Ending a marriage is a stressful and emotionally loaded process. Navigating a divorce in British Columbia can be challenging, and there might be several unanswered questions. The laws governing divorce in Canada requires only proof of an irrevocable breakdown in the relationship as grounds for a divorce, although adultery or abuse — mental or physical — can be grounds for a contested divorce. However, under the divorce laws in Canada, couples in British Columbia will only be granted divorces after 12 months of separation — except in the presence of abuse.
If a couple agrees to end their marriage, one spouse can file the documents with the court, and if the other spouse does not challenge it, it will be handled as an uncontested divorce. Couples need not necessarily file for divorces in the provinces in which they were married. If their marriages were valid in the province where the ceremony took place, the residential requirement of one year in the province where they file for divorce would be applicable.
Under particular circumstances, one spouse might apply for an annulment rather than a divorce. This is the appropriate step to take if one or both spouses were too young or mentally unstable. Also, if one of the spouses remarried without being legally divorced from a previous spouse, the court may grant an annulment.
Couples who file for an uncontested divorce may not even need to appear in court. A seasoned divorce lawyer can handle the court procedures for them. An experienced British Columbia lawyer can also assist with the drafting of a separation agreement. This document will indicate agreed-upon stipulations related to the rights of each party on matters including spousal support, child custody, property division and the manner in which pensions, savings, debts and inheritances would be handled.