Changes in Family Law in British Columbia

Common law partners
Common law partners

There is a sharp rise in the number of common law couples in British Columbia. In fact, it is growing a rate three times faster than the number of married couples.

The changes in the Family Law

British Columbia will be welcoming a change in the Family from the month of March this year.

A family lawyer informs that, “One very big change is that common-law couples are now included in the new legislation. The legislation will treat common-law relationships on the same footing as marital relationships.”

The changes would treat any unmarried couples who have lived together for a minimum of two years, would be regarded as common-law.

The law is an attempt to reflect the social changes wherein the concept of family has seen a transformation.

Special Features of the Law

  • Whenever there is a break up between such a couple, although the entire set of property would be considered for division, the way is it meant to be done for married couples. However, a certain property would remain exclusive of this division. Any property acquired by an individual before getting into such a relationship would not be a part of “property distribution” while breaking the relationship up.
  • The Act gives emphasis to out of court resolution so that time and money can be saved for both the parties. Otherwise a large amount of money is spent along with precious time on such cases merely to sort them out.
  • Couples with children can be provided the facility of “spousal support”.
  • Family violation has also been attended in the law wherein children are the main focus.

Support for the Law

The law has been supported by not only the common-law partners but also the lawyers who have been finding no way to present such cases.

In fact, there are experienced lawyers who want to witness such trials and understand the applicability of such a law.

Speculations are made that there could be some initial issues with the legislation and in due course of time the terminology of the same has to be same could be looked into.

With growing number of common-law partners, there was an urgent need to address the issue legally. Hence, introduction of such a law is likely to resolve many issues which were never dealt with in the past.