The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and Separation

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and Separation

Most people know about the Canada Child Benefit (CCB). It is a monthly, tax-free payment made to low or middle income families with children under 18. The amounts are not small – for example, if family income is about $33,000, you can get the maximum CCB of nearly $7000 per year for each child under 6 and about $6000 for each child 6-17 years of age. Naturally, as family income increases, the amount of CCB decreases. The payments go to the person who is “primarily” in charge of the care and upbringing of the child.

When parents are together, the tax legislation assumes the mother is the caregiver, and the CCB payments go to her. However, for separating or divorcing parents, it can be more complicated. Where one parent has the vast majority of caregiving responsibility for the child, that is a simple scenario. That parent is entitled to the full CCB.

However, cases of “shared parenting” result in each parent getting 50% of the CCB. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) considers “shared parenting” to be when a child lives with two different parents in separate homes on a more or less equal basis. Parents in this situation are both required to apply for the benefits. The CRA will decide if your situation involves shared parenting. Sometimes, evidence is needed to prove what the facts are, beyond a court order or separation agreement. There is uncertainty about how to count the time – whether it be in minutes, hours, days, overnights, or some other measure. And does time in school count? The tax legislation does not provide clear answers.

Be aware that the CRA will sometimes audit a parent for CCB payments improperly received. This might happen, for example, if the parent leads the CRA to believe they are the main caregiver of a child but it turns out the other parent has the child far more than 50% of the time. The CRA may try to recover the over-payment from the misrepresenting parent. Understandably, it may be hard to find the thousands of dollars to repay the CRA. So it is best to avoid problems by setting up your arrangements correctly at the start of any new parenting regime.

The best approach is to (1) tell the CRA of any changes to your parenting regime within 90 days of the change, (2) keep good records and supporting documents to prove your time with the child, and (3) contact a legal professional for advice.

You can also click on this CRA link for more information: Canada child benefit (CCB) –

Squamish location opens!

Squamish location opens!

We are excited to open a new location in Squamish, BC to service the family law and estate administration needs of the Sea to Sky area, which includes Britannia Beach, Whistler, Pemberton, and Lions Bay. The office is in downtown Squamish on Cleveland Avenue.

sea to sky family law

sea to sky family lawyer squamish

Seeing our clients overcome hard times, yet still feeling gratitude for others is inspiring.

We are excited to announce that Graham will be able to service more clients in the Sea to Sky satellite office in 2021. #laschuklaw #familylawyer

How Can I Handle an Urgent Court Matter?

Court hearings, applications, and in-person court conferences at all levels of British Columbia courts have been cancelled or postponed. New matters coming before the courts are greatly reduced at this time. There is however the opportunity for “urgent” matters still to be dealt with. Please call us if you are wondering about the status of your matter. Likewise, please call us to see if your unique matter or issue is “urgent enough”, in the eyes of the court.

7 Things to Keep in Mind for a (Relatively) Peaceful Divorce

7 Things to Keep in Mind for a (Relatively) Peaceful Divorce

Going through a divorce can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life.

Let’s face it, nobody gets married hoping it’ll end in a separation. The best thing you can do is try to get through everything as best as you can, and aim for a relatively civil divorce from your ex-spouse.

It may seem impossible to do anything amicably with your old partner, but it is possible to have a peaceful divorce.

An amicable divorce can be the best thing for you, your ex, your family, and your friends. Here are our 7 must-follow steps for anyone wanting to learn how to end a marriage peacefully.

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1. Don’t Rush Into Being Friends

“Let’s just be friends” may be the worst thing you can hear when you’re single, but one of the best things you can imagine when you’re ending your marriage.

That said, quickly trying to be friends with someone you’ve just ended a marriage with can do a lot more harm than good. Even if you both have the best intentions, you could end up giving unintended signals or hurting each other if you try to force a friendship too soon.

It’s okay to take time to heal. It’s even okay if the most you can do is be civil to each other during meetings. Not everyone is meant to be friends, and it may not be in the cards for you and your soon to be ex-spouse.

Maybe all you can muster early on is to be civil and polite. Once things are over and you’ve healed from the pain, you can work towards friendship if it feels right.


2. Lean on Your Own Support System

Finding friends and family members to talk to during your divorce is absolutely critical for healing. However, when you’re finding allies, you should try to find someone who can solely be on “your team”.

This can be difficult when you’ve shared a life for many years, but if you want to find a safe place to vent, stick to people who you’re more closely affiliated with than your spouse.

You never know who you can trust when you’re going through a separation. A friend you thought was on your side may tell your spouse about something you said or did in the heat of the moment.

Finding someone you can trust who is only close to you can give you a safe place to vent, and also avoid putting someone you care about in an awkward position.


3. Have Flexible Expectations

If you were the main breadwinner while your spouse stayed home with the kids, it shouldn’t surprise you if he or she asks for child or spousal support or both. On the other hand, the spouse who was a “hands-off” parent may go for joint custody or equal parenting time.

Sometimes an otherwise straight forward divorce can become complicated simply because one party has unreasonable expectations about what is going to happen.

If you have kids, unless your spouse is a monster, expect a custody agreement that doesn’t have you as the sole parent. Be prepared to figure out how to deal with your home so that both of you benefit. The sooner you adjust your expectations, the happier you’ll be.


4. Stay Civil

Your soon to be ex is saying a lot of outlandish things to their lawyers and your mutual friends. They’re accusing you of being a cheater, liar, and possibly even an abuser and you’re worried about their false reality hurting you in court.

Your spouse may not be playing fair, but that doesn’t mean that you should stoop to their level. The best thing you can do in this situation is to be civil and act calm about everything that’s happening.

Judges are rarely happy to learn that a party to a divorce has been lying. The truth will eventually come out. Bide your time. The best thing you can do is build your case against your ex’s lies.


5. Make Your Lawyer Your Messenger

Some people like to enlist mutual friends, family members, and in some bad cases, their children as the official messengers to their spouse. Doing that can put people you love in an awkward place, or can even hurt them. It could also spell trouble for you down the road.

Remember, a custody agreement done on your own may not hold up in court if it’s not fair, but one done with legal advice from your lawyer has a better chance.

Making your family lawyer handle communication between both parties ensures that your message is getting through, and could help protect you from legal troubles.

Having a lawyer deliver news can also help ensure that your message gets through without any drama. You never know how someone you have a personal connection to will deliver the news.


6. Consider Therapy

Are you feeling extremely sad or angry over your divorce? Do you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to during this difficult time? Are you concerned about your mental health?

Sometimes talking to a professional can do wonders for your mental state. If you’d like a safe place to talk, consider speaking with a therapist.

A therapist can help you work through your feelings and potentially wrap up issues you feel are unresolved. Therapists are confidential, healing, and are 100% focused on helping you out.


7. Save Dating for Later

When you’re going through a divorce you may feel eager to start dating again. There’s nothing wrong with wanting companionship, but you may want to wait a bit before you start dating.

A divorce can be an especially painful and confusing time for some. You have a lot to focus on, the last thing you’ll want to do is bring someone else into everything when you’re still working things out.

It’s okay to potentially think about going out and seeing what’s out there, but you should save getting into something serious until everything is finished.

Get Your Amicable Divorce Started 

If you follow the right advice, it’s possible to take the high road and have an amicable divorce. Keeping things civil and leaning on your lawyer can do a lot of good for people going through a divorce.

Remember, we’re here to help you every step of the way and be the legal counsel you need. 

Be sure to contact us today so we can figure out the best way to represent your interests. 


Going Through a Split? 5 Big Reasons You Need a Divorce Lawyer

Going Through a Split? 5 Big Reasons You Need a Divorce Lawyer

Sometimes life can throw. you a major curveball that you didn’t envision yourself going through in your life.

Several years ago you made a vow to marry your spouse. But things have become too complicated and it’s better for both of you to see through to divorce.

That will be one of the most stressful and confusing processes you’ll ever endure.

While the circumstances are a big reason for the divorce, that doesn’t make it any less emotional. Feelings will get hurt.

Maybe you’re wondering if it’s worth hiring a divorce lawyer. Simply put: it is.

Here are several valid reasons why you need a divorce lawyer to be with you to the end of the line.

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1. Experience on Your Side

Even if this isn’t your first divorce, there are things about each divorce situation that are different. Different assets, different reasons for filing for one, etc.

As such, you’re not equipped with the necessary knowledge to gain everything that you deserve once the divorce is finalized.

Not hiring a lawyer can mean losing out on thousands of dollars in assets you could’ve otherwise had.

Not to mention, there are things you’re entitled to that probably never occurred to you. Things like receiving future retirement income and splitting up certain assets, for example.

There are several things in your individual divorce that you’ll need an experienced and trusted divorce lawyer to comb through.

Things such as child custody, income, debts you’ve consumed, inheritance, etc. all fall in this category, and need to be sorted. If you don’t have a lawyer on your side, those things won’t be split in your favour.


2. Decide What Needs to Be Split Up

Possibly the most difficult aspect of the entire divorce process (other than the actually thought of divorce) is finding where the line is drawn.

Where are you and your (soon to be former) spouse entitled to the assets you’ve accrued together?

More importantly, what needs to be shared and what doesn’t need to be shared?

It’s a highly emotional time and depending on how amicable (or not amicable) the divorce is, your spouse may try to get you back where it hurts.

Dual representation ( both parties using the same divorce lawyer) is highly unlikely these days. That means your spouse will lawyer up and defend their assets to the best of their abilities.

Their lawyer will have worked through everything you two have accrued and given them a thorough understanding of what they deserve.

If you don’t have a divorce lawyer on your side, you’re already at a significant disadvantage.


3. Rid Yourself of Some of the Stress

Going through the legal battle of divorce is already guaranteed to be one of the most stressful situations you’ll ever experience.

If you don’t have a divorce lawyer with know-how on your side during that time… it will be all the worse.

While you’ll still have to be involved, even with a lawyer, they’ll do all the dirty work such as gathering information and coming up with a plan. Meaning you don’t have to undergo that side of the case at all.

They’ll also advise you every step of the way, so you won’t have to do thorough research on every phase of the process.

Not to mention, going through a divorce may leave you feeling alone as you transition through this new normal. Having someone by your side will give you the comfort you need.

This divorce has left you with sleepless nights as is. Don’t let the legal side of things put any more stress you than it already has.


4. Voice of Reason

As previously mentioned, divorce is one of the most highly emotional situations that people go through.

No matter how friendly and amicable the divorce is, feelings are going to get hurt in this battle. Both yours and your spouses.

When the emotion factor comes into play, it can lead people to make bad decisions they wouldn’t have made with a clear conscience. That’s why it’s important to have a divorce lawyer to be your voice of reason. They’ll keep you on-task.

You’re only human, you’ll lose sight of the big picture more than once during this process. The divorce will remind you of the main goal and help you take the proper steps towards it.


5. Dodge the Mistakes

Last, but certainly not least, having an experienced divorce lawyer will help you avoid several critical mistakes during the case.

Things, like forgetting an asset, overestimating or underestimating an asset, or simply not building your case properly, can lead to a significant loss.

That loss could’ve been prevented with the right approach and placing years of legal study (which only a lawyer will have) on your side.

Hiring a divorce lawyer puts you in the best position to receive the return that you deserve. Why leave that part of your well-being up to chance? 

Hire a Divorce Lawyer Today!

Now that you’ve seen all the different benefits to hiring a divorce lawyer, it’s time to get yourself set up with one.

Do your due diligence to look at several different options and choose the lawyer that you feel will do the best in representing your case in court.

Be sure to read this page for an in-depth description of the division of property aspect to your divorce. It’s always beneficial to familiarize yourself with different phases of the process.

For more inquiries, please reach out via our contact us page and we’ll be happy to assist you further!