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Filing for divorce has a reputation for being a long and painful process with drawn-out court battles and, often, two parties who can’t seem to see eye-to-eye.

But at Align Family Law, we believe that it doesn’t have to be this way, and our divorce lawyers prioritize minimizing the emotional and financial toll of divorce for British Columbia residents and their families.

We center our process on collaboration and value a resolution-focused approach to family law issues like divorce.

In this blog, our team of British Columbia divorce lawyers explains the process for filing for divorce in Canada and how seeking advice from a lawyer can make all the difference in your and your family’s path forward post-divorce.

The Process for Divorce in Canada

There are three grounds for divorce in Canada: 

  • Generally, the courts will allow a divorce to proceed if you and your spouse have been living apart for more than one year. However, you can file for divorce if that isn’t the case.
  • If your spouse was physically or mentally cruel to you, you can file on the grounds of adultery, even if you haven’t finalized separate living arrangements just yet.
  • However, the court prioritizes the well-being of any children you and your spouse share, so you must have made adequate support arrangements for them and be able to demonstrate that to the court before a divorce is allowed to proceed.

Out-of-Court vs. Trial Divorces in British Columbia

When a divorce is finalized out of court, there is often a negotiation or mediation that takes place to help the two parties reach agreements related to parenting, child support, property division, and any spousal support.

  • Agreements reached during negotiations may be crafted collaboratively between the parties, or each may opt to bring their own proposals to the table. Either way, the goal of a negotiation lawyer in British Columbia is to work with both sides to reach a fair and balanced agreement, avoiding costly and emotionally draining court battles.
  • Mediation is similar and shares the goal of helping divorcing couples resolve their issues outside of court.

If negotiation, mediation, or another alternative dispute resolution method isn’t successful for divorcing spouses, they may have to go to court to finalize the terms of their divorce.

However, couples are more likely to reach agreements that they feel are mutually beneficial through methods like negotiation and mediation, rather than leaving the fate of their future up to the decision of a judge.

The Benefit of Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

Hiring a divorce lawyer is not necessary to file for divorce in British Columbia, but while representing yourself is always an option, it is not recommended. Navigating a divorce is emotional and stressful – even more so when you are your only advocate.

A divorce lawyer can:

  • Review any drafted agreements to ensure the best interests of all involved are protected
  • Guide you through the legalities of the process
  • Champion your rights
  • Work with you to flag and resolve any issues

In cases where there are contested issues at hand, having a lawyer on your side can help explain your options and guide you through a path to resolution. If you’re considering filing without representation, it’s recommended to still talk to a lawyer first for advice.

Contact Our Divorce Lawyers in British Columbia

In navigating the unknowns of divorce, Align Family Law prioritizes, where possible, collaboration and resolution-focused approaches. Our team’s goal is to minimize the emotional and financial burdens typically associated with litigated divorce proceedings.

Whether through negotiation, mediation, or court proceedings, our mission is to facilitate fair and balanced agreements while protecting the best interests of everyone involved.

Remember, while representing yourself through a divorce is an option, the guidance of a knowledgeable divorce lawyer can drastically impact the divorce process and its outcome.

If you have filed or are considering filing for divorce, contact our team today. We’ll listen to your story and help you resolve the issue at hand, and help get you started with your new chapter.

Are you looking for a family lawyer?

We have offices in Victoria, Kimberley and Vancouver and can assist clients anywhere in British Columbia.

Fill out our form and an Align Family Law team member will contact you within one business day to schedule your Zoom call with a British Columbia family law lawyer.

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