Library Month at LawMatters

By Megan Smiley, LawMatters Program Coordinator

For those of us without legal training, legal problems can be scary and overwhelming to tackle. Without open access to useful and trusted legal information, it would be near impossible. We are lucky in BC to have a network of public legal education and information organizations working hard to improve access to justice, and local public libraries are a key part that network.

Funded by the Law Foundation of BC, LawMatters is the Courthouse Libraries BC outreach program for public libraries. We believe libraries are the key to informed and connected communities and have been working in partnership with them since 2007.

Together with our library partners, LawMatters works to enhance local public access to legal information throughout the province, from big urban centres to small rural communities. Libraries are able to buy more legal books through LawMatters grant funding, and also receive print copies of some of our most popular Clicklaw Wikibook titles at no cost, such as JP Boyd on Family law. In total, people in 241 communities can find core legal resources at their local public libraries as a result of this program and the hard work of librarians and library staff in each location.

One of the key aspects of our work is to provide training to public library staff on finding and using legal information resources – like Clicklaw.

We regularly hear from librarians that Clicklaw is their ‘go-to’ when answering patrons’ legal questions because it provides ideas for next steps, helps them point their patrons towards the best resource, and when necessary, helps them find the right referral. But it’s also true that librarians are a key part of improving Clicklaw – the relationship is complementary. Public librarians contribute valuable knowledge, expertise and insight so that we can continually develop and improve the site for all users.

People go to public libraries for the widest range of reasons.  Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell have recently done a beautiful job of expressing the value of libraries, so I won’t attempt to do it here. But I will say to those of you who are struggling with legal issues: Don’t forget about your local public library!

They not only provide free public access to legal books, they can also provide referrals to advocates and other community organizations. They are a quiet safe space for you to think, research, and plan. Lastly, while librarians cannot give legal advice, they are a great resource because they are really good at finding current, reliable, and vetted information. They can help you find the information you need, and if not, help you find the people who can.

Stay Informed with BC LawMatters:

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Top 7 Pages on Clicklaw Wikibooks

While we would prefer a world in which no British Columbian needs online help for their legal troubles, the pageview count for our Clicklaw Wikibooks website confirms that is not the world we live in. In reality, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians seek out timely legal information in the course of an average year. For many, this is their only line of support.

In 2017, Clicklaw Wikibooks — which uses the same software that runs Wikipedia — served nearly 940,000 pageviews to over 550,000 individual users. Each year we see these figures growing.

Whereas Clicklaw is a comprehensive legal information website centralizing reliable resources and services from numerous contributor organizations in a variety of formats and languages, Clicklaw Wikibooks is more like a publishing platform. It offers a bookshelf of select legal titles from organizations and independent authors or teams of contributors. These books are for the public and can be read online, downloaded as PDF or EPUB, or ordered by print-on-demand.

The most popular way for visitors to consume the 26 or so titles currently on Clicklaw Wikibooks is to read them online. Usually when we report traffic statistics, we think about the book as a whole. For example, JP Boyd on Family Law is easily the most read title in the collection accounting for about 40% of traffic. But today we look a little deeper to see what the 7 most popular content pages were on Clicklaw Wikibooks for January 2018, give a shoutout to those responsible for their review, and see what insights this data allows.

Surprisingly, for instance, while the overall traffic to JP Boyd on Family Law hints that relationship breakdown as the major legal concern, individual page stats reveal the most popular page from that title is on how to get married in the first place. Looking at the top performing pages can give us clues and help us question assumptions about the types of legal information people need.

Top 7 Pages on Clicklaw Wikibooks by Pageviews

Here is a list of the top seven pages on Clicklaw Wikibooks, the people responsible for their upkeep, plus some thoughts on what this might mean. The list reflects statistics from January 2018, plus relevant changes in a page’s position from January 2017. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts in the comments section below, or by sharing them with us on Twitter @Clicklaw.

#1 – If You Receive an Appearance Notice or Summons (Script_210)

This page from the popular Dial-A-Law collection by CBA BC attracted 5.18% of total site traffic, up from second position and 2.83% the previous January. That is an incredible figure for a site with over 1,500 pages of legal information. Many people first come into contact with the criminal justice system when they are served with an appearance or summons, so we can well imagine finding this page is a first step for many in addressing their problem. Knowing the significance of that step, what else could the page do or point to?

Kudos to lawyers Jordan Allingham and Paul Briggs for writing the page, plus Annie Chen of the CBA BC for the wiki version of this much valued resource.

#2 – How Do I Get Married in British Columbia?

As noted, JP Boyd on Family Law’s most popular page in January had nothing to do with getting divorced. Quite the opposite in fact… 2.82% of visitors came to learn about how marriage is brought to be, rather than how it decays. The page is up from #4 position in January 2017.

Thanks to lawyer Thomas Wallwork for maintaining this page, and of course to JP Boyd himself for his original work on it.

#3 – I Need to Take Someone to Court — What’s the Process?

A significant percentage of first time exposure to the legal system is when someone needs to start a lawsuit. The page attracted 2.43% of traffic, up from #6 position in January 2017, a rise quite possibly related to the Civil Resolution Tribunal’s introduction in 2017.

Long time Clicklaw Wikibooks editor and experienced lawyer John Bilawich deserves credit for this popular page from Legal Help for British Columbians that introduces the basics of starting a civil claim. So does the founding author Cliff Thorstenson. 

#4 – JP Boyd on Family Law

While the book has over 140 pages and accounts for 40% of site traffic, historically the main entry page for JP Boyd on Family Law has not been among top site pages (in January 2017 it was #13). This year, there appears to be more traffic from direct links to the book’s main page from websites run by LSS, the BC Provincial Court, private law firms, etc. Although overall the percentage of traffic coming from Google to the whole site has not changed over this period, a disproportionate amount of traffic to this main page now comes from referral sources. This speaks to the overall value of the title and the work of its many reviewing lawyers that make it a destination resource for others in the justice sector.

#5 – Immediately After Someone Dies

This page from People’s Law School’s title, A Death in Your Family, accounted for 1.81% of all site traffic last month. The equivalent page in January 2017 held #12 position at 1.59%.

Thanks to Helen Low, QC and Nicco Bautista for their skill abbreviating the legal and practical steps to take upon the death of a family member.

#6 – My Husband Sponsored Me and We Have Now Separated

For years, this page from Legal Help for British Columbians was the top destination page on Clicklaw Wikibooks with 2.86% of traffic. In 2017 it dropped to #3 and 2.65%. Today it’s settled at #6 position with 1.81% of traffic. Nearly 90% of this traffic comes from Google searches.

Thanks to Rochelle Appleby for reviewing this page over the years, and to its original author Cliff Thorstenson.

#7 – How Do I Prepare an Affidavit?

Up from #8 position in January 2017, this page from JP Boyd on Family Law accounted for 1.54% of traffic in January 2018. It continues to demonstrate the demand for practical, hands-on tips, and the fact that it derives a substantial greater proportion of its traffic from people who link to the page directly (34% versus the site average of 10% for pages) hints that this is a valuable bookmark for people.

Thanks again to Thomas Wallwork for reviewing the page over the years, and to JP Boyd for the original content and practical examples of how to write an affidavit.

Editor’s Note: Though these were the most viewed pages/titles on the Wikibooks over the past year, our other pages and titles also received an incredible amount of views. Thank you to all of our contributors and volunteers, whose work makes this initiative possible.

Stay informed:

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2017 Clicklaw & Wikibooks Survey Results

The 2017 Clicklaw and Clicklaw Wikibooks website user surveys ran for two months, from late October to late December. Here are some highlights from the survey results:

What stayed constant

  • Demographics – the majority (over 55%) are still people with legal questions, then those who are assisting others.
  • The reasons for visiting – to find legal information, then to find a person who can help.

Highlights for Clicklaw

  • Over a quarter of all respondents to the survey identified as Self-Represented Litigants (SRLs) or were helping a SRL.
  • In hindsight, did Clicklaw increase users’ legal understanding and help them move forward to solutions? Yes, increasingly so. We saw:
    • 13% increase in those who strongly agreed that the information increased their understanding of a legal question or issue, and
    • 5% increase in those who strongly agreed or agreed that the information helped them take next steps.
  • There was a 10% increase in those who strongly agreed or agreed that they were able to find the information quickly and easily.

Highlights for Clicklaw Wikibooks

  • Did people find the info they were looking for in a Wikibook? Increasingly, yes. 4% more people strongly agreed or agreed, and those who disagreed or strongly agreed dropped from almost 19% in 2015, to less than 6% in 2017 – a more than 13% drop.
  • Was Clicklaw Wikibooks easy to use? Overwhelmingly, yes. 78% agree or strongly agree that the website was easy to use – a 7% increase since 2015. Fewer than 2% of users disagreed or strongly disagreed that the site was easy to use – an improvement from the almost 12% of users in 2015 who found the site hard to use.
  • Over 71% agreed or strongly agreed that Clicklaw Wikibooks helped them take next steps.

Comments from Users

There were also some great comments from users. We are promoting these through our social media channels, and I am sharing some of them here:

Continue reading »

2017 Bi-Monthly Update Series: July/August

To keep you informed, here are some highlights of changes and updates made to Clicklaw in July and August:

Jan-Feb | Mar-Apr | May-Jun | Jul-Aug | Sep-Oct | Nov-Dec


BCLI Report on Complex Stratas

This report discusses mixed-use and architecturally varied stratas and the three legislative tools that were introduced to manage legal issues surrounding them — sections, types, and phases. It also makes 68 recommendations for reform.

Disability Alliance BC HelpSheets Update

Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Benefit Application, Appealing Denial of PWD Benefit, Persons with Persistent and Multiple Barriers to Employment (PPMB) Benefit Application, and more.

Opportunities Advocacy Services – Campbell River Legal Advocacy Program

The program provides legal advocacy to low income residents in Campbell River and the surrounding area. Advocates provide information, assistance and representation on issues related to BC income assistance programs (benefits, disability assistance, PWD applications & appeals), federal income related programs (CPP, OAS, GIS, EI), residential tenancy disputes (tenants’ rights, mediation, representation in dispute resolutions), and consumer debt issues.

Access Pro Bono Residential Tenancy Program, Employment Standards program, Mental Health Program Telephone Clinic

  • Residential Tenancy Program: Provides free legal representation to low-income people appearing before the Residential Tenancy Branch (e.g. evictions, rent increases, loss of quiet enjoyment, security deposit withheld, need for repairs, etc.). Legal Representation is contingent on volunteers’ availability for each case as well as availability based on client location.
  • Employment Standards Program: Provides low-income employees with free legal representation before the Employment Standards Branch and/or the Employment Standards Tribunal on issues such as termination pay, vacation pay, overtime, etc. Legal representation is contingent on volunteers’ availability for each case as well as the availability of lawyers in the client’s location.
  • Mental Health Program: Provides individuals certified under the Mental Health Act and their relatives with free summary legal advice over the phone (e.g. right to a second opinion, how to apply for a review panel hearing, procedure at review panel hearings, etc.).

Seniors First BC – Legal Advocacy Program

The Legal Advocate provides legal services to people age 55+ who are not able to access legal help due to low income or other barriers for legal issues involving residential tenancy, government benefits and debt.

Legal Advocate Program for the North Okanagan

Help with income security including income assistance (welfare), both regular and disability benefits, CPP disability benefits, Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, and residential tenancy issues (for tenants). We provide legal information & referrals, and representation and advocacy at administrative hearings. Legal education on areas of service such as tenancy law and policy. The advocate can also be emailed at tishlakes@okadvocate.ca.

Fraser Thompson Indian Services Society (FTISS) – Family Support Program

The Family Support Worker works in the communities of Spuzzum, Boston Bar, Boothroyd and Oregon Jack Creek to help families, children and youth who are struggling to stay together or who just need some information or extra help. Help for families who are involved with or at risk of being involved with the Ministry of Children and Families.

BC Human Rights Clinic – Know Your Rights – what to do about discrimination

Provides useful information on identifying human rights discrimination and provides a walk through the formal system of filing a human rights complaint.

LSLAP Manual on Clicklaw Wikibooks (40th Ed.)

The Law Students’ Legal Advice Program’s (LSLAP) Annual Manual provides quick answers to many legal issues. It is made up of 22 chapters which amount to over 1,000 pages of printed materials. Originally designed as an educational resource for LSLAP students, it is now used by hundreds of organizations across British Columbia. Clicklaw Wikibooks and LSLAP have joined efforts to bring the Manual to the Clicklaw Wikibooks platform.

John Howard Society: Planning for Success

This guide was designed to help with release planning (to think about what you’re going to do once you’re no longer in custody), and contains information about government services and community-based organizations in our community.

CBABC Dial a Law Scripts – Various Updates

Common Law Relationships: Your Income, Support, and Property Rights; What Happens When Your Spouse Dies; Reporting Suspected Child Abuse; Getting Married; Changing Your Name; What is Small Claims Court; Suing Someone in Small Claims Court; Being Sued in Small Claims Court; Getting Your Judgment Paid; and more.

Stay informed:

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2017 Bi-Monthly Update Series: May/June

To keep you informed, here are some highlights of changes and updates made to Clicklaw in May and June:

Jan-Feb | Mar-Apr | May-Jun | Jul-Aug | Sep-Oct | Nov-Dec


Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU)

ILRU is committed to the recovery and renaissance of Indigenous laws. The following resources build awareness of Indigenous laws:

Legal Services Society

Legal Help for British Columbians
by Courthouse Libraries BC

All chapters have been recently reviewed and updated by a team of reviewers and contributors, all volunteers from the BC legal profession. This guide provides first steps to address over 40 common legal problems and information on where to get help. Published on Clicklaw Wikibooks, it is available in multiple media formats: wikibook, EPUB (for reading on a tablet or e-reader), PDF (print version), and printed books (will be available soon at public libraries across BC).

RDSP Tutorial
by PLAN Institute

This online tutorial helps you learn about Canada’s Registered Disability Savings Plan. You can navigate through the chapters at your own pace or go directly to a specific question from the list on the homepage.

Standardized wording for Bail, Probation and Conditional Sentence Orders
by Provincial Court of BC

This resource has a list of picklists, which are lists of standardized terms for court orders. They are stored in courtroom computers so a Court Clerk can use them to quickly and accurately capture the order a judge makes. When a judge decides to change the standard wording, a Court Clerk can edit the term accordingly.

Trans Rights BC
by Catherine White Holman Centre and the VCH Transgender Health Information Program

This website is part of a project that aims to disseminate human rights information that is accurate, accessible, and relevant to the safety and well-being of trans and gender-diverse individuals and their supportive allies across British Columbia.

Oversight at the Border: A Model for Independent Accountability at the Canada Border Services Agency
by BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA)

In this new report, BCCLA proposes a model for providing independent oversight and accountability to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It also includes detailed recommendations on the components necessary to ensure effective, credible oversight and review of CBSA’s activities.

New Common Questions

With help from BC FIPA, we have added the following questions:

Updated common question: Is marijuana legal in BC?

Now includes the following resources from the federal government:

Stay informed:

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Moving in together, “Common-Law Relationships” and Unmarried Spouses in BC

Are we or aren’t we?

0_censusThis past year, your household would have received some form of the 2016 Census, which included a question that could stump a few people: Are you married? Do you have a common-law partner?

The Statistics Canada website defines Common-Law Partner as “persons who are members of an opposite-sex or same-sex couple living common law. A couple living common law is one in which the members are not legally married to each other but live together as a couple in the same dwelling.”

“Common-law partner” is the term used federally (Canada-wide) to mean a marriage-like relationship that has lasted for two years, just one year or even less, depending on what law applies.

In BC, our provincial family laws use the term “spouse” or “unmarried spouse” to refer to an unmarried couple who has lived together in a “marriage-like relationship” for at least two years, or less than that if they have had a child together. There is no such thing as a “common-law spouse” or “common-law marriage” in BC. However, there are still certain consequences of being an “unmarried spouse”. See Unmarried Spouses.

What should I know about before moving in with my partner?

keys-525732_1280In BC, If you have lived together in a “marriage-type relationship” for two years (with some variability), these are some important consequences to know about:

  • the debts either of you incurred while you were living together are considered “family debt”, which means that when you break up, the responsibility for this debt may be divided equally between you. Read more about this at: How to divide property and debts, Property & Debt in Family Matters;
  • if you buy property together during your relationship, regardless of who paid the downpayment, you could equally share it and equally share the increase in value of property you had before the relationship, which can even apply to the increase in value of “excluded property” like gifts and inheritances;
  • the courts will treat you like a married couple when determining spousal support. See Spousal Support;
  • you may be considered spouses for the purpose of social assistance and other benefits* (which may negatively or positively affect your eligibility). See Thinking of moving in together?;
  • it may affect your partner’s right to “contest” your will. See What Happens When Your Spouse Dies.

I’m already living with my partner. Is there anything I could do?

I want legal advice and/or more information on my situation. Where can I get it?

If you are low income and have questions on family law matters, the Family LawLine can provide more information and help.

To find legal advice and other help on family law issues, see Helpmap results for “family law” and “legal advice” here. It includes services like the CBABC’s Lawyer Referral Service, which connects you with a lawyer who will offer an initial 30-minute consultation for a nominal fee of $25 plus taxes.

This post didn’t cover everything. Read more about this topic:

For example, we weren’t able to discuss situations where an unmarried couple have had a child together. That would have made this post very long indeed! Read the resources linked throughout this post for more information. Another great resource to consult is: Living Together or Living Apart: Common-Law Relationships, Marriage, Separation, and Divorce

Past posts on Family Law from the Clicklaw Blog:


STAY INFORMED:

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2016 Bi-monthly Update Series: May-June

In our 2015 year-end update, we promised to provide bimonthly updates to new resources and services added to Clicklaw in those two months. Here is a sample from the hundreds of changes in May and June:

Jan-Feb | Mar-Apr | May-Jun | Jul-Aug | Sep-Oct | Nov-Dec


New Resources on Adult Guardianship & Enduring Powers of Attorney
by Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry

 

Sponsorship Breakdown
by Legal Services Society

New French Edition added. Sponsorship Breakdown is for permanent residents and conditional permanent residents who need help when the person sponsoring them in Canada is no longer supporting them, and they are unable to support themselves. Explains what happens when a sponsorship breaks down, and how to apply for welfare.

 

Updated Dial-a-Law Scripts
by Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch

 

A Guide for Manufactured Home Park Landlords and Tenants in British Columbia
by BC Residential Tenancy Branch

This booklet provides a summary of the key features of the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act and how they affect landlords and tenants in manufactured home parks in British Columbia.

 

Roads to Safety: Legal Information for Older Women in BC
by West Coast LEAF

Roads to Safety is a legal handbook for older women in BC that covers legal issues that older women may face when they have experienced violence. It explains rights and options, using stories to illustrate the legal information.

 

Rise Women’s Legal Centre

Formed through a partnership between West Coast LEAF and UBC’s Allard School of Law to provides free and low-cost legal services to women. Services are provided by upper year law students, under the supervision of staff lawyers. Rise offers a range of services, from information and summary advice, unbundled legal services, and in some instances representation in court. Currently accepting appointments for Tuesdays and Wednesdays from May 24 to July 20; fall dates TBA.

 

Common Questions: In response to questions we have been asked repeatedly via email, reference or by webinar attendees, we added three new FAQs this June:

 


An Evaluation of the Clicklaw Wikibook JP Boyd on Family Law: Final Report
by Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family

This study assesses outputs & outcomes of the JP Boyd on Family Law wikibook by analyzing data from Google Analytics and data collected from a pop-up survey of users, a follow-up survey administered 1 week later and a follow-up survey 6 months later, to gauge the efficacy of wikibooks as a collaborative PLE model.


Disclosing Your Disability: A Legal Guide for People with Disabilities in BC
by Disability Alliance BC

The guide discusses the legal rights and responsibilities around disclosure for people with disabilities in the context of employment.

 


HIGH STAKES: The impacts of child care on the human rights of women and children
by West Coast LEAF

This report is grounded in diverse women’s real-life stories about how the inadequacy of the child care system has impacted them and their children—undermining their safety, well-being, & human rights. The report analyzes the legal implications of these harms and calls for urgent government action.

 


Responding to Child Welfare Concerns: Your Role in Knowing When and What to Report
by BC Ministry of Children and Family Development

Updated for 2016, this booklet explains when to report child abuse and neglect, and what to report. Includes what child abuse and neglect is, warning signs, what to do if a child tells you about the abuse, and what to do if you suspect abuse. It also explains what to expect when you make the report and what happens next.

 

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Clicklaw Refresher (Webinar Recording)
by Clicklaw + LawMatters (Courthouse Libraries BC)

See the recording of our live 1-hr webinar for front-line community workers, advocates and public librarians. Learn how to search online for reliable legal information & help specific to BC, with an overview of how to use Clicklaw, the HelpMap, and the Clicklaw Wikibooks.

 

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Women and Family Law: Parenting Time and Parental Responsibilities (Webinar Recording)
by West Coast LEAF and Courthouse Libraries BC

See the recording of this live 1.5-hr webinar on recent changes to family law in BC and their impacts on the parenting experiences of women with abusive or harassing exes. Speaker Zara Suleman considers some common legal challenges including parenting assessment reports, denial of parenting time, relocating with a child, and litigation harassment. Zara offers lawyers and frontline service providers who assist women fleeing abuse effective strategies to cope with and address these issues.

 


Notice – BC Government URLs

You may have noticed that some of the links to websites hosted by the BC Government may be broken as they restructure. We are currently working with BC Gov website staff to keep links updated. For example, see the updated link to Family Justice in BC.

Stay informed:

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Free Webinar for Community Workers & Advocates: Clicklaw Refresher

00LMCL
LawMatters and Clicklaw will be collaborating on this upcoming webinar.
For: Community Workers, Advocates, and Public Librarians
When: June 28th 1:00-2:00pm PST*
Presenters: Audrey Jun and Shannon McLeod
Cost: Free

Brush up with this great introduction (or review) to using Clicklaw to help answer legal information questions and make effective referrals.
We will be reviewing how to search Clicklaw for reliable legal information as well as how to use Clicklaw Wikibooks and the Clicklaw HelpMap.

Raise your awareness of different resources, publishers, and organizations and sign up today!

Stay informed:

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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

Stay informed

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How Do I Get Married In British Columbia?

Photo courtesy of Freepik.com

In British Columbia, opposite and same-sex couples who are 19 years or older (with some exceptions) and are currently unmarried can marry. Although it is not difficult to get married in BC, there are a number of crucial steps that must be taken before, during and after the ceremony. Here is a quick checklist:

CheckboxApply for a marriage licence

You and your partner need a licence to get married in BC. To apply, one of you has to go in person with primary identification for both individuals (e.g. birth certificate, citizenship card) to a Vital Statistics Agency office. The license is ~$100 and is valid for three months.

CheckboxGet married in a religious or civil ceremony

You can choose either a religious or civil ceremony. The person performing the ceremony must be licensed under the B.C. Marriage Act

  • Not all religious officials are licensed. They must register with Vital Statistics.
  • For civil ceremonies, this person is known as a marriage commissioner. The base fee for a marriage commissioner is $78.75 and they may charge additional fees.
  • The marriage ceremony must be held in the presence of at least two witnesses, in addition to the marriage commissioner or religious official.

CheckboxWhere you cannot get married and who cannot marry you

“The City of Vancouver does not provide marriage licences or perform marriage ceremonies any longer”, says Brad, an information rep from City Hall who referred us to the BC Vital Statistics Agency. Nor can you get married inside a courtroom. Similarly, marriages are not performed by judges or judicial justices. As stated above, either a marriage commissioner or religious official conducts the ceremony.

CheckboxRegister the marriage

The marriage commissioner or religious official who conducts the ceremony will help you complete a Marriage Registration Form. This form must be sent, within 48 hours of the ceremony, to the Vital Statistics Agency for registration.

CheckboxFor more information

Details regarding how to get married in BC can be found at: JP Boyd on Family Law, CBA BC’s Dial-A-Law Scripts and BC’s Vital Statistics Agency.

Stay informed:

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