Family Law

Family Lawyers in Victoria, BC

We know separation and divorce can be extremely stressful experiences. We provide cost effective advice to people going through the experience of a relationship breakdown, so they can move through the process with proper support and their personal dignity intact. We provide advice regarding child support, asset division, separation agreements, and the divorce process itself.

It is wise to know your legal rights and responsibilities within a common law relationship or marriage.


Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is a legal contract; a document prepared after you and your spouse receive legal advice about a division of your family assets, child care responsibilities, and spousal support. One important consideration is the actual date of separation, as this can have a major effect on your rights and responsibilities.


In British Columbia, you and your spouse must have been separated for one year to be eligible to obtain a divorce order, unless one spouse has committed adultery or there has been spousal abuse. After the year has expired, the divorce order is filed in the courts.  It usually takes several months to finalize the divorce order. It is important to keep this in mind in the event you are planning to re-marry another person by a certain date, as trying to quicken the divorce order can add extra expense to the process.


Many people choose to live together without formalizing the relationship through marriage. If you do not create a written agreement about what type of relationship you both believe you have, the laws in British Columbia will apply.  Therefore, your legal relationship may be much different than you had intended. If you do not want to have your relationship defined for you by the law, it is important you and your partner create a written agreement.

We can provide you legal advice for the following:

Cohabitation Agreement

The law in British Columbia states that people who live together may be responsible to each other long after they separate. They may be required to share or divide assets, to support each other, their children, or even the other spouse’s children, following a separation. Cohabitation agreements allow partners to create a contract which states the terms of the relationship so there are no unpleasant surprises during a relationship breakdown.

Pre-nuptial Agreement/Marriage Agreement

A Prenuptial Agreement and Marriage Agreement have the same meaning in British Columbia. These agreements allow spouses to clarify what each of them owns at the start of the relationship and how their property is to be divided in the event they separate.

In the absence of these agreements, the law in British Columbia sets out the guidelines for:

  1. The division of assets
  2. Spousal maintenance
  3. Child support

It is important for couples to take time to discuss what each party expects of the other in the event of a separation. Relationship breakdown is never easy but knowing ahead of time what would happen legally takes the stress of unknowns out of the equation.  This allows the couple to focus on the health and well-being of the relationship, instead of fears and uncertainty about the future, if they were to part.

A Prenuptial or Marriage Agreement, like a will, should be regarded as a living document and should be periodically reviewed, especially when significant life changes occur. Having a written starting point makes it easier to agree upon appropriate changes when major life events change the landscape in a spousal relationship.

Contact our Family Lawyers in Victoria, BC. 

We offer a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your questions about family law.


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