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How to Divorce with Children in BC.

4 Important Things To Be Considered

At the end of the separation process, if you just need the divorce papers, and if children are involved, typically there are four issues that need to be resolved before you will be granted a divorce. Your agreement with your spouse on these issues are best written down since it makes the process much smoother and quicker. The following information is not legal advice. It contains general information and is provided for convenience should you wish to apply for a divorce and you and your spouse have children.

How to divorce with kids in BC

1. How did you establish your child support numbers?

Since it is the “right of the child,” divorcing parents are legally responsible to financially support their children – even if you don’t see them or take care of them. Child support in Canada is determined by using the Child Support Guidelines.

So, if you’re going to make an application for divorce, you need to have child support sorted out by using the guidelines

2. What is the agreed-upon split for Section 7, Special and Extraordinary Expenses?

Over and above child support, parents also have the responsibility to take care of other expenses such as day care, medical, post-secondary education, high-end sports and cultural activities, etc. The guidelines define special expenses as expenses that are:

  • necessary because they are in a child’s best interests, and
  • reasonable in relation to the means of the parents and of the child and consistent with the family’s spending patterns prior to the separation.

These expenses require a duty to consult, and they are established “pro-rata” on the parents’ annual incomes. An example would be: dad makes $100,000 and mom makes $40,000 annually. The shared expenses would be a 60/40 split.

3. Under whose medical insurance plan will the children be covered, and what kind of plan is it?

It could be as simple as keeping the children under mom’s Medical Services Plan (MSP) or under dad’s employee benefits. Whatever the case, it should be clearly written down.

4. Parenting Apart

Since March of 2013 when the new BC Family Law Act came into effect, only the best interest of the child is considered when it comes to parenting after separation. The couple should have a written agreement that describes how they will care for their children, and how each parent will be involved in their children’s lives.

The new Act focuses on the on parents’ responsibilities to their children. The terms “custody” and “access” are no longer used. Instead, the new Act uses words like “guardianship,” “parental responsibilities,” “parenting time” and “contact.” These changes reflect the new way of looking at parenting after separation.

The quick links below may have additional answers to your questions. If you do not find what you are looking for below, we encourage you to explore this website further to learn more about separation and divorce in B.C.

how to divorce in bcAbout Kelowna Divorce Mediation Services

We are not expensive lawyers; we are family divorce mediators.  Our boutique divorce mediation firm has become Kelownas’ first choice when dealing with separation, divorce and rebuilding afterwards. It is possible to reduce stress, time and conflict. Our mediation and rebuilding models educate and empower our clients, so that when you leave you have a document that will stand the test of time and a rebuilding process that you can count on.

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