How is the Amount of Spousal Support Determined?

Courts are not required to follow the SSAGs, but they are used by courts as general guidelines to determine the amount of spousal support and the duration. The SSAGs are not binding on courts, but they help to streamline the amount and duration of a spousal support award. The SSAGs have two guidelines — spousal support with dependent children, and support without dependent children.

The courts often use an income sharing model to determine spousal support, looking at the difference between the parties’ incomes. Spousal support payments typically can be lump-sum awards or a series of ongoing payments.

How Can You Begin a Divorce Process in British Columbia?

In British Columbia, there are three ways to begin your divorce process. Which method is used to file for divorce and begin the process will depend on the married couple’s particular circumstances.

  1. Filling a Petition for Divorce – This is the method of initiating divorce proceedings if a divorce may be contested, meaning that the spouses do not agree on something pertaining to their divorce (support, parenting arrangements, division of assets, etc.)
  2. Filling an Application for Divorce by Written Agreement – An application for divorce by written agreement can be used in an uncontested divorce. This application is filed by one spouse, and uses a written separation agreement as evidence that both spouses have resolved all issues between them.
  3. Both parties File a Joint Application for Divorce – A Joint Application for Divorce is filed by both spouses and can be done in the absence of a written agreement. This is the second way that the process for an uncontested divorce can be initiated.

Married couples may go through some or all of the following steps depending on if and when they are able to settle their legal matters before proceeding to  litigation and trial in order for a judge to decide on the disputed issues.

Why do I need an estate plan?

An estate plan will usually save you money which is a pretty good reason all by itself.  Another reason is to make sure that the people you care about are taken care of and that your property is available for your benefit and the benefit of your family.

An estate plan is not only about what happens on death.  It may be more important to consider how to arrange your affairs now to achieve cost savings and convenience.

What can happen if I don’t have a Power of Attorney?

If you don’t have a Power of Attorney and become mentally incompetent to manage your financial affairs, a person (possibly someone you would not choose to appoint yourself) can apply to the court to become your guardian. This would give them the authority to make legal and financial decisions for you in the future


What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is an essential document in the event you become unable to make important decisions about your financial affairs. It allows you to designate who will manage your affairs during temporary or permanent incapacity. It is a costly process to have the Court appoint someone to manage your affairs if you do not have this type of document.