Modernizing BC Family Law

On July 19, 2010, the BC Attorney General released a white paper
containing draft legislation and policy proposals to significantly amend legislation in BC related to family law.

The suggested changes include the following:

– Enabling parenting coordination by agreement or court order;
– Amending the Commercial Arbitration Act to address family arbitrations;
– integrating reproductive technologies into determining a child’s legal parents;
– Replacing the terms “custody” and “access” with “guardianship” and “parenting time”;
– Defining “guardianship” through a list of “parental responsibilities” that can be allocated to allow for more customized parenting arrangements;
– Extending the legislative property division regime to common-law spouses who have lived together for two years in a marriage-like relationship or who are in marriage-like relationship of some permanence and have children together;
– Excluding certain types of property (e.g. pre-relationship property, gifts, and inheritances) from the pool of family property to be divided 50-50; and
– Providing that debts are subject to equal division.

Commentators have until October 8, 2010 to give feedback on the proposed legislation at

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