High Net Worth Mandarin Chinese Family Lawyers at MacLean Law, serve your family law needs involving:
- international family law property and support disputes involving choice of law such as Chinese matrimonial law or BC law and country should hear these matters;
- international child parenting cases involving choice of jurisdiction and return or non-removal orders orders;
- parenting and guardianship disputes where our lawyers understand the culture;
- parenting disputes involving new partners and children;
- extended family disputes where properties are owned for someone but registered in a different person’s name;
- high net worth spousal and child support negotiations and litigation;
- high net worth property division involving properties around the world;
- negotiation of prenup and marriage agreements and assessing the fairness of any unfair or home made agreements created without proper disclosure or through unfair means.
- resulting trust and excluded property claims where parents of one spouse have made gifts or laons to their spouse or the couple;
- property and personal safety protection orders
Our Vancouver High Net Worth Mandarin Chinese Family Lawyers have been involved in numerous high net worth Chinese family law cases including numerous decisions setting precedents that were reported in the media.
See our Supreme Court of Canada win where a husband received nothing after he claimed $50,000,000 from our client.
You can reach us at 中文热线：604 682 6466 and be confident we understand the cultural differences and need for respect and discretion in your case.
High Net Worth Mandarin Chinese Family Lawyers 中文热线：604 682 6466
In today’s blog, our senior associate Jonathan Wai, who works with Lorne MacLean. KC as leader of MacLean Law’s Asian Team, discusses common issues that you may be facing in your family law case, including addressing common questions facing Asian families. MacLean Law’s Vancouver High Net Worth Mandarin Chinese Family Lawyers have one of the largest high net worth Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean speaking family law teams in Canada.
Vancouver and BC are fortunate to have many Asian families living and residing here. However, in case of separation or divorce, Asian spouses who are not familiar with BC law may find themselves facing uncertainty. Are the BC courts the best to resolve your case? If so, what decisions do the BC courts make regarding children, property and support?
高净值中文家庭法律师 中文热线：604 682 6466
What Country Should Decide Your Case?
Our High Net Worth Mandarin Chinese Family Lawyers know the first question is whether or not BC is the proper “forum” or court for your case. If, for example, you and your children are just here temporarily, you do not own property here, and you have a clear plan to return to your home country soon, as well as a written agreement with your spouse that your home country will deal with any separation and divorce, then BC likely should not take “jurisdiction” over you case – the court of your home country likely will.
However, if you have significant property here (even you have some in your home country as well), no written agreement, and you and your children are living here indefinitely, then the BC court might be best. Even if the BC court assumes jurisdiction, there is the question of which set of laws to apply – those of your home country, or those of BC. Sometimes, the issues may be “split”, for example the BC court may take jurisdiction over the children and child support, whereas division of property may be addressed by the court of your home country.
The MacLean Law Asian Team has handled a wide variety of such cases, including ensuring that the BC court takes jurisdiction in appropriate cases and getting it to decline jurisdiction in others, and has consulted with legal experts in various Asian countries when appropriate.
Assuming the BC court will hear your case and will apply BC law, we find that many Asian spouses wonder what to expect. The MacLean Law Asian Team advises on these matters, and is also alert to the cultural differences that sometimes arise. Such differences are normally to be celebrated, but in the context of family law litigation, they can unfortunately cause confusion. We address some common issues that arise regarding children, division of property, and support.
With regards to children, you may already be aware that, in deciding with whom the children live with and who makes the important decisions for them, the court considers the “best interests” of the children only. This test takes into account many factors, such as the principle of maximum contact with each parent, the parents’ ability to care for the children, the children’s schooling and social environment, the children’s views if they are mature enough, the children’s heritage and connection to it, and whether any family violence has occurred.
With regards to Asian families, the MacLean Law Asian Team has encountered cases where one spouse may expect that the father may have more control of the children, as may occur in the home country. Conversely, in others cases, sometimes the spouse expects that the children, especially younger children, are to remain more with the mother. The MacLean Law Asian Team is committed to not only providing the best advice as to how BC courts address these issues, and how spouses may best position themselves in their case for the benefit of their children.
With regards to property, as you may already be aware, the BC courts first “exclude” some property from division, for example the value of property that each spouse already had prior to the relationship, before dividing any gain in value on those properties, along with other family assets acquired during the relationship.
The MacLean Law Asian Team, however, is aware that Asian families often come from cultures that may think of property differently. For example, the Maclean Law Asian Team has encountered many cases where a spouse’s family – usually the spouse’s parents, sometimes siblings too – regards property that was provided by their family, should remain with the family, regardless of whether it was provided before, or during the relationship. In such cases, the spouse and their family often want the property back, even if the BC courts do not quite look at it that way.
MacLean Law’s Asian High Net Worth divorce Lawyers
The MacLean Law Asian Team has advised on many such cases and assisted spouses to maximize their position in such cases, not just using BC law, including gathering evidence of cultural norms in the home country, with some examples being:
- whether the culture is that either the groom or bride’s family provides a wedding gift;
- where a spouse who is a first-born son may receive property whereas his siblings might not receive something similar;
- corporations where a spouse may appear to have significant responsibilities and shares, but in actuality is just being taught about the business by the spouse’s parents, who retain ownership and control;
- and laws in the home country regarding whether a person can own more than one real property in a given city or province particularly where family members may have their name registered on a second or third property.
With regards to support, the MacLean Law Asian Team is very alert to the fact that some home countries have different laws about how much support is to be paid to the children, and in some instances, that there may not be any support payable at law to a spouse, where as in BC both are payable. This can be an important factor to consider, when considering which court is appropriate, as above.
Further, in BC, the courts require full disclosure of income and assets, so that the proper level of support can be determined. The MacLean Law Asian Team has encountered in many cases a reluctance for spouses to disclose their income and assets to the other spouse. The MacLean Law Asian Team is very alert to the fact that this is not necessarily any kind of dishonesty, but rather, it is usually a reflection of somewhat different way of thinking, wherein a spouse will sometimes fear that, if they disclose everything, the other spouse will take full advantage of the knowledge, and will not disclose anything in return, because things may be done that way in the home country. The MacLean Law Asian team has advised on many such cases as to the appropriate disclosure to be made, including many trials, where they have both compelled disclosure, and used the other spouse’s non-disclosure to obtain significant awards of child and spousal support and assets, far beyond what the other spouse disclosed, as is permitted by BC law.
From the above, the MacLean Law Asian team would be delighted to assist Asian families with their family law cases, and to discuss both the cultural context as well as advising on all aspects of BC law. The MacLean Law Asian team is based in Vancouver but is accessible to BC, including in MacLean Law’s other offices in Surrey, Victoria, and Kelowna, BC. We have a robust team of lawyers and support staff, and communication is available in both Mandarin and English.
Contact our Vancouver High Net Worth Mandarin Chinese Family Lawyers early in your case to achieve a better result. 中文热线：604 682 6466