Category: Law Legal Information

I Can’t Afford a Family Lawyer: What Are My Options

The number of unrepresented litigants is rising. Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada Richard Wagner recently told a group of students that approximately 25% to 30% of those applying for admission to the Supreme Court of Canada are unrepresented and can’t afford a family lawyer.

Self-Represented Litigants: The New Normal

Unrepresented litigants are becoming more common, as people often can’t afford a family lawyer. In lower courts or administrative tribunals, it is common for litigants to be self-represented. For example, people often do not have lawyers for landlord tenancy disputes. Often lower courts are designed so lawyers are not necessary.

For example, the BC Provincial Court system for family law matters and small claims is intended to be user-friendly so that people do not need to hire lawyers.

41% of family law appearances at the Supreme Court of British Columbia are people who can't afford a family lawyer.

Similarly, the Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”) is an online process designed to be used without lawyers. The CRT can deal with

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Can A Child Have Their Own Lawyer In BC? Children’s Lawyer and Family Law

In British Columbia, it is possible for children to have a children’s lawyer appointed to represent their interests. However, these situations are rare, and only permitted in exceptional circumstances. This is because the Courts in British Columbia do not want to involve children in family law proceedings between parents and/or cause further emotional harm or acrimony. 

When two parents separate, often times they may find themselves in disagreement over what is in the best interests of their children. These disagreements can very quickly turn into acrimonious family law proceedings, where children are often caught in the middle of a cross fire and asked to take sides. In some situations, older children wish to voice their wishes and be in control of their future. Children’s voices are important, and often needed. There are a few ways to relay children’s wishes to our Courts in BC. One of those ways is to

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I Was Left Out of the Will! What Can I Do? BC Estate Litigation

Our estate litigation lawyers know that after the sadness of having a loved one pass away, it can come as a shock and disappointment to find out you were left out of the Will or the Estate for no good reason.  You may believe that the will doesn’t represent the will maker’s true intentions. Or that you didn’t receive your fair share. In such cases you may be able to challenge the will. Challenging Wills  generally happens in the following common scenarios:

  1. One of the children or the child is left out of the Will or does not receive anything fair under the Will;
  2. The deceased’s spouse is left out of the Will and instead all the estate has been given to children;
  3. The deceased leaves his/her estate to his spouse, but unbeknownst to others, he/she had other children and spouses that no one knew about; etc

What Does BC

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Cohabitation And Marriage Agreements. Your Most Common Questions Answered.

Cohabitation and Marriage Agreements can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.  As a family lawyer practicing in BC I am frequently asked many questions about marriage agreements.  I am hopeful that this article will help you by answering the most common questions I get asked by friends, family members, current and potential clients.

Do I really need a cohabitation agreement or marriage agreement?

As family lawyers, we cannot make this decision for you and everyone’s needs are unique. If you understand the basic assumptions within family law during a separation, such as 50/50 split of assets and debt acquired during the relationship, including increase in value on anything brought into or acquired during the relationship through inheritance or gift, or potential spousal support entitlements payable, and those determinations do not sit well with you- you SHOULD get a cohabitation agreement or marriage agreement.

Why? Marriage Agreements allow

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Can My Strata Prevent Me From Having An Emotional Support Dog?

With the state of the world today and progress in mental health research, the use of service animals has been on the rise. Owners of emotional support dogs often speak about the benefits their pets offer in reducing stress and anxiety, helping them to complete daily tasks much easier.  In fact, almost 80 per cent of B.C. residents favour legislation that allows pet guardians the right to keep companion animals, according to a 2008 poll held by the BCSPCA.

These days it is not uncommon to see therapy animals in hospitals, university campuses, and airports. Even with the progress in mental health research and therapy animals, not all service animals are treated the same.

When most people talk about service animals, people often think of seeing-eye dogs or other service dogs for people’s physical limitations. However, there has been a steady increase in people having animals for emotional support.

Despite

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