Often when people are faced with a question the first place they go is google for a quick, easy and accurate answer.
For example…if I am looking for a great all you can eat sushi restaurant in Vancouver, a movie time, or a good month of year to travel to Hawaii…I would google it.
So can family law questions be answered as easily through google?
The answer is generally no… you should not google your divorce questions for answers – the information that comes up is often inaccurate, not relevant to your jurisdiction, and/or just not good advice!
For example, if I google “separation” one of the first results that comes up is a website about the procedure for getting a legal separation in Canada. The problem is, the information this website gives is not correct – it does not explain the fact that there is no “legal separation” you can file for British Columbia/Canada.
Another example, if I googled “how do I win my divorce”, a number of advice websites come up. One website, states:
Do not assume your husband will be fair, divorce is war and you must be prepared for battle…
This might not be the best mindset to get into when you are preparing for a divorce.
It is important to be fully informed, confident and empowered…the best way to do this, to prepare for battle (or an amicable parting of ways), is not to make assumptions about how [poorly] your spouse will act, it is to inform yourself about the law and become aware of your rights and what a reasonable outcome is.
Luckily, in British Columbia and Canada, there are lots of easy to use, accurate and free websites on the internet that can help you understand your family law matters.
Resources you can refer to for reliable information, include:
General Family Law Information:
- JP Boyd’s BC Family Law Resource;
- CanLII (you can look up court cases and legislation for free);
- Child Support Calculator on the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program’s website;
- Federal Child Support Guidelines;
Remember, consulting with a website is not a substitute for legal advice from a lawyer who practices in the area of family law – but it does give you an idea of what issues you should be looking for and what you can expect.