Vancouver Mandarin Chinese Speaking Divorce Lawyer
Looking for a divorce lawyer who speaks Mandarin Chinese? Divorce is stressful enough without having to navigate all of the issues of the divorce in your second language.
When you work with our office, you won’t have to. You’ll get a dedicated family lawyer with experience and drive, one who will take care of you and your needs. Our team speaks Mandarin, which means you’re kept in the loop and are able to communicate with maximum efficiency.
Types of Divorce
We handle all kinds of divorces.
- Uncontested divorces
- Contested divorces
- Divorce mediation
- Separation agreements
- Collaborative divorce
- High net worth divorces
- Farm divorces
Many of our clients have been some of the most wealthy and influential Chinese business owners and investors here in Vancouver. We understand how to navigate the most complex divorces and assets to create a settlement you can live with.
Major Issues of a Divorce
All divorces must address the following key issues:
- Division of assets and debts
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Child custody and visitation
An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree on the major issues of the divorce and are willing to sign off on the terms as outlined in the initial complaint. Few divorces are truly uncontested divorces.
A contested divorce is where there is a dispute over any of the major issues of the divorce.
A divorce mediation or collaborative divorce are forms of divorce where both parties agree they’re going to try to work through these issues and come to a fair settlement without going into litigation with one another.
In British Columbia you must be legally separated for one year to divorce, though there are exceptions. Many couples choose to create a formal separation agreement that addresses all of the above-referenced major issues. You should always do this with help from a divorce lawyer, as the terms of a separation agreement all too often become the terms of a divorce.
Family Law Issues for Chinese Immigrants
Some of our clients still have assets or family members in China, which can vastly complicate a divorce. It can be difficult to get the Chinese government to comply with divorce or custody orders. We are well-versed in these issues and challenges, and can help you secure divorce orders that will stick.
One of the major issues is international custody disputes can result to children being taken back to China, out of reach of one of the parents. One way to help prevent this problem is to ensure that both parties are happy with the divorce settlement and are prepared to act together as co-parents. This is one reason why we often recommend divorce mediation or a collaborative divorce to Chinese parents.
Enforcement impacts spousal support agreements too. Since it can be impossible to enforce a spousal support order if the payor flees to China we often recommend our clients accept lump sum support settlements to help them get on their feet after a divorce. The wealthier spouse is usually happier to pay a lump sum than to commit to a monthly payment, and this sum can usually be collected immediately. At that point, where your ex goes and what they do matters a lot less as far as a spousal support arrangement goes. A good lump sum payment may also take into account that child support can be equally hard to enforce across international borders, even though every Canadian divorce that includes minor children must, by law, include provisions for child support as well.
Of course, in situations where the spouse you are divorcing is abusive you will need even more protections and legal acumen, as compromise is not likely to be possible as a solution.
In addition, because we are also immigration lawyers we can help you anticipate and handle any immigration issues that might arise as a result of your divorce.
Experience with High Net Worth Divorces
If you are living the astronaut lifestyle you can rest easy knowing that we are extremely experienced with high net worth divorces and complex asset portfolios. We work hard to prevent the devaluation of your businesses, real estate, stock portfolios, and retirement portfolios while dividing your assets in accordance with Canadian law.
In Canada, both spouses have equal rights to at least half of the assets. This does not mean all distribution is 50/50, only that it must be just and equitable. British Columbia law does acknowledge that not all assets are easily divided. For example, forcing the sale of a piece of real property might mean the loss of rental incomes that could be more valuable in the long run, but it’s not exactly possible to divide the property itself. More sophisticated solutions are called for.
Our law firm has extensive experience with real estate and business law in addition to divorce law. This gives us a breadth of experience that gives us tools to create sophisticated solutions to tough family law problems.
How much does a divorce cost in Vancouver?
The average contested divorce can cost $30,000 or more. Uncontested divorces can cost less than $2,000. The approximate hourly rate for Vancouver divorce lawyers can range from $200 to $650, but the hourly rate alone doesn’t determine the cost of the divorce. For example, a more experienced lawyer with a higher hourly rate can often resolve your divorce faster and with better terms.
Divorces where both parties are committed to reaching an amicable solution are usually the least expensive. Yet the long term costs of the agreement you come to must be taken into account as well.
How long does it take to get a divorce in Vancouver?
It can take 6 to 18 months to finalize the process. Much will depend on whether or not you and your spouse need to go to court, and whether you need repeated trips to court. The quickest divorces are usually mediated or collaborative divorces.
Who pays for a divorce in British Columbia?
Eac party generally pays their own legal fees and pays their own lawyer, but the courts do have the power to order one party to pay the other party’s court costs. This is usually used as a sanction. For example, the judge may order this when one party unnecessarily or viciously draws out the litigation in an unreasonable way, or abusively. They may also do this when it is revealed that one spouse tried to hide assets from the other.
Courts may also award costs if one party gets 75% of what they ask for in divorce litigation, or more. The party who did not get most of what they ask for is then asked to pay costs.
You have the right to ask the other party to pay costs as part of your divorce settlement. If you are attempting to negotiate a divorce settlement it may be wise to use this as a negotiable point and to give it up if there is a provision of the divorce that is more important to you.
How do I prepare for a divorce in Vancouver?
Start by gathering all of your paperwork about your assets and debts, as well as your spouse’s. You need all of your bank statements, tax returns, and paystubs, as well as all of your bills. If you have deeds to property or assets, stock certificates, retirement accounts, and insurance policies you’ll need to bring that information, as well.
The next thing you’ll want to do is consider your goals for the divorce. You’ll never get to keep everything, so what’s most important to you? Is it maintaining control of a business? Keeping the family home? Preserving your relationship with your children? Make sure your lawyer knows what outcome you’d like to see.
Then, schedule an appointment with your lawyer to get the help that you need. Your lawyer can help you start the divorce process and negotiate a settlement you can live with.
How might a divorce case impact Canadian immigration?
You have rights in British Columbia family courts, even as an immigrant. Yet if your partner sponsored you into Canada you may need immigration protection before you file for divorce, or shortly after you are served with divorce papers.
Fortunately there are ways to protect your rights to stay in Canada. For example, we might be able to file a Humanitarian and Compassionate application on your behalf, especially if you have minor children who are citizens or permanent residents of Canada.
Get Help Today
Our team has handled hundreds of complex high net worth and international divorce cases here in Vancouver. We have a good understanding of how cultural issues and international law might impact your divorce case, and are prepared to handle your case with the utmost delicacy and skill.
We’re here to fight hard to ensure you get a divorce settlement you can live with.
Chinese Lawyer Vancouver serves clients in Vancouver, Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, and White Rock. Call to set up an appointment today.