Vancouver Divorce Lawyer – Providing Family Law Services

Mark John O’Nions is a BC Divorce Lawyer specializing in family law, meditation and collaborative divorce.

What Is Divorce?

Divorce is the legal termination of a marriage. You only need to get divorced when you wish to terminate a legal marriage. There is no need for divorce in a common law relationship.

What do you Need to do Before Getting Divorced?

In order to get divorced you need to resolve issues relating to the division of property, child guardianship, spousal and child support, etc. We at M.J. O’Nions Lawyers & Mediators prefer to use family mediation or the collaborative law approach to resolving those issues rather than going to court.

What is Family Mediation?

Family Mediation is an alternative to the traditional court process in order to resolve disputes. Family Mediation is the process by which a neutral third party, the “Family Mediator,” assists people to resolve their dispute and reach a voluntary settlement of matters of issue between them relating to their marriage, cohabitation, separation, or divorce. A  Family Mediator is not a judge, he or she helps people to negotiate a fair settlement of their dispute that meets everyone’s interests.

What is Collaborative Divorce or Collaborative Law?

Collaborative divorce or collaborative law is a process by which parties and their respective lawyers sign an agreement, a “Participation Agreement,” to negotiate a peaceful and equitable resolution of the issues relating to the termination of their relationship without going to court. The parties and lawyers agree to work together in a transparent manner to reach a settlement that best meets the respective party’s needs and interests. Other professionals can also be brought in to provide assistance such as counsellors, divorce coaches, child specialists and financial experts. Should a settlement not be reached then the lawyers resign and they are prohibited from representing any party in any future family litigation.

How do I get a Divorce?

Once the issues are resolved between the parties we at M.J. O’Nions Lawyers & Mediators can do what is called an uncontested divorce or desk order divorce. There are two types of desk order divorces or uncontested divorces that we do, one is called a sole application for divorce and the other is called a joint application for divorce.

What is a Sole Application for Divorce?

When all matters between the parties have been resolved we, at M. J. O’Nions Lawyers & Mediators can do a sole application for divorce, also known as a desk order divorce or uncontested divorce. A sole application for divorce involves one party making an application to B.C. Supreme Court for divorce. This is accomplished by a two step process where one party files a Notice of Family Claim with the court and serves it on the other. The second step is after waiting 30 days the party files an application for a divorce order.

What is a Joint application for Divorce?

A joint application for divorce is similar to the sole application for divorce with the exception that both parties sign and file the Notice of Family Claim with the court. The advantage of a joint application for divorce over a sole application for divorce is that there is no need to serve the Notice of Family Claim on the other party and no need therefore to wait the mandatory 30 days before proceeding with the application for a Divorce Order.

How long does it take to get Divorced?

The time it takes to get a divorce can range widely depending on the parties i.e. when they started the process, if there is agreement or not, if they end up in trial, etc. With the exception of adultery or mental cruelty you must be separated for at least one year prior to receiving a divorce order.

How much does an Uncontested or Bench Order Divorce Cost?

Our fee for both a Sole Application for Divorce and a Joint Application for Divorce is $1,500 plus disbursements and applicable taxes. The disbursements include court fees in the amount of $290, $40 for a Divorce Certificate (optional), a  process server fee for serving documents on the other party (Sole Application for Divorce only), and courier fees if required. We do not charge for photocopying, faxing, telephone long distance and secretarial services.

Why hire M.J. O’Nions for my Divorce?

We have the expertise to help you in family mediation, collaborative law, drafting your separation agreement, and filing and preparing your divorce application. We will do this in a cost effective manner while providing high quality professional service. We understand how this is a very difficult time for you. We are here to help. Just give us a call at 604-449-7779 to schedule a consultation so we can be of assistance.

For more information, see our blogs on How to Divorce, How to File for Divorce, Getting a Divorce, and How to File for Separation in BC.