Divorce And Family Court Proceedings
Sometimes it is necessary to involve the Courts in the resolution of the issues between the parties. Generally, this is where an element of urgency exists or where settlement of the issues is not likely.
There are three levels of Courts in the Province of British Columbia:
- The Provincial Court;
- The Supreme Court; and
- The Court of Appeal.
Only the Provincial Court and the Supreme Court are trial courts. The Court of Appeal does not conduct trials – it only hears appeals from trial decisions.
Court proceedings may be commenced in either the Provincial Court or the Supreme Court. Often, there are a number of considerations that go into the decision of which Court the action should be commenced in. The Provincial Court has jurisdiction over issues of guardianship, parenting time, parenting responsibilities, contact with a child, child support and spousal support. It does not have jurisdiction over issues of property or debt and, accordingly, cannot deal with those issues. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over all family law matters, inclusive of custody, guardianship, access, parenting time, contact with a child, child support, spousal support and division of family property and family debt. If you are considering commencing proceedings, we would be pleased to review these considerations with you and their application to your circumstances.