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5 Steps to Starting a Divorce

Are you looking for a divorce lawyer in Surrey, British Columbia? We can provide you with the advice that you need to navigate the Divorce Act!

Our Surrey Divorce Lawyers can help you! Three Grounds for Divorce: Breakdown of the Marriage

  • One Year Separation: You have been living apart for one year or more.

  • Physical or Mental Cruelty: Your spouse has been physically or mentally cruel to you.

  • Adultery: Your spouse has committed adultery.


5 Steps to Starting a Divorce Action in British Columbia


If you apply for a divorce on the basis of a one-year separation, you can live together for up to 90 days (either before or after you file the application) to try to reconcile. If things do not work out, you can continue your action for divorce as if you had not spent the time together. Some couples choose to separate but still live in the same house. Our Surrey Divorce lawyer can tell you what factors courts may consider when they are deciding if you are separated. ​ It will probably be best if you and your spouse can agree on major issues such as child support, custody and parenting arrangements, spousal support and property issues before you apply for a divorce. If you cannot agree, you can ask the court to decide. But if you do that, your divorce may take longer to complete. It will probably also be much more expensive and stressful for you and your family if the court has to make these decisions for you. Our Surrey Divorce lawyer can guide you through this process and shift the burden. ​ If you and your spouse are considering divorce, it’s important to know what your options are before proceeding with the action. Divorce in British Columbia, Canada can be either an uncontested divorce (meaning you both agree on the division of assets and debts, child custody arrangements and child support payments) or an contested divorce (meaning there are conflicts that need to be resolved through the legal process). If you and your spouse cannot agree on these issues, it’s time to start a divorce action by filing a Notice of Family Claim with the BC Supreme Court. ​ 1) Decide if you want to divorce Divorce can be one of the most difficult and emotionally draining experiences, but it is also necessary if you want your life back. ​ Find a lawyer. It is best to start with a lawyer who has experience with family law. If you do not know any lawyers, there are many options for finding one. You can ask around your friends and family for recommendations or you can try looking at the list of accredited family law specialists on the Law Society of BC website. Divorces are never easy and they are never perfect, but with the right Surrey divorce lawyer by your side, you can feel prepared for the journey ahead. A Surrey divorce lawyer from our Surrey Law Firm will make sure you know what to expect during every step of the process, so that you are as confident as possible about how things will play out. 2) Gather the Required Documents

  • When it comes to starting your divorce action, the first thing you need is your marriage certificate. If you have misplaced this document, you can still obtain one from the Vital Statistics Agency. You'll need to provide some supporting documentation and do this in person.

  • After obtaining your marriage certificate, you will need to contact a Surrey divorce lawyer who can help with filling out the necessary forms for your case.

  • You will then need to review your financial circumstances and know what (and your ex) have in terms of assets including real properties, bank accounts, pensions, and debts.

  • You should also think about any children or other dependents you may have. Make sure to include them on your application for spousal support as well as child custody and access arrangements. This is also a good time to consider whether you need a separation agreement or there is some requirement to make a interim court application before taking steps to finalize your divorce.

3) File a Notice of Family Claim A Notice of Family Claim is the first step in initiating an action for divorce. The Court will not take any action on your application until you have filed this form and served it on your spouse. You may serve the document yourself or use a process server. Once served, your spouse has 30 days to respond before the court will grant you the divorce. ​ To start a divorce action in BC, you will need to serve your spouse with the Notice of Family Claim. The Notice of Family Claim is given through the court registry or by registered mail and must include: 1) The type of divorce (i.e. divorce, annulment, etc.) 2) The basis for the divorce (i.e. 4) Serve the Notice of Family Claim Now you serve the Notice of Family Claim. This document is served on your spouse and should be hand delivered or sent by registered mail. The notice requires that he or she attend the first meeting of the family case conference, which will happen within 30 days of service. You will also need to provide your spouse with copies of any court orders that have been issued against him or her since you last served them with a notice. 5) Wait for your Ex-Spouse to File a Response to Family Claim The court will wait for your ex-spouse (also referred to as the respondent) to file a response to your family claim. This is called the Response to Family Claim. It is important that you look for this and make sure it was filed before proceeding with the next steps. If your ex-spouse did not file a Response then you can file a requisition with the Supreme Court of BC seeking the relief for divorce. ​ 6) Complete the Divorce Package You would file the appropriate forms in BC Supreme Court to ensure the Divorce Application is complete for processing and filing. Then you remain patience while a Supreme Court Judge grants you the divorce. ​ ​ How much will it cost? We charge a set fee of $2200 for a simple desk order divorce. This is when both of the parties do not have any other issues except the divorce and we file the Supreme Court of BC forms that includes that relief in a Notice of Family Claim to be filed in BC. Our Divorce Lawyers Vancouver. If you require a settlement of issues such as a separation agreement relating to child support, parenting arrangements, or property issues then our law firm will charge between $900 to $8000.00 for a separation agreement to be filed with the Divorce Claim. We highly recommend cost effective separation agreements and mediations instead of paying high fees for our trial lawyers to litigate.

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