JP Boyd on Family Law Contributors
John-Paul Boyd is the founding author of JP Boyd on Family Law. He is an accredited family law arbitrator, family law mediator and parenting coordinator, providing services throughout Alberta and British Columbia. John-Paul practiced family law in Vancouver for 14 years before taking a position as the executive director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, a non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Calgary, in 2013. He took his training as a mediator in 2005, as a parenting coordinator in 2007, as an arbitrator in 2011 and as a collaborative practitioner in 2012, and returned to full-time practice at John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers in 2018.
John-Paul is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and a member of the ADR Institute of Canada, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the International Society of Family Law and the Canadian Bar Association. He presently serves on the executive of the CBA’s national Child and Youth Law Section and is a member of the CBA Alberta’s Access to Justice Committee and the IAFL's LGBT Committee. He is a juror of the Walter Owen Book Prize, awarded by the Canadian Foundation for Legal Research, and the Allan Falconer Memorial Essay Contest, awarded by the Canadian Journal of Family Law.
John-Paul regularly writes and lectures on family law topics for courts, law societies, bar associations and the public. He is a frequent speaker for the National Judicial Institute, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the National Family Law Program, the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, the Trial Lawyers Association of BC and the Legal Education Society of Alberta, and has provided the family law course for upper-year law students at the University of Calgary. His written work has been published by organizations including the UBC Law Review, Canadian Family Law Quarterly, the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, the Journal of International Aging, Law and Policy, The Advocate, the National Judicial Institute, the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, slaw.ca and The Lawyer’s Daily. He is a member of the advisory board of the Canadian Journal of Family Law and the author of Obtaining Reliable and Repeatable SSAG Calculations, published by the Department of Justice.
John-Paul is a recipient of the CBA's National Pro Bono Service Award, the UBC Law Alumni Association's Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, the CBA British Columbia's Harry Rankin QC Pro Bono Award and the Distinguished Service Award presented by the Law Society of Alberta and the CBA Alberta. In a 2012 report of the BC Public Legal Education and Information Working Group, John-Paul was named as one of the six major providers of public legal education on family law in BC, along with the Legal Services Society, the Canadian Bar Association, the Ministry of Justice, the University of Victoria Law Centre and the Justice Education Society.
JP Boyd on Family Law is the successor to John-Paul's original public legal education website, JP Boyd's BC Family Law Resource, first published in 2001.
Megan Ellis, QC is the senior editor of JP Boyd on Family Law, responsible for recruiting most of the book's volunteer subject editors. She is a senior British Columbia litigator with extensive experience in trial and appeal work. Her work includes precedent setting cases in both family law and civil claims for sexual abuse and assault, including the key family law decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Hartshorne v. Hartshorne,  1 SCR 550. She has practised family law for more than 30 years, and is one of the first lawyers in Canada to devote a significant part of her practice to pursuing claims on behalf of adult survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse.
Megan served on the Attorney General's Family Law Act Advisory Group, and has presented on family law topics at Continuing Legal Education Society of BC programs. She has been recognized with an appointment as Queen’s Counsel in 2008, a UBC Law Alumni Award of Distinction (2012), and a Trial Lawyers' Association of BC Bar Award (2004). She is consistently recognized in Best Lawyers International® as a leading Canadian personal injury lawyer. She wrote public legal education materials to support herself while in law school.
Nathaniel Russell serves as Legal & Innovation Counsel and is the privacy officer for Courthouse Libraries BC. He is also the project coordinator of Clicklaw Wikibooks, and the volume editor for JP Boyd on Family Law and Legal Help for British Columbians. He was called to the BC Bar in 2006 and is a 2005 graduate of Dalhousie Law School. Nate practised family law and civil litigation at small firms prior to joining Courthouse Libraries BC. Nate is an active voice on law and technology topics through his contributions on Slaw, Canada's online legal magazine, and as an advisory member or presenter. Prior to entering law, Nate worked as a communications consultant for internet startups and CBC Television. He holds a diploma in Digital and Print Publishing.
Contributors & reviewers
Taruna Agrawal is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the chapter on Specific Communities. Taruna is the Family Advocate Support Line Lawyer at Rise Women’s Legal Centre where she maintains and delivers a Family Advocate Support Line for advocates across BC to deliver service to their clients. Before commencing work at Rise, Taruna Agrawal was the Founder and Principal Lawyer at Taruna Agrawal Law Corporation DBA Zenith Law Group. She built a practice in the areas of family and immigration law. Taruna is an active volunteer in the community and has worked as an advocate at various non-profit organizations in the Lower Mainland.
Shannon Aldinger is a senior subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Resolving Family Law Problems in Court. Shannon graduated from McGill University (BA Hon) in 1992, obtained her law degree from Dalhousie Law School in 1995, and was called to the bar in 1996. She is a family law lawyer and mediator in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, and has represented clients in the Provincial and Supreme Courts of BC as well as the BC Court of Appeal. She has extensive experience in all areas of family law practice including providing legal advice, negotiating settlements, and providing representation in court dealing with parenting arrangements, child and spousal support, division of property and debts, spousal assault torts, protection orders, restraining orders, and family law agreements. She is an active member of the Trial Lawyers Association of BC (TLABC), including a current member of its family law committee and a past member of its seminar committee. She has made numerous public education presentations about family law through TLABC, the local transition society, community justice centre, military family resource centre and Legal Services Society.
Rhaea Bailey is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the chapter on Specific Communities. Rhaea is a graduate of UBC Law, and was called to the BC Bar in 2010. She manages the Legal Services Society's Indigenous services department, with the goal of improving access to justice for Indigenous people through its work with legal aid. She has frequently traveled outside of the Lower Mainland as a family law advice lawyer in clinics in Northern BC. She has co-facilitated workshops with the Ending Violence Association of BC.
Todd Bell is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the chapter on Specific Communities. Todd was called to the BC Bar in 2008, and obtained his law degree from UBC in 2007. He practices family law with Schuman Daltrop Basran & Robin and practices primarily family litigation for families whose matters are not amenable or resolvable through other means. He has contributed to conferences and family law publications through the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, and is an adjunct faculty member at Allard School of Law at UBC.
Fiona Beveridge is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Family Violence. Fiona is a family lawyer, parenting coordinator, mediator and collaborative divorce lawyer practicing at Watson Goepel LLP. Fiona was called to the Bar in 2003 after receiving her law degree from the University of Alberta and then working as a Judicial Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Fiona also obtained a Masters in Law at the University of Cambridge in 2005. Fiona’s practice is largely focused on settlement outside of court, although she practiced in family and civil litigation for many years.
Catherine Brink is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Resolving Problems out of Court. Catherine is an experienced collaborative lawyer and an accredited family law mediator. She is the co-founder of Harbour Family Law, a family law firm committed to resolving family conflict in a healthy, constructive and supportive manner.
Catherine is a board member on the BC Collaborative Roster Society, and Chair of the Roster’s Access to Collaboration Committee. She is a member of Collaborative Divorce Vancouver and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
Catherine is also a trainer and regularly presents on topics relating to collaborative Law, mediation, family law and law firm management.
Julie Brown is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Resolving Family Law Problems in Court. Julie is a lawyer at Pietrow Law Group and practices exclusively in family law. Julie has represented clients on a range of issues, including child custody, division of property and debt, child support and spousal support. She was co-counsel in a precedent setting property and excluded property decision at the British Columbia Court of Appeal and has experience at all stages of the litigation process. Julie also has experience representing clients at mediations, negotiating settlements, and drafting agreements.
David C. Dundee is a senior subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Spousal Support. David is a lawyer with Paul & Company in Kamloops. David received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Honours English in 1978 and a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1981, both from the University of British Columbia. He was called to the bar in 1982. He has practised family law for most of his career, and has focused primarily on family law since he came to Kamloops. He is also a roster child interviewer for the BC Hear the Child Society.
David has been extensively involved with the Canadian Bar Association for many years, in many capacities. He has been chair or co-chair of the Kamloops Family Law Section since 2001. He served eight years on the National Family Section, including one year as chair. As acting chair of the BC Family Law Working Group, he was involved with submissions to government on the Family Law Act, and on the joint CBA/Law Society Best Practice Guidelines for family law. In 2012, David was awarded the President’s Medal, in part for this work.
David serves on the Justice Ministry's family practice advisory group. He also sits on the Trial Lawyers' Association of BC Family Law Committee.
David has been active with the BC Continuing Legal Education Society for many years, having presented and written on several subjects, including as contributing editor to the Family Practice Manual and to their transition guide to the Family Law Act.
Gagan Mann is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Family Law Agreements. Gagan was called to the BC Bar in 2012, and obtained her law degree from the University of British Columbia in 2011. She practices family law with Watson Goepel LLP.
Beatrice McCutcheon is a senior subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Family Law Agreements. Bea was called to the BC Bar in 2003, and obtained her law degree from the University of Victoria in 2002. She practices family law with Cook Roberts LLP. She is a member of Victoria's Collaborative Family Separation Professionals, a team of professionals who work with separating couples to resolve parenting and financial issues in a respectful process. Bea is a contributor to Family Law Agreements Annotated Precedents, a publication of the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, and a co-author of "Marriage and Cohabitation Agreements: Drafting and Settings Aside Agreements under the FLA".
Bob Mostar is a senior subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the chapter on Legal System, and another chapter relating to Overlapping Legal Issues. Bob's law practice involves legal matters that touch on personal issues, personal injury, family law, estate litigation and, earlier in his career, criminal law. Bob was educated at the University of British Columbia.
Mary Mouat, QC is a senior subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the chapter on Children in Family Law Matters. Mary graduated from the University of Victoria, Faculty of Law in 1987 and has been a partner at Quadra Legal Centre in Victoria since 1990. She works exclusively in the area of family law and has been a qualified mediator since 1996. and a collaborative practitioner for over 10 years. Mary’s volunteer work has included Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre, Island Sexual Health Society and the Victoria Heritage Foundation. Mary has also been active in the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, serving as a section chair and an elected representative for Victoria. Mary has served on the board of the Law Courts Education Society (now Justice Education Society) and the Law Foundation of British Columbia, including as its chair in 2009 and 2010. Mary is a director of BC Hear the Child Society and director of the Victoria Foundation.
Mary received a designation as Queen’s Counsel in 2011, was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the UVic Faculty of Law in 2014 and received the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch Georges A. Goyer, QC Award for Distinguished service in 2015.
Bill Murphy-Dyson is a senior subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Child Support. Bill is a partner at Cox Taylor in Victoria, and was called to the Bar in 1984 after serving as Law Clerk to Mr. Justice McIntyre of the Supreme Court of Canada. Bill is best known for his advocacy skills, predominantly in family law, estate litigation, and personal injury cases. Bill is also a mediator and a member of the civil and family rosters of Mediate BC. He is also a member of the Trial Lawyers’ Association of BC, the American Association of Justice, the International Courts of Justice, as well as the Canadian Bar Association and Victoria Bar Association. Bill is qualified as a Family Law Arbitrator under the Family Law Act of British Columbia, and is an active member of his local community, as Past Chair of the Oak Bay Tea Party Society, past Board Member of the Belfry Theatre Society and past member of the Campaign Cabinet for the United Way of Greater Victoria.
Mark Norton is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the chapter on Legal System and another chapter relating to Overlapping Legal Issues. He is a 2005 graduate of Dalhousie Law School, and practised law in New Brunswick before relocating to BC where he was called to the Bar in 2007. Mark practises family law at Infinity Law in Victoria.
He is a past member of the executive of the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch's Civil Litigation Section for Victoria. He is also a member of the Association of Family Conciliation Courts (AFCC) which is an interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict.
Gillian Oliver is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Spousal Support. She graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 2008 and was called to the Bar in 2009. She practices family law as a sole practitioner in Kamloops.
Matt Ostrow is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Property & Debt in Family Law Matters. Matt is a lawyer with Farris Vaughan Wills & Murphy LLP, a large BC-based law firm. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Alberta where he obtained his Bachelor of Laws, and is an active member of the Family Law and SOGIC (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee) subsections of the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch.
Morag MacLeod, QC is a senior subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, responsible for the page on Parenting Coordination. She is a senior family litigator, certified family law mediator and arbitrator, and parenting coordinator in private practice in Vancouver. She chairs the Family Law Litigation Group of the Trial Lawyers Association of BC, is the Vice President of the BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society, and is a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She is a frequent presenter on family law topics, a contributing author to various Continuing Legal Education of British Columbia publications, a member of the Editorial Board of the Family Law Sourcebook, and chair of the popular TLABC Family Listserv.
Ingrida Phillips is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Child Support. She is a 2004 graduate of UBC Law School, and was called to the BC Bar in 2005. She practices family law with the Vancouver law firm Hamilton Fabbro.
Samantha Rapoport is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Children in Family Law Matters. Sam has trained and practiced almost exclusively in the area of family law since her call to the Bar, joining Brown Henderson Melbye in 2014. She is a graduate of the University of Victoria's law faculty.
Deirdre Severide is a senior subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the content on Collaborative Process. Deirdre is the co-founder and a partner of Severide Law, founded in 1996. Since 2008, her practice has been restricted to resolving family matters in the collaborative process and through mediation. She is the past president and director of the BC Collaborative Roster Society, the past chair of its Access to Collaboration Committee, and a trainer of the collaborative model. She is a former director of Collaborative Divorce Vancouver, a past director of the Delta Police Board and Delta Police Foundation, and a present director of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
Samantha Simpson is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Family Violence. Samantha's family law practice includes all areas of family law with a particular interest in disputes involving children, including child protection matters. While Samantha regularly appears in court, she is a certified collaborative family law lawyer who regularly uses means outside of the court system, such as negotiation and mediation. Samantha received her Bachelor of Social Work from McGill University and her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University. She studied law at the University of Victoria and was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2011. She received her certification as a collaborative family law lawyer in 2015.
Samantha has taught family law at the University of British Columbia, and was a contributing author to the family violence section of the publication Family Law Act Transition Guide, produced by Continuing Legal Education British Columbia. She has presented at the National Family Law Conference on the topic of queer parents and on the law around parental alienation.
Samantha's education and practical experience in the field of social work inspired her to pursue a career in family law. She is an associate with the firm of Jenkins Marzban Logan in Vancouver, and was called to the Bar in 2011. She is a 2010 graduate of the University of Victoria's law faculty.
Michael Sinclair is a subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the chapter on Family Relationships. Michael is a partner with Doak Shirreff LLP practising in family law and estate litigation. He is a 2006 graduate of the University of Alberta's Faculty of Law, and practised in Alberta before moving to BC where he was called to the Bar in 2010.
Michael is a member of the Trial Lawyers Association of BC, is an elected member of the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch's Provincial Council, and is an executive board member of the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC.
Vanessa J.D. Van Sickle is a senior subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Separation & Divorce. Vanessa practices family law in Surrey, and was called to the BC Bar in 1988. She has served as an elected member of the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch's Provincial Council.
Stephen G. Wright is a senior subject editor for JP Boyd on Family Law, and is jointly responsible for the pages on Family Relationships. He also edits the family law material for Legal Help for British Columbians. Stephen practices family law in Vancouver. He was called to the BC Bar in 1991, and has presented courses and papers for Continuing Legal Education BC on child protection. Stephen helped review the family law section of the wikibook Legal Help for British Columbians.
Contributors & reviewers to previous editions
Many thanks to past contributors and reviewers:
- Manjit Grewal, Jane Henderson, QC, Arlene Henry, QC, Agnes Huang, Don Kawano, QC, Kat Kinch, Taryn Moore, Barbara Nelson, Irene Peters, Eugene Raponi, QC, Amanda Rose, Ronald J. Smith, QC, Angela Thiele, Sandy Thomson, Gayle Raphanel, Thomas Wallwork and Justin Werb
Courthouse Libraries BC team
Desy Wahyuni and Corinne Shortridge provided indispensable support updating materials, assisting contributors, and providing technical and editorial support at every step of production.
Thanks to Craig Bateman, the copy editor of this edition, for his unique ability to read and ask questions of this text as a novice might, notwithstanding his many years of legal education. His extraordinary care and thoroughness as a copy editor has improved this edition for all readers.
A lawyer or another person with special training in the arbitration of family law disputes who meets the training and experience requirements set out in the provincial Family Law Act Regulation. See "arbitration."
A lawyer or another person with special training in the mediation of family law disputes who meets the training and experience requirements set out in the provincial Family Law Act Regulation. See "mediation."
A lawyer or mental health professional with special training in the mediation and arbitration of family law disputes, family dynamics, and child developmental psychology who meets the training and experience requirements set out in the provincial Family Law Act Regulation.
In law, the physical railing separating the public gallery in a courtroom from the area where the judge and lawyers sit; lawyers as a group; where lawyers go after work.
The abbreviation of "Queen's Counsel." A QC is an honour often, but not invariably, granted to lawyers of particular excellence, and may also be granted for other reasons such as service to the legal community, the public, or a political party.
The testing of the claims at issue in a court proceeding at a formal hearing before a judge with the jurisdiction to hear the proceeding. The parties present their evidence and arguments to the judge, who then makes a determination of the parties' claims against one another that is final and binding on the parties unless appealed. See "action," "appeal," "argument," "claim," "evidence," and "jurisdiction."
An application to a higher court for a review of the correctness of a decision of a lower court. A decision of a judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia can be appealed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. A decision of a judge of the Supreme Court can be appealed to the Court of Appeal for British Columbia.
A historical decision of the courts; the principle that such historic decisions of the court are binding on subsequent judges hearing cases of a similar nature or with similar circumstances. The term also has another different but also common meaning, referring to templates or sample documents used to draft new documents. See "common law."
In law, a judge's conclusions after hearing argument and considering the evidence presented at a trial or an application; a judgment; the judge's reasons. A judge's written or oral decision will include the judge's conclusions about the relief or remedies claimed as well as their findings of fact and conclusions of law. A written decision is called the judge’s "reasons for judgment." See "common law," "conclusions of law," and "findings of fact."
The highest level of court in Canada. This court hears appeals from the decisions of the Federal Court of Appeal and the provincial courts of appeal, including the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. There is no court to appeal to beyond this court. See "Court of Appeal" and "Supreme Court."
A person licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. See "barrister and solicitor."
A lawyer or a person other than a lawyer who helps clients with legal issues; to argue a position on behalf of a client.
The highest level of court in this province, having the jurisdiction to review decisions of the Supreme Court, all provincial lower courts, and certain tribunals. See "appeal."
In contract law, a promise made by someone about a certain state of affairs, like "the plumbing was replaced last year" or "I had a vasectomy two years ago." See "misrepresentation."
A term under the Family Law Act which describes the arrangements for parental responsibilities and parenting time among guardians, made in an order or agreement. "Parenting arrangements" does not include contact. See "contact," "guardian," "parental responsibilities," and "parenting time."
A payment made by one spouse, the payor, to the other spouse, the recipient, to help with their day-to-day living expenses or to compensate the recipient for the financial choices the spouses made during the relationship.
Something which can be owned. See "chattels" and "real property."
Under the Divorce Act, the schedule of a parent's time with their children under an order or agreement. Access usually refers to the schedule of the parent with the least amount of time with the child. See "custody."
The legal termination of a valid marriage by an order of a judge; the ending of a marital relationship and the conjugal obligations of each spouse to the other. See "conjugal rights," "marriage," and "marriage, validity of."
A resolution of one or more issues in a court proceeding or legal dispute with the agreement of the parties to the proceeding or dispute, usually recorded in a written agreement or in an order that all parties agree the court should make. A court proceeding can be settled at any time before the conclusion of trial. See "action," "consent order," "family law agreements," and "offer."
A dispute resolution process in which a specially-trained neutral person facilitates discussions between the parties to a legal dispute and helps them reach a compromise settling the dispute. See "alternative dispute resolution" and "family law mediator."
In family law, an antiquated term used by the Divorce Act to describe the right to possess a child and make parenting decisions concerning the child's health, welfare, and upbringing. See "access."
A sum of money or an obligation owed by one person to another. A "debtor" is a person responsible for paying a debt; a "creditor" is the person to whom the debt is owed.
Money paid by one parent or guardian to another parent or guardian as a contribution toward the cost of a child's living and other expenses.
A lawyer; the advice given by a lawyer to their client.
A term under the Family Law Act referring to property acquired by a spouse prior to the commencement of the spouses' relationship and certain property acquired by a spouse during the relationship, including gifts, inheritances, court awards, and insurance proceedings. A spouse is presumed to be entitled to keep their excluded property without having to share it with the other spouse. See "family property," "gift," and "inheritance."
Short for the Child Support Guidelines, a regulation to the federal Divorce Act, adopted by each province and territory except Quebec, that sets the amount of child support a parent or guardian must pay based on the person's income and the number of children involved.
In law, all of the personal property and real property that a person owns or in which they have an interest, usually in connection with the prospect or event of the person's death.
(AKA collaborative settlement processes) A dispute resolution process in which the parties to a legal dispute and their lawyers agree that they will make every effort to resolve the dispute through cooperative, transparent negotiations, with the assistance of counsellors and neutral experts in financial issues and children's issues as necessary, without going to court. See "alternative dispute resolution."
In family law, the process by which an agreement is formed between the parties to a legal dispute resolving that dispute, usually requiring mutual compromise from the parties' original positions to the extent tolerable by each party. See "alternative dispute resolution" and "family law agreements."
In law, something that is relevant, important. A material fact is a fact relevant to a claim or a defence to a claim. See "claim," "evidence," and "fact."
In law, the re-examination of a term of an order or agreement, usually to determine whether the term remains fair and appropriate in light of the circumstances prevailing at the time of the review. In family law, particularly the review of an order or agreement provided for the payment of spousal support. See "de novo," "family law agreements," "order," and "spousal support."