FAMILY LAW CHANGE
Even though Provincial family law was changed in British Columbia in 2013 by the Family Law Act (FLA), most people do not know about these changes. The old Family Relations Act (FRA) used several terms to describe parenting rights and obligations including Custody and Access as well as Guardianship. Now the 2013 FLA uses only the term Guardian to describe an adult eligible to have Parenting Responsibilities (decision-making) and Parenting Time of a child. Only a Guardian can have Parenting Responsibilities and Parenting Time of a child. If you are not a Guardian, you can apply for an Order for “Contact” time with a child but the Guardian can object to who can have Contact time with a child for which they have the relevant Parenting Responsibilities. Support for both spouses and children is still determined by the applicable Guidelines. Use of the Child Support Guidelines is mandatory but the calculation is only straightforward if you are an employee not self-employed. In our decades of experience, the best result in resolving family law issues is a fair agreement achieved through professional mediation, not court litigation especially when children are involved. However, success often depends on good preparation for mediation as well as litigation since knowledge is power and facts matter.