BC Divorce FAQ.

Divorce in British Columbia: FAQ

BC Divorce FAQThe following answers are for general information in order to help you better understand the process of filing for a divorce in British Columbia. However, each person’s circumstances are unique and you should consider getting legal advice from a trusted lawyer to ensure your rights are fully protected.

Do I need a lawyer to divorce?

No, but we always recommend getting legal advice if you have questions.

Am I automatically divorced if we’ve been separated a long time?

No, divorce never automatically happens – regardless of how long you’ve been separated.

What if I wasn’t married in British Columbia? Can I still get a divorce?

Yes, but you have to meet the residency criteria of one year.

Can I get a divorce even if my spouse doesn’t want one?

Absolutely. As long as marital break down has occurred, you can make application. By virtue of your wish to divorce, that is proof enough that your marriage has broken down. But remember that you also need to live separate and apart for one year, or meet one of the other grounds. We have written another article which further explains divorce in British Columbia. You can find it by clicking HERE.

Do I need a reason to get a Divorce? If so, what is an acceptable reason?

As already discussed above, the only reason you need to make application for a divorce is that your marriage has broken down. Living separate and apart for at least one year is what most people use as the trigger. However, you can also use:

  • Your spouse committed adultery, and you have not forgiven them, nor have you lived together for more than 90 days after finding out, or
  • Your spouse was physically or mentally cruel.

These last two reasons require proof and can be costly.
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Can I apply for divorce in British Columbia if I am not a citizen?

Yes, you don’t have to be a Canadian citizen to apply.

You can apply for a Divorce if:

  • you were married in British Columbia or in any other country;
  • there has been permanent separation from your spouse without any chance of reconciliation, and
  • you and/or your spouse have lived in British Columbia for at least one year.

What is the difference between separation and Divorce?

Separation means that spouses live apart with the intention of ending their marriage. J.P. Boyd, the well-known family law lawyer, says “Separation is simple: the parties must simply start living ‘separate and apart’ from each other, whether under the same roof or in separate homes. Contrary to popular opinion, you do not need to see a lawyer, sign something, or file some sort of document in court to obtain a separation. You just need to call it quits and tell your spouse that it’s over.” However, you are still legally married and at any time you can reconcile.

A divorce is simply the legal end to your marriage. It allows you to re-marry.

How is child and spousal support determined?

We have written two articles describing this topic. You can start by clicking HERE.

I wish to apply for a divorce. Where do I start?

Prepare by educating yourself, learn all you can about the divorce process in BC, as well as the different options available to you.

Who gets to keep what in a Divorce?

Generally, whatever property you and your spouse acquired during your marriage, and which you still have when you separate, is divided 50/50. However, any property brought into the marriage is yours to keep, but you share any increases in the value of such property.

This FAQ just scratches the surface of the many questions you may have. Our website has many articles that may help answer others you might have. And should you need specific answers or legal advice for your unique situation, don’t hesitate to contact a trusted Kelowna divorce lawyer.

divorce mediation kelownaAbout 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 and divorce. It is possible to reduce stress, time and conflict. Our mediation model educates and empowers our clients, so that when you leave you have a document that will stand the test of time.

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