Category Archives: Relationships

Getting Re-married Later in Life: Some Estate Planning Considerations


As people live longer, healthier, more active lives these days, it is not at all unusual to see marriages between individuals in their 60s, 70s and beyond. If you are among these happy folks, it is important that you turn your mind to estate planning. Booking the honeymoon in the Bahamas or working on the guest list is a lot more fun than thinking about your eventual demise, but there are plenty of people in your life who are depending on you to get this right, legally and financially. Continue reading

Change a Family Court Order after Divorce or Separation

After a divorce or during a separation in Canada, parties may wonder whether changes to agreements are possible, and if so, how to go about them.

According to David Greig, author of The Separation Guide: Know Your Options, Take Control, and Get Your Life Back, this question comes up surprisingly frequently in divorce and separation cases because circumstances change: Kids grow up; parents get raises, lose jobs, or acquire assets; new spouses become part of the picture; or perhaps one person wishes to move away and this will affect child custody arrangements.

Greig advises that changing agreements is generally a tricky thing to do, especially when dealing with family law, as childrens’ needs change as they age, but laws governing the changing of agreements are not the same in all jurisdictions across the country.

In high-conflict separations and divorces, he says, every little thing should be put in writing. In more friendly arrangements, minor modifications may not need to be recorded each time; this kind of elasticity and cooperation is preferable, although sometimes not possible.

What should always be put in writing, no matter what, to protect your interests and those of any children going forward are major changes to custody or support.

In The Separation Guide, Greig points out some rules to remember no matter where you are in Canada when looking to change a court order:

  • For the most part, only a court order can change an existing court order. Verbal agreements don’t count.
  • Describe new agreements as variations or amendments to the original agreement and keep copies of everything together.
  • The reason for the amendment should be clearly explained near the beginning of the amendment.
  • Use the same language in amendments as was used in original agreements (for example, if “maintenance” is used in the original, don’t change it to “alimony” in the amendment).

Don’t get frustrated and throw out all the hard work you put into the original agreement if you hit a few speed bumps. You and your ex made one (or more) agreements before, so don’t panic, and keep at it. Chances are you can iron out the changes and come to an agreement once more.

Although many people likely don’t want to involve a lawyer unless absolutely necessary, if you are dealing with an acrimonious or contentious situation, or are unsure of any details of your existing agreement or new amendment, it is always wise to consult a professional.

About For more information about changing court orders and agreements made as a part of separation or divorce, consult The Separation Guide: Know Your Options, Take Control, and Get Your Life Back by author and lawyer David Greig. This comprehensive book includes chapters on all types of separation issues, so that you can rest assured that you are well informed in the midst of the separation process. It will help you to understand your situation and options, take control, and get your life back on track. It is helpful for same-sex and common-law couples too.Find it in our store:in print, or

as a digital download kit.

Are Prenups or Cohabitation Agreements a Good Idea?

Unless they’re rich and famous, and people are telling them to protect their cash and assets, the majority of people who are married or living common-law don’t have prenuptial agreements (“prenups”), cohabitation agreements, or marriage agreements in place. But with so many marriages ending in divorce, and so many relationships ending, period, is it smart to have some kind of contract?

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Divorce with Style: Throw a Party!

If you haven’t heard of divorce parties yet, you likely will soon as the trend of celebrating a breakup grows. Divorce or breakup parties are a way to mark moving on, toast a new chapter in life, and say goodbye to the past in a positive way.

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BC Divorce Changes

March 18, 2013: Changes to the Provincial Court (Family) Rules come into effect today, to bring it into conformity with the Family Law Act, which replaces the previous Family Relations Act today. There are also some changes to Rule 21 (Parenting After Separation Program).

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Living Together Laws Changing in BC

Living together without marrying in British Columbia is going to become a lot more complicated on March 18, 2013. The BC Government will put into effect a new version of the Family Law Act on that day, changing what living together has meant in law for the past 35 years.

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Divorce and Social Media

Just a few years ago, newspaper headlines were talking about how “virtual worlds” such as Second Life were being cited in divorce actions. Those articles have gone away, but new ones have arrived with different social sites and surprising statisics.

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Alberta Divorce Process Changing

Alberta has introduced, at short notice, a new process for divorce applications, together with new paperwork, starting on November 1st. We have prepared new instructions together with the new forms and they are available on the Updates page of current Alberta kits. Continue reading