FAMILY LAW

Wills and Estates

Family Law
  • Drafting marriage cohabitation and separation agreements  
  • Matters involving care and control of children
  • Spousal and child support
  • Out of province and international issues
  • Division of personal and corporate assets
  • Representation of married, common-law and same-sex spouses
  • Grandparents rights
  • Tax consequences of Divorce
  • Change of Domicile (Mobility cases)

The Best Interests of the Child 

One of the main focuses of Canadian family courts is to pursue the best interests of the child. Michael has worked with children for many years.

Michael was a volunteer probation officer with the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, as well as a volunteer floor hockey coach at the YM-YWHA.

He currently gives independent legal advice to children on behalf of the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Services.

Michael attempts to resolve family disputes out of court through negotiation and mediation if at all possible.

Areas of Expertise 

Some of the problems I have experience with and can help client’s resolve are:
  • Contested Divorces 
  • Issues under both the British Columbia Family Law Act and Divorce Act
  • Same sex relationships and marriages
  • Separation and Divorce and the participants’ legal rights and responsibilities both before and after separation 
  • Child custody (best interests of the child) and guardianship (allocation of parental duties)
  • Denial of Access or parenting time to your child
  • Abuse of Children - when spanking the child is corrective or abusive
  • Mobility Issues – relocating the home and children for job or other reasons
  • Shared parenting time (custody) of children
  • Spousal support (alimony):
         i. the discretionary aspects of spousal support such as determining what qualifies as economic advantages and disadvantages arising from the relationship,
         ii. the promotion of economic self-sufficiency,
         iii. intentional unemployment,
         iv. the variation of income and it’s impact on spousal support,
         v. the relief of economic breakdown of the marriage and it’s impact on entitlement to spousal support,
         vi. the application of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG) in determining the amount of spousal support and the length of time it has to be paid
  • Retirement and Spousal Support 
  • Retirement and Child Support  
  • Establishment of the two year limitation date for commencing a court action to divide property and debt  
  • Establishment and entitlement of special and extraordinary expenses and the pro rata basis for paying expenses including but not limited to uninsured medical and dental expenses, day care expenses, tuition and room and board expenses and what qualifies as special needs and special talents of the child
  • Cancellation of maintenance (child and spousal support) arrears (money owing to spouse) and dealing with the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP)    
  • Family property and family debt and its’s respective division including:
        i. excluded property,
        ii. gifts from third parties,
        iii. property acquired before the relationship,
        iv. documenting excluded assets to protect them from division upon separation,
        v. ascertaining when an equal division of property and debt is unfair and how to deal with it,
  • The preparation of Sworn Financial Statements and Disclosure and refusal to provide proper disclosure
  • Establishing the date of separation and whether a marriage-like relationship existed
  • Occupational Rent - rent owing to a spouse for living rent-free in the matrimonial home after separation
  • Exclusive possession of the matrimonial home – the right of one spouse to remain living in the home after separation while the other spouse moves out.
  • Deciding whether to move out or remain in the home upon breakdown of the marriage.
  • Family resolution strategies
  • Prenuptial, Cohabitation and Separation agreements                         
Wills and Estates
  • Enhanced Representation Agreements which deal with end-of-life issues and the care of the elderly and ill.
  • Wills
  • Probate and Estate Issues
  • Living Wills
  • Advance Directives
  • Wills Variation Act Litigation
  • Committeeship Applications
  • Wills, Estates and Succession Act applications to vary wills
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