Introduction to JP Boyd on Family Law

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Welcome to JP Boyd on Family Law.

You might want to know about your own family law problem, or you might be helping someone else deal with their own family law problem. Either way, this is for you. In this wikibook, we — John-Paul Boyd and the team of experienced family law lawyers who serve as editors — guide you through family law in British Columbia as if we were talking to you.

For more than a decade, British Columbians used John-Paul Boyd's BC Family Law Resource website as their go-to place for family law information. John-Paul tried not to assume you would know about legal language and legal processes. He talked like an ordinary person. He explained legal terms and gave you tips on how to do things in plain language. This wikibook tries to do the same thing.

This wikibook is divided into chapters about the major areas of family law. In each chapter you will find an overview, then additional sections that give you more detailed information. Each chapter makes sense by itself. You won't have to go hunting for information in other chapters.

In addition to the chapters, this resource has a part called How Do I? which provides brief information on an array of family law questions, from "How Do I Get Married in British Columbia?" to "How Do I Find My Ex?" to "How Do I Address the Judge?" That's the place to go for a quick introduction to a process or procedure, or for a summary of the steps you have to take to do something.

The best place to start is right here in Getting Started, beginning with the Family Law in British Columbia section. This section gives you the really big picture, and will be particularly helpful for people who have never had to deal with a legal problem before or who are new to Canada. After that, you'll want to move on to the chapters that interest you.

Let us know what you think of this wikibook. We aim to keep updating and changing it to make sure it meets your needs. Please send your comments to us at

- Editorial Team, for JP Boyd on Family Law

Why are we doing this?

You might be reading this text in the online wikibook JP Boyd on Family Law, in an offline version in PDF format, or in a thick printed book. We produced this resource as a wikibook so that free family law information can reach more people. Family law issues touch the lives of a lot of British Columbians, and when you're dealing with these issues, you need all the help and support you can get.

Clicklaw Wikibooks teamed up with John-Paul Boyd in 2012, when he was still practicing law in Vancouver, to turn his popular family law website,, into this new Clicklaw Wikibook title, JP Boyd on Family Law. The migration of John-Paul's website into this new format preserves the accessibility, scope and tone of the original, which provided free family law information to more than 27,000 British Columbians a month and had been published for more than a decade.

As a wikibook, JP Boyd on Family Law continues John-Paul's commitment to explaining the legal system and providing free, plain language information on family law and divorce law, court processes and other family law dispute resolution processes, while harnessing the versatility and strength of MediaWiki, the same open-source wiki platform that powers Wikipedia.

The clean page layout of the wikibook in its online form provides a familiar user experience, and the online search functionality enables text searching throughout the entire wikibook as well as other Clicklaw Wikibooks titles. The wiki platform's book creator function allows libraries and individual readers to print as little or as much of this wikibook as they want, in convenient, user-friendly PDF or e-book formats that expand the reach of this resource to benefit British Columbians online and off.

A collaborative, community resource

John-Paul Boyd continues at the helm of JP Boyd on Family Law and is joined by an editorial team of experienced family law lawyers who are committed to delivering comprehensive, useful and easy to understand family law information. The editorial team provides an enriching diversity of opinion, knowledge and perspective, while the Clicklaw Wikibooks platform lets them respond to changes in the law quickly. The term wiki means "fast" or "quick" in Hawaiian, and we hope that updates will be available to readers at as soon as possible.

John-Paul and the wikibook's editorial team are supported by the broader Clicklaw Wikibooks Advisory Committee, composed of lawyers, public and legal library representatives, and educators.

Clicklaw Wikibooks

Transitioning John-Paul's family law website to a wiki format enables a highly accessible experience both electronically and in print. You could be reading this page on a laptop in a coffee shop, or you could be flipping through this book at a public library. Both digital and print formats are made possible by the technology that powers Clicklaw Wikibooks, and helps provide legal information for the public and improve the legal collections of public libraries in British Columbia.

If you are interested in contributing as a writer, commentator or as a member of the editorial team, or have any feedback or other remarks about this wikibook, please contact

Cover image for JP Boyd on Family Law, ISSN 2292-1400


Creativecommonssmall.png JP Boyd on Family Law © John-Paul Boyd and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.
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