Divorce in BC
How to File for Divorce in BC
A legal marriage can only legally end when a divorce is granted by the Supreme Court. In order to qualify for a divorce in BC, you or your spouse need to be a primary resident of the province for at least the past 12 months before applying for a divorce. If one party has not been living in British Columbia but the other has, the couple is still eligible to file for divorce in BC.
You and your spouse must have lived separately for a full year before you are eligible to go about getting a divorce in BC. There are some exceptions to this rule. You do not have to wait a year to be granted a divorce if you can prove in court that your spouse was physically or mentally abusive to you or that either you or your spouse committed adultery during the marriage.
If you and your spouse are still living together but are no longer in a marriage-like relationship (for example, some separated couples continue living together for financial or childcare reasons), as long as you can prove that your relationship is no longer romantic in nature then this time counts toward the one year of separation necessary before a divorce. Make a written note of the date that you decided to separate so that you have documentation of how long it has been.
When the Supreme Court grants a divorce, there is a waiting period of 31 days before the divorce is finalized. Since you need to be legally divorced in order to marry a new partner, neither party can remarry until after the 31-day period has ended.
Types of Divorce
- Also called an “undefended” or “amicable” divorce.
- For an undefended divorce, the couple can file jointly.
- You still require a court order for an uncontested divorce; however you do not have to actually appear before a Judge. A written application, with all of the necessary supporting documentation, can be reviewed by a Judge.
- Also called a “defended” divorce.
- The two parties disagree on how to proceed regarding issues such as asset division, parenting, spousal support, or child support and seek legal intervention.
- Many couples initially pursuing this course of action will end up reaching an agreement before the trial actually occurs.
Trust GK Thomas and Associates
We know that going through a divorce is never easy. At GK Thomas and Associates, our experienced family lawyers have dealt with many divorce cases and know exactly how to proceed without causing more stress on top of what you are already experiencing. We are here to help you get through this difficult time and come out of it with everything that you need.