Estate & Family Law Blog

Protecting your property in the divorce process


When many people hear about restraining orders, they often think of things like child protection orders. These court orders are meant to protect children when there are allegations of abuse or neglect. However, did you know that the British Columbia Supreme Court can make an interim order about your property that will be in effect until the final order is issued about how property division will occur?

You can ask the court to issue such an order if you are concerned that your soon-to-be ex-spouse might do something with your property to keep you from getting what is rightfully yours. This is sometimes called a restraining order and you can ask the court to keep your spouse from transferring or selling the property. This is very helpful if the property you have isn’t a house or land and therefore, you have to act quickly.

You can ask the court to have your spouse continue to make the mortgage payment and other household expense payments. The court can also say how your property, including any cash you have, can be used. This includes ordering it to be used for resolving family law issues. Finally, you can ask the court to allow you to remain in the family home if you wish.

None of these orders will affect the final division of property or the right to ownership. If you feel the need for these orders is urgent, you can ask the court to issue these orders “without notice”. If you do so, you must make sure that you provide the court with every bit of information about your current situation — even if it doesn’t help your side of the divorce case. If you don’t do so, then the court can replace your order with another one and make you pay the court costs to your spouse.

If you have questions about restraining orders or child protection orders, a lawyer can provide ample amounts of information for you to make informed decisions.

Source: Legal Services Society, “Separation: Protecting yourself financially,” accessed Sep. 09, 2016

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