New information on Certificates of Divorce

CQ_iconWe’ve added a question to Clicklaw that gets asked quite often by people who visit our Courthouse LibrariesHow can I get my Certificate of Divorce? Does it make my divorce official? What forms do I need?

Our new Common Question clarifies that you do not need a certificate to make your divorce legal, but that it can be useful in some cases.

If you want more info on the different ways you can apply for a certificate, you are directed to a brand new page of the JP Boyd on Family Law Clicklaw Wikibook (JPBOFL), which:

  • answers when you can get your certificate, and
  • gives 3 options for how you can apply for it: (1) at a Supreme Court Registry in person – if you have a lawyer, or (2) in person if you are doing it by yourself, and (3) via snail mail.

We also include tips on finding your court file number, and getting a copy of your divorce order.

What is a Clicklaw Wikibook?

Clicklaw Wikibooks is Clicklaw’s companion site – it provides plain language legal information and is a platform for lawyers and legal organizations in BC to publish and update legal information in a range of different digital and physical formats by editing a single source. I like to call it a curated wiki of BC law.

In addition to reading the Wikibooks online, you can find several of them in print at your local public library, through the LawMatters programJP Boyd is a well-known family law expert and the founding author of this post’s featured Clicklaw Wikibook, which is updated by BC lawyers.

Other posts ft. JPBOFL

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Clicklaw Wikibooks Go Mobile!

Mobile_3Devices
Both the Galaxy S4 and Nexus 5 run on Android. The iPhone runs on iOS. But you get a similar experience looking at wiki.clicklaw.bc.ca across all devices.

Do you have a smartphone? You can already read the Clicklaw blog in a mobile-friendly format, and our Clicklaw Wikibooks (which have helpful legal info on family law, residential tenancy law, wills and estates, and more) now have a mobile option too. We are working on making the main Clicklaw website mobile-friendly, stay tuned.

Why go mobile? Mobile use is not going away; in fact, it’s increasing every year. Nearly 33% of visitors to Clicklaw and the Clicklaw Wikibooks are on either mobile or tablet. We wanted to make the experience better for you, across all devices.

Here’s what you see when you go to a specific Clicklaw Wikibook:

Mobile_Inside_Wikibook

You still have the option of downloading the Wikibook in PDF, EPUB, or ordering a print copy–right from your phone.

See more features below the cut..

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An Online Makeover for TRAC Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre

By Andrew SakamotoTRAC Logo (blue)
Executive Director, TRAC

TRAC provides information on residential tenancy law to tenants and advocates across British Columbia. Our services include a Tenant Infoline, legal education workshops, multilingual publications and a website/social media.  We work with all levels of government, other community organizations and the general public to promote the legal protection of tenants and the availability of affordable rental housing in BC.

As a small organization with a provincial mandate, we rely on technology to help us educate communities across the province.  One way we do is by making our resources accessible through Clicklaw.

Recently, we also launched our new website!  The design is modern and clean, and our content has been organized in a way that allows users to quickly find answers to their legal questions.

Here are some of the highlights of our new site:

  • Tenant Survival Guide – One of the most popular legal publications in the province, our TSG offers a comprehensive yet plain language overview of tenants’ and landlords’ rights and responsibilities.
  • Template Letters –When issues arise during a tenancy, tenants should communicate their concerns to their landlord on paper. TRAC offers 27 template letters to use as a starting point.
  • Tenant Info Pamphlets – TRAC has created a pamphlet that covers the fundamentals of residential tenancy law, and translated it into 18 languages. For tenants whose first language is not English, this is where to look.
  • All content pages on our website can be printed as nicely formatted fact sheets. Online information is important, but so are hardcopy resources. Feel free to print and distribute our fact sheets to friends, family members, clients and landlords
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7 Most Popular Clicklaw Resources of 2014

At Clicklaw, we use Google Analytics to track which pages are getting the most views, as well as where people are following through and clicking on links to resources and services on other websites.

There are of course other factors to consider in calculating resource helpfulness, but here is an interesting snapshot of the seven most viewed and clicked resource topics and links of the past year:

1) HelpMap: The Clicklaw HelpMap helps provide access to free low-cost legal advice and legal information services in BC. helpmap.jpgYou can look for services related to a particular topic in a particular city in BC using the search tool located on this page.

Although people referred to fact sheets and written resources, it was clear that many were also seeking additional in-person help. Our most popular service pages referred to were for the Family Justice Centres and Court Registries in BC.

Continue reading

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Updated Sponsorship Information in Legal Help for British Columbians

legal help

A few months ago YWCA Legal Educator Andrea Vollans wrote to Clicklaw and asked if someone could write a factsheet clarifying the rule for conditional permanent residence when a child is born after an application for permanent residence. The information was not available in any of the resources she had checked.

We contacted the Legal Help for British Columbians Clicklaw Wikibook legal reviewer Rochelle Appleby, who was able to update the page “My husband sponsored me and we have now separated” to include Andrea’s suggestion, and also add some information about a claim of abuse or neglect. This update is an example of how Clicklaw Wikibooks can respond quickly to a user request in addition to our regular updates concerning legislative changes.

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Newcomers and the Law

pls-new-wikibooks-april-2014For newcomers to Canada, there are some new and updated resources that explain every day legal issues from the People’s Law School:

  • Learning about the Law Wikibook covers the fundamentals of how the law affects your family, young people, seniors, employment, and housing.
  • Driving in BC explains the basics of driving and the law. It includes legal information for people learning to drive.
  • Paying Taxes explains to newcomers and new taxpayers what taxes we’re expected to pay, who we pay taxes to, and how to pay them.
  • Workplace Bullying and Harassment explains what workers, employers, and supervisors need to know and do about workplace bullying and harassment, and where you can get help or more information.

All of these titles are now available as part of the expanding collection on Clicklaw Wikibooks. Clicklaw Wikibooks are collaboratively developed, plain language legal publications that are born-wiki. They are easy to read on your screen, fully searchable, and hyperlinked to key resources. One of the benefits to the Clicklaw Wikibooks platform is that it offers you a choice of format. You can:

  • read the information online on the Clicklaw Wikibooks site,
  • download and print the publication as a PDF,
  • download the publication as an EPUB — a popular ebook standard — and read on an ereader, tablet or mobile device, or
  • for a fee, order your own print on demand copy of the publication.

A free print compilation of these and other People’s Law School wikibooks will be distributed to ESL learning centres and public libraries in BC, under the title Learning about the Law: Extended Edition. This project was made possible with funding support from the Province of BC and Government of Canada.

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