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North Shore Law, Bradbrooke Crawford Green Lawyers
Description: Bradbrooke Crawford Green LLP offers comprehensive services in all areas of family law, including mediation of family law disputes, negotiation and settlement of family law issues between spouses, incorporation of terms of settlement into written agreements and settlement through the law process. If all efforts to negotiate or mediate an agreement fail, the firm is able to commence litigation under either or both of the Divorce Act of Canada or the Family Relations Act of British Columbia with a view to having the disputed matters adjudicated by a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia and, if necessary, the Court of Appeal. Collaborative law is emerging as an alternative to the mediation or litigation processes. In this settlement model, the parties agree that they will not instruct their counsel to pursue litigation. Each party retains a lawyer to provide them with legal advice, but negotiation takes place in four-way meetings with both lawyers and both spouses working as a team. Other professionals, including psychologists and counsellors or accountants are often called to assist the parties. See the collaborative law website at www.collaborativedivorcebc.org for further information about this new approach to resolving family law issues. "Family Law" is a somewhat generic term, but it is used to encompass all issues regarding obtaining a divorce, custody and access, spousal and child support, the determination, division and interim possession or use of family assets, adoptions and common law marriages. The issues of determination and division of family assets will be unique to the particular facts of any case but, as an example, under the Family Relations Act of British Columbia, any asset owned by one or both spouses and ordinarily used for a family purpose is a family asset and is prima facie subject to an equal division between spouses. Just a few examples of what might be a family asset include the matrimonial home, pensions, RRSPs, bank accounts, and assets which might appear on their face to simply be a business asset in the name of one spouse. There are certain time limitations in both the federal Divorce Act and the provincial Family Relations Act that both preserve and restrict the rights of spouses in certain circumstances, and it is very important to be aware of those restrictions. Previously, in non traditional marriages the property provisions of the Divorce Act and Family Relations Act did not apply. However, the introduction of section 120.1 of the Family Relations Act, and its retroactive application has left the law in this area somewhat unsettled. Accordingly, if you and your spouse have separated or are contemplating separating, it is important to obtain legal advice prior to separation or as soon after separation as is practical in order to avoid taking steps that may prejudice your entitlement regarding any or all of custody, access, support, or asset division issues.
Date: Mar 30, 2005
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