Vancouver Divorce Lawyers

DSG Family Law

Our small but dedicated team of family lawyers at DSG Family Law is pleased to offer our family law services to residents in Vancouver, British Columbia and the surrounding areas. We take great pride in our growing, yet outstanding, reputation and are committed to delivering positive outcomes for all our clients.

With years of compassionate & tenacious family law & divorce experience, our lawyers work collaboratively on each case that comes to us. This means our clients benefit from a unique, collective strategy developed by multiple results-driven family lawyers.

At DSG Family Law, we understand that family matters can be challenging for everyone involved. Our experienced family lawyers excel at handling even the most complex and stressful cases. We not only offer expert legal advice and representation but also provide additional support and information.

Discover what to expect when working with our team. Our local office in Vancouver, BC allows us to serve all communities in and around Vancouver, including Kitsilano, Graville Island, Davie Village, and Murrayville, & more, ensuring that we can meet your family law needs.

Divorce Lawyers Serving Vancouver, BC

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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 Vancouver, 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 in a Vancouver divorce

In Vancouver, divorces are typically categorized as either uncontested or contested. In an uncontested divorce, often referred to as a 'desk divorce,' both spouses reach a mutual agreement on divorce and all essential matters, including custody, parenting, support, and the division of marital assets.

Uncontested divorces make up the majority of divorce cases in Vancouver. Conversely, a contested divorce arises when one spouse disagrees with the divorce or when there are unresolved issues the couple cannot mutually decide upon.

What is an uncontested divorce?

While it's possible for married couples to pursue a divorce without legal assistance in British Columbia, it may not be the wisest decision.

When spouses in Vancouver decide to separate, the choices made during this critical time can have a profound impact on their lives and significantly affect their children. These decisions can have far-reaching consequences on relationships, finances, and future directions. Without the right guidance, unintended consequences may arise down the road.

A divorce lawyer can offer invaluable assistance in the following ways:

  • Clarify your legal rights and responsibilities.
  • Ensure decisions are made in your best long-term interests.
  • Assist in achieving equitable property division.
  • Provide guidance on child support and spousal support matters.
  • Represent you in mediation, negotiations, or court proceedings.
  • Draft a marital settlement agreement (separation agreement).
  • Ensure no crucial details are overlooked.

The divorce process can be unfamiliar and complex for most individuals undergoing it. Having a divorce lawyer by your side to navigate this process is essential for most divorcing spouses in Vancouver.

Why hire a divorce lawyer in Vancouver?

What is the BC divorce process?

The divorce process in Vancouver, British Columbia, is a legal procedure that often involves court proceedings, even if it's simply for approval of the necessary paperwork.

The extent to which spouses need to engage with the court system to dissolve their marriage depends on various factors, including the decisions made during separation, the quality of communication between spouses, and their ability to reach agreements on critical matters.

In many instances, when a legally binding separation agreement can be established, appearing before a judge may not be required. Uncontested divorces, where separating couples agree on divorce grounds and major issues, typically follow a more straightforward path. They can be finalized in as little as 4-6 months, with manageable costs.

Conversely, when couples disagree and contentious issues arise, collaboration between lawyers, mediation, or arbitration may be necessary to resolve these matters. In some cases, disputes may escalate to trial, resulting in the most time-consuming and costly divorces, taking several months or even years to reach a resolution.

What are the grounds for divorce in BC?

In Vancouver, British Columbia, the primary legal basis, or 'grounds,' for most divorces is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and the couple can no longer coexist as a family.

This is a 'no-fault' divorce, meaning that no blame is attributed for the marriage's breakdown, sparing the couple from the need to prove fault in court. To qualify for a no-fault divorce in Vancouver, couples must have lived separately for a minimum of one year, or if they still share the same residence, they must provide evidence of physical separation.

Fault-based divorces in Vancouver, BC are permissible under two circumstances:

  • Adultery: When one spouse engages in a sexual relationship outside the marriage.
  • Physical or Mental Cruelty: When one spouse is physically or mentally abusive to the other.

It's worth noting that fault-based divorces are relatively uncommon in British Columbia and often entail longer court processing times.


How much does a divorce cost in Vancouver?

The cost of a divorce in Vancouver, British Columbia, varies depending on the type of divorce and whether you choose to enlist the help of a lawyer. For a desk order divorce that you handle entirely on your own, the expenses typically amount to the court filing fees, which range from $290 to $330.

When seeking a desk order divorce with legal assistance, costs can vary significantly, ranging from $1,500 (for cases without a separation agreement and involving a budget-friendly lawyer) to $7,000 (for cases involving a skilled lawyer who needs to draft a separation agreement in an amicable divorce).

In cases where the divorce is not amicable and leads to a court battle, expenses can escalate to tens of thousands of dollars.


Who pays for the divorce in Vancouver?

Determining who bears the costs of a divorce in Vancouver, British Columbia, can vary based on the specific circumstances. In amicable divorces, the parties involved must come to an agreement about covering court and legal fees for obtaining a divorce order.

However, in divorces involving a court battle, the court may award 'costs' to the prevailing party. It's important to note that court-awarded costs typically cover a portion, but not necessarily all, of the winning party's legal expenses. The allocation of these costs is subject to the court's discretion and the specifics of each case.


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