Your Family Lawyer in Surrey

If you’re facing issues related to divorce, prenuptial agreements, child support, child custody or any other assistance from a family lawyer in Surrey, contact MacMillan Tucker. We deal with cases involving division of assets for married and common-law couples, including pensions, businesses and mobility applications for separated parents who want to movie along with their children or adoption. We will represent you no matter what your needs are when it comes to family law, from uncontested divorces to difficult, contentious custody disputes.


Please go through the articles given below to know more about the cases related to family law services.

IT’S THE LAW – By Stuart D. Robertson

What would you do if you were the judge? Judges decide the facts based on evidence put before them, and then apply the law. Here is a fact pattern. How would you decide who was at fault? Fact patterns similar to this one are often presented in court and assessed by judges. Test your judgment!

Woulda Coulda Shoulda got a Prenup

Magnum and Higgins started dating and fell madly in love. Higgins owned a beautiful home in Cloverdale that she had had for many years. Despite being advised by her friends and family to get a Prenuptial Agreement, Higgins and Magnum got married. Magnum proceeded to move into Higgins’ home. Higgins continued to pay for everything for the home, including the ongoing mortgage payments and property taxes. 


As time went by, the housing market continued to increase. Over the course of the next 6 years, the value of the house almost doubled. Meanwhile, Higgins’s great uncle, Robin Masters, passed away and left her $400,000. With her inheritance, Higgins was able to pay off the mortgage on the home, with enough left over to take the two of them on an expensive three-week holiday in Hawaii.

Shortly after the holiday, Higgins and Magnum’s relationship came to an end. Higgins asked Magnum to leave the home, but Magnum refused to leave until he was compensated for his interest in the home, which he saw as half the increase in value. Higgins refused, saying that Magnum was not entitled to anything. She had paid for everything for the home. Higgins went so far as to demand money from Magnum to repay her for the holiday they took together. Following their separation, they continued to live together for several months with neither party willing to budge. In the meantime, the value of the property decreased.

If You Were The Judge, How Would You Decide? 

Under the Family Law Act, Magnum is presumptively entitled to half the increase in the value of the home over the course of their relationship, despite not contributing to it financially. The value of the home is determined at the time of the final settlement, not the date of separation, so the decrease in market value helped Higgins out in this scenario.

The Family Law Act has provisions that allow certain types of property to be excluded from a division of family property, which includes inheritance. So long as the excluded property can be traced to a particular asset, the inheritance can be excluded from property division between the parties. In this case, since only some of the inheritance was spent on the home, only that portion that was used to pay off the mortgage can be excluded. As such, Magnum is likely entitled to half of the increase in value of the home over the course of the relationship to the date of final settlement, less a credit for the mortgage balance that Higgins paid off using her inheritance. 


As for the three-week holiday to Hawaii, Higgins gets no credit for that. But at least she took many pictures.

Stuart D. Robertson is a lawyer who practices in Cloverdale with the firm MacMillan Tucker at 5690 – 176A Street, Cloverdale (Surrey), B.C. At MacMillan Tucker, lawyers are available to answer questions about wills and estates, ICBC claims, personal injury, professional negligence, family matters and other issues. If you require legal assistance, please call (604) 574-7431 to book an appointment.

IT’S THE LAW – By Stuart D. Robertson

What would you do if you were the judge? Judges decide the facts based on evidence put before them, and then apply the law. Here is a fact pattern. How would you decide who was at fault? Fact patterns similar to this one are often presented in court and assessed by judges. Test your judgment!

Conscious Un-Coupling and Re-Coupling and Support

Will and Grace were married for 25 years and had 2 children together. Grace gave up her job as an administrative assistant to stay at home with the children while they were young. Will continued to work at his job at ABC Incorporated throughout the marriage, where he worked his way up the corporate ladder to become Vice-President. 


The parties separated. Grace had already gone back to work and was able to find work at the same company she had worked at previously, despite the 12 years off. As part of their divorce order, Will agreed to pay spousal support to Grace. However, before the parties were finally divorced, both Will and Grace had entered into new relationships. Grace, in particular, had fallen in love with Jack, the Vice-President of ABC Inc.’s main competitor XYZ Inc. Grace and Jack had been together for about a year but were not yet living together at the time of the divorce. Will was aware of this arrangement.


Fast forward 3 years later. While Will’s new relationship did not last, Grace’s relationship persevered. Grace and Jack were now married. Shortly after the marriage, Will brought a court application to cancel the spousal support he was paying Grace.


If You Were the Judge, How Would You Decide? 

In order for Will to be successful in varying the support order, he needs to establish that there was a material change in circumstances from the date of the divorce order. When the divorce order was made, Will was aware that Grace was in a new committed relationship with someone of similar financial means to him. As a result, the court found that there had not been a material change in circumstance despite Grace getting remarried. The court found that Grace’s re-partnering was a reasonably foreseeable event that was known at the time of the original order and therefore did not warrant a variation of the existing order. 


Cases such as the above are often very complex. If you have a situation similar to the above, we recommend you obtain legal advice to address your particular factual scenario.

Stuart D. Robertson is a lawyer who practices in Cloverdale with the firm MacMillan Tucker at 5690 – 176A Street, Cloverdale (Surrey), B.C. At MacMillan Tucker, lawyers are available to answer questions about wills and estates, ICBC claims, personal injury, professional negligence, family matters and other issues. If you require legal assistance, please call (604) 574-7431 to book an appointment.

MacMillan Tucker

5690 176A Street

Surrey, BC V3S 4H1


Tel: 604-574-7431

TF: 800-658-7974

E: inquiries@mactuc.com

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Friday 09:00 AM - 04:30 PM

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