Divorce Lawyers

DSG Family Law

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Very few divorces are easy and some become emotionally and financially draining. It can be tough to make clear, objective decisions about property, spousal support, child support and parenting in the best interests of your children when emotions are clouding matters.

Access to considered, reliable and comprehensive advice on the key aspects of your divorce can make a big difference.

At DSG Family Law in Langley, British Columbia, our divorce lawyers are on hand to provide the legal guidance and support you need at this critical time.

Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Langley, BC

Child Support

Marital Property Division

Spousal Support

All issues about child custody, parenting and access to the children must be made in the best interests of the children in British Columbia.

Under the federal child support guidelines, one parent must usually pay child support to the other parent. The calculation is based on the parents’ incomes and who is the primary caregiver for the children.

Spousal support or “alimony” is usually paid by the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse to ease the transition to independence after a marriage breaks down. You can use the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines to assist with calculations.

Spouses must determine how property should be divided. According to BC law, the marital estate must be divided equally. This means that each spouse should receive an equal share of property, savings, pensions, vehicles and other assets.

Most assets that were accumulated during the marriage or increased in value during the marriage must be taken into account. Your divorce lawyer can help you decide whether any assets (such as inheritance or property owned before the marriage began) should be considered exempt from the marital estate.

Custody, Parenting and Access

At some point, couples who want to divorce in Langley, BC, must sit down and discuss the key financial and relationship issues that will affect their futures.

This can be tough during such a tumultuous time but if spouses can agree on the main issues, it will prevent delays, stress and extra expense.

The following key issues will need to be decided:

Key issues to be decided in BC divorces

A divorce is usually classified as either uncontested or contested in BC.

In an uncontested divorce (sometimes called a “desk divorce”), the spouses both agree to divorce and on all the key issues such as custody, parenting, support and the division of the marital estate. This accounts for most divorces in BC.

A contested divorce, on the other hand, comes about when one of the spouses does not agree to the divorce and/or there are issues that the couple does not agree on.

What is an uncontested divorce?

Married couples can get a divorce without hiring a lawyer in British Columbia — but it may not be advisable to do so.

When spouses separate, the decisions made next can have a major impact on the rest of their lives and profoundly affect children from the marriage. The consequences affect relationships, finances and the future directions of all involved. Unless you make the right moves at this time, unintended consequences may impact you later.

A divorce lawyer can help in the following ways:

  • Outline your legal rights and responsibilities
  • Ensure that decisions are made in your long-term best interests
  • Help you decide on equitable property division
  • Guide you in matters of child support / spousal support
  • Represent you in mediation, negotiations or court
  • Draft a marital settlement agreement (separation agreement)
  • Make sure that nothing important is missed

What is the BC divorce process?

A British Columbia divorce is a legal process that, at some point, must end up in the British Columbia courts with a judge — even if it is simply to approve the paperwork.

Whether spouses need to spend time in court to end a marriage depends on the decisions made during separation, how well they communicate with each other and whether they can reach agreements on the main issues.

In many cases, where a legally enforceable separation agreement can be produced, an appearance before a judge may not be necessary.
Generally, in uncontested divorces where separating couples agree on the grounds for divorce and all the major issues, the process is relatively straightforward. It can take as little as 4-6 months and costs are usually manageable.

However, when couples disagree and issues are contested, a process of collaboration between lawyers, mediation or arbitration may be necessary to settle these issues. Some even end up going to trial. These are usually the most expensive and time-consuming divorces, taking many months or even years to settle.

What are the grounds for divorce in BC?

The legal reason or “grounds” for most divorces in British Columbia is that the marriage is broken beyond repair and the couple can no longer live together as a family.

This is a “no-fault” divorce, where no blame is apportioned for the marriage breakdown, saving the couple from the need to prove fault in court.
To be eligible for a no-fault divorce in BC, couples must have lived apart for at least one year or, if they still share the same dwelling, provide proof of physical separation.

Fault-based divorces in BC are permitted in two cases:

  1. Adultery: where one spouse betrays the other with a sexual relationship outside of the marriage.
  2. Physical or mental cruelty: where one spouse is physically or mentally abusive to the other.

Fault-based divorces are much rarer in British Columbia and often take longer for the courts to process.


Provisions for children in BC divorces

Child custody, child support and parenting arrangements are key issues if there are children from your marriage.

Parents in British Columbia have a legal requirement to protect and raise their children at least until the age of 19 and generally want to make the best possible decisions for them. But judgement can become clouded during the emotional turmoil of a divorce.

An experienced divorce lawyer can help parents make clear-minded decisions that are in their children’s best interests.

DSG Family Law offers a free initial consultation with a divorce lawyer in Langley. We can discuss your divorce situation and outline the legal options available to you.


Why hire a divorce lawyer in Langley, BC?

The divorce process is new to the majority of people who get divorced. Having a helping hand to navigate this process is invaluable for most divorcing spouses.

Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a divorce lawyer cost in BC?

Most separating parties want to know the costs of a divorce lawyer upfront, but it depends on multiple factors—some of which are in your control and others that are not.

The single most important factor is likely to be whether you and your spouse agree on the key terms of the divorce. Typically, disputes arise over parenting time, child support, spousal support, and family property division. If a divorce lawyer must collaborate or mediate a resolution between you and your spouse, the costs will rise because of the amount of time required. If your lawyer handles all related issues, such as filing forms and paperwork with the courts, this will also increase charges.

Generally speaking, the more experienced the lawyer, the higher the hourly rate. Many firms in BC do provide flat rates for uncontested desk order divorces which means a party has an executed Separation Agreement which deals with all the corollary issues or both parties are in agreement with how they want to deal with the corollary matters. In the alternative, the parties may have reached a settlement through alternative dispute resolution options.

At England Lam Family Law we offer hourly rates ranging from $300 to $400 an hour and flat fee for an uncontested divorce application.
Other factors affecting total legal costs apart from the lawyer’s hourly rate and the level of conflict/dispute include the following:

  1. Whether experts need to be brought into the case, e.g., business valuators, guideline income report assessors, property appraisers, psychologists, etc.
  2. The willingness to settle outside of court.
  3. How organized you are—well-organized finances, timelines, and the required documentation makes less work for a divorce lawyer (and lower fees).
There are two separate court fees for divorce:

You must pay two separate court fees to get a divorce. It's $210 to file the first document (a $200 filing fee, plus $10 for a Registration of Divorce), and then $80 to file your Final Application. If you decide to get a Certificate of Divorce, that's another $40. (There's no tax on these costs.)

You may also incur costs for hiring a process server to serve documents on your spouse, swearing affidavits in front of a notary, getting a certified copy of your marriage certificate, translations into English, and ordering a Certificate of Divorce.

Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

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How long does it take to get a divorce in BC?

There are some mandatory requirements before you can even apply for a divorce, which can slow things down:

  1. You or your spouse must have lived in BC for at least a year, and
  2. You must usually have lived separately from your spouse for at least a year; you can still be considered separated if you live under the same roof.

While you can apply to the court for a divorce at any point after you separate, it cannot be granted by law until you have been separated for at least one year—if you are applying on the grounds of an irretrievably broken marriage.

You will be expected to prove that your marriage has broken beyond repair. You must also have made reasonable arrangements for your children, and all matters between you must be resolved before a judge will sign the divorce order.

After that date, you must wait a further 31 days and, if no appeal is made, you are then considered legally divorced

Can a spouse be sued for adultery in BC?

BC is a “no-fault” jurisdiction when it comes to divorces where no blame is apportioned to either party for the breakdown of the marriage.

Divorce on the grounds of adultery or cruelty may be possible but rarely happens now. Most judges will not consider the conduct of the other party in divorces unless it impacts the ability to parent a child, property division or support matters.

Adultery or cruelty may also impact negotiations when opposing lawyers collaborate on reaching a settlement on issues.

Can you apply for an uncontested divorce if your spouse lives outside of British Columbia?

Yes. If you've been living in BC for at least one year and you're still living in BC, you can apply for a divorce in BC.

The Divorce Act says you can apply for a divorce in any province or territory where you or your spouse has been a resident for a year immediately before the divorce.

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At DSG Family Law in Langley, BC, we understand the far-reaching impact of family law matters like divorce and legal separation on parental rights, personal property, children, and assets. Our professional and highly skilled family lawyers are committed to providing you with expert representation, tailored to your unique needs.

We take a client-centred approach and offer both comprehensive and unbundled legal services, ensuring you receive the support you require at an affordable cost. As a paperless firm, we prioritise efficiency, making your experience with us seamless and stress-free.

Count on DSG Family Law for accessible, compassionate, and trusted family law representation in Langley, BC. Book a free consultation and let us guide you through these crucial legal matters with clear solutions to complex family matters.

Langley B.C

DSG Family Law

At DSG Family Law, we understand that family law matters can be overwhelming and emotionally challenging. Our Family Law Consultations are designed to create a welcoming, comforting, and collaborative environment where you can discuss your concerns and aspirations freely.

We listen attentively to your unique story and provide a safe space to express your needs and goals openly. Our compassionate team of experienced lawyers is here to support and guide you every step of the way.

During the consultation, we take the time to understand your situation fully. We believe in fostering a collaborative approach, where you are actively involved in the decision-making process. Our goal is to empower you with knowledge and options, so you can make informed choices for the future of your family.

Family Law Consultations