Variation of Wills

 

In our province the Supreme Court has the ability to vary a will pursuant to the Wills, Estates and Succession Act. Spouses and children of the will-maker (formerly known as the testator or testatrix) are entitled to pursue a court action for a greater share of an estate.

Spouse is defined as a person who is married to the will-maker. For non-married persons this includes a person who lives with the will-maker in a marriage-like relationship, including a relationship between persons of the same gender, and has lived in that relationship for a period of at least two years.

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Views of Children in Custody & Access Cases

In determining the appropriate parenting arrangement, the courts are specifically directed by our legislation to consider only the best interests of children (Section 16(8) of the Divorce Act).  In determining what is in the best interests of a child, all of the child’s needs and circumstances must be considered by the court, including a number of factors set out in Section 37 of the Family Law Act.  These factors include the child’s views, unless it would inappropriate to consider them.

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Child Support

Both the Supreme Court and the Provincial Court of British Columbia can make orders for child support.  Generally child support is paid until the age of majority, which in British Columbia is until age 19.  However, child support may still be payable after a child’s 19th birthday if that child by reason of illness, disability or other cause still needs financial assistance from a parent.

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