6.0 Introduction

As you move through the process of separation and divorce, you may be faced with going to court. You might not have been able to reach an agreement and so you are starting a court application, or you may have been served with court documents.

The first part of this course focused on helping you reach an agreement and coping with the stresses of separation. In Chapter 3 you learned some skills that can help you through the next phase of the separation process: going to court.  The communication, negotiation, and managing emotions skills will still be very useful while dealing with the court processes. 

The second part of this online course is designed to help you navigate the legal process of separation and divorce. If you are going to court, you may be represented by a lawyer, but it is not required. In family matters, about 40% of individuals who go to court in BC do not have a lawyer. They represent themselves. The term “Self-Represented Litigant” describes people who go to court without a lawyer.

The information in this part of the course is designed to help self-represented litigants be more prepared and more capable of moving their case forward. We suggest that everyone meet with a lawyer at least once. Self-representing litigants would find it useful to consult with a lawyer to gain expert guidance on how to proceed with their case.

To start, this chapter will help you learn about the law while later chapters will help you build your case, fill out forms and prepare you for trial.

This chapter will cover the topics of:

  • Court overview  
  • Choosing the right law
  • Choosing the right court
  • Court rules
  • Legal Rights
    • Care of the Children
    • Child Support      
    • Spousal Support
    • Property Division
    • Conclusion

Though you’ve learnt a little about your legal rights, it’s time to get a more in depth understanding of the legal issues you’ll be facing when heading to court.