marriage, your situation needs to meet the legal requirements and you need to get the appropriate declaration from the court which states that your marriage is invalid. This way your marriage will be considered to have never occurred in the eyes of the law.
Spousal support is a payment made to a former spouse after a separation. This payment is intended to equitably divide the family income between the spouses. Spousal support may be decided on the basis of need or to compensate for what a spouse may have given up during the marriage. Spousal support payments are usually decided within the scope of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (the “SSAGs”).
Although divorce is rarely easy for anyone involved, it can often be uniquely stressful for children. Even if separation or divorce is ultimately the right decision for your family, children, who often have not participated in the decision process until it is over, can react in many unpredictable ways.
If your are in the process of going through a divorce, the upcoming holidays will probably present you with a few new challenges. Seeing everyone in the family together is always wonderful but now that your family has changed, there will be some unique stresses this holiday season.
Navigating the system to arrange for child and spousal support can be difficult, particularly as child benefits have changed over the years. It is particularly important to understand what child benefits are available if you have a child and the relationship of child benefits with any spousal support that may also be available.
Travelling abroad with a child can require a lot of planning to arrange a safe and enjoyable trip. While planning and custody arrangements should be resolved before travelling, ensuring that you have proper documentation for your child can help avoid any problems that may arise with border agents or immigration officers.
Facing a marital separation but feeling unsure whether to choose mediation or traditional divorce court? It can be a confusing time for all parties.
Even if your divorce affected nobody but you, it is often accompanied by a lot of emotional stress. You have to break apart a relationship that probably brought you much joy when it worked.
If you're facing the end of your marriage, you have a lot weighing on you. Conflicting feelings come and go. You have to continue with your daily activities and still keep up with escalating demands on your time and resources. If you have children, you work hard to consider their needs.
Maintaining a strong relationship with your children is crucial during a divorce, and this is true for all parents. With the exception of being held financially responsible, fathers sometimes feel as though their parental role is minimized throughout the divorce process.
Uncontested divorces are becoming increasingly common, especially as more couples realize the emotional and financial benefits of an amicable split.
One of the cornerstones of Canadian family law, along with making decisions in accordance with the “best interests of the child,” is the “joint venture” model of the family. For several decades, high-level decisions of Canadian courts have considered the family’s economics as a cooperative affair, even if some family members’ contributions are not easily expressed in financial terms.
The cost of love and romance can be amazingly high – but if you don’t have the right representation, getting a divorce may be even costlier. Once you know that divorce is a likely choice for you and your spouse, contact a professional as soon as possible.
If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce, your first step should be talking to a professional. Getting a legal separation or a divorce is rarely easy for anyone, but an experienced family lawyer can do much to assist you.
If you are amid a separation or divorce, and have children, determining you and your former partner’s respective parental responsibilities will inevitably become an important issue. It is important to understand the current legal landscape when it comes to potential custody arrangements, and how you will be affected by custody laws.
Valerie M. Little Law Corporation is centrally located in New Westminster and serves the surrounding areas of Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale, Delta, Langley, Tri-Cities, the Lower Mainland, Squamish and Whistler.
"Valerie is an outstanding family lawyer who listened, cared and fought for my rights as a single father. She knows all aspects of family law which she utilized during my case. Valerie was organized, calculating and logical when preparing for my court hearings. She was calm yet assertive during my court proceedings. I would highly recommend Valerie as the lawyer to handle cases that involve any family issues and the law."
"I met Valerie only once and felt very comfortable with her. I was very pleased with her prompt service and the extra mile to help. I would highly recommend her. She makes you comfortable and explains everything."