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Urgent Property and Personal Protection Orders

Urgent Property and Personal Protection Orders can be a priority at the start of a BC family law case. In today’s blog articled student Jeremy Thomsen sets out some key personal protection and family property preservation orders steps you should consider at the start of a BC or Calgary Alberta family law file. Our firm has 6 offices across BC and in Calgary to help support you and your family members and we can help you obtain Urgent Property and Personal Protection Orders.

Urgent Property and Personal Protection Orders – When Time Is Of The Essence 1 877 602 9900

The process of separation and divorce is often difficult and overwhelming. Many decisions concerning family separation need not be done in haste; it may be beneficial to carefully consider your options before proceeding. Alternatives to litigation, dividing matrimonial property, and deciding on long-term parenting arrangements for children are just some examples where you may want to take some time to think about what is most important to you.

Other matters, however, are urgent; they require immediate attention and potential legal action. If your family law matter has already started, you may need to act quickly to prevent default judgment, to set aside or modify court orders obtained by your spouse, or to defend applications where the court has not given you a lot of time. Being prepared early on is critical. Urgent Property and Personal Protection Orders can make a difference in your family case and protect you and your children’s physical and financial health.

Family Property and Family Debt Preservation 1 877 602 9900

Preserving matrimonial property upon separation may not necessarily seem like something you need to do immediately, but, depending on the circumstances, steps may need to be taken right away to protect your interests. Urgent Property and Personal Protection Orders can ensure the family property is not encumbered or sold, assets not given away or hidden and family bank accounts are frozen instead of drained by one spouse after separation.

For instance, after a separation, most people do not want their spouse to use up or reduce the value of their matrimonial property, or to sell it before a settlement or trial decision is reached. It is important to remember that you have rights to the matrimonial property also called family property regardless of whether it is in your or your spouse’s name.

There are several things you can do right away to protect your home and property:

(a) you can file a certificate of pending litigation under section 215 of the Land Title Act;

(b) you can file an entry under the Land (Spouse Protection) Act;

(c) you can apply for a court order pursuant to section 91 of the Family Law Act and the Suprteme Court Family Rules; and

(d) you can apply for a court order pursuant to section 39 of the Law and Equity Act.

All of the Urgent Property and Personal Protection Orders options outlined above are available to both married and unmarried spouses, and, depending on your circumstances, may be used to protect your family law interests and to prevent a sale or the dissipation of your family property until such time as you and your spouse can agree on what to do or there is a court order concerning the property. For an example of a worldwide restraining order, also called a Mareva injunction,  that we won for our client in a multimillion-dollar international divorce case see D. v D.

Urgent Property and Personal Protection Orders –  Preventing Family Violence 1 877 602 9900

Protection of Family Members Even more important than property are children or other persons in need of immediate protection. If you know or have reason to believe that:

(a) there is a history or threat of violence from your spouse;

(b) your spouse has threatened to take the children from the jurisdiction;

(c) there has been evidence of child neglect; or

(d) your spouse has been threatening or harassing you,

you may have an urgent matter and need immediate legal action.

Section 183 of the Family Law Act allows for an order to protect an “at-risk family member.” This includes any family member whose safety is or is likely to be, at risk from family violence. Court orders may prevent any physical contact or communication from the family member threatening violence and may include instructions for a police officer to remove a violent family member or anything else that is necessary under the circumstances. Family members are able to bring their own application for an order, an application may be made on their behalf, or a court may issue an order on its own initiative.

In D v. D we successfully obtained a lifetime protection order after the court considered vitriolic statements made by the husband to his family members. The court reviewed the provisions of the provincial Family legislation dealing with protection orders, noting that the criteria included consideration of whether family violence “is likely to occur” against an at-risk family member. The court was entitled to consider several factors, including any history of family violence; whether it is repetitive or escalating; whether there is a pattern of abuse or controlling behavior; and the couple’s recent separation. The court noted that for these purposes, “family violence” was defined to include psychological or emotional abuse (including intimidation, harassment, coercion or threats) and unreasonable restrictions on, or prevention of, a family member’s financial or personal autonomy.

Non-Removal Of Children

Section 64 of the Family Law Act allows for a court to prevent the removal of children from a specific geographic area. This means that a court may be able to stop your spouse from taking the children away from where they live before the Court has had a chance to properly decide if the child relocation is in the child’s best interests. Orders for the immediate return of children taken improperly from BC can also be obtained.

Without Notice and Short Notice Applications

Urgent applications can be brought without notice or on short notice to the other party, depending on the circumstances. This can make it easier for you to bring an application without having to fear what your spouse might do before the matter is heard by a court.

If you have an urgent matter, please contact us—one of our experienced lawyers will be happy to meet with you and advise you on how best to proceed.

If you need an Urgent Property and Personal Protection Orders, call us today toll-free at 1 877 602 9900