From BC? Please sign!!

Hi everyone,

I just signed the petition “Hon. Mary Polak: Spousal Support:  Support change not spouses.” and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

This IS a local, British Columbia, Canada, petition which will go to our Langley MLA then on to Christy Clarke then hopefully through the processes to be passed to law.

For those of you that are directly effected by this or your friends or family are, you will already know how impossible this is for those we love who are trying to do the right thing for their children and family.

Our goal is to reach 100 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

https://www.change.org/p/hon-mary-polak-spousal-support-support-change-not-spouses?recruiter=631836659&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

Thanks so much for your support!

BC Bonus Mom Advice and Support

Good morning/afternoon beautiful Bonus Moms!

I’d like to know how many of you are now, will be, or have been for some time…Stepmoms in beautiful British Columbia, Canada? Or do you know some friends, family or acquaintances/colleagues that are going through a rough time adjusting to a blended family unit or becoming a step-parent?

Have you felt a total lack of support going through the every day battles, roller coaster of emotions and strain on your relationship? Do you wish that there was some sort of help in a world where the main focus tends to sway toward the bio-parents and their children? Do you feel there is a lack of professional or social support groups? Counselling/Coaching? Legal help? Even retreats to de-stress, learn and re-group your physical and mental well-being?

Please feel free to comment and/or contact me as in the upcoming months I will be training under the amazing and nationally renowned Jenna Korf (Certified Stepfamily Foundation Coach & Author of ‘Skirts at War: Beyond Divorced Mom/Stepmom Conflict’.

Once completed I will have some great news for all of you BC Bonus Moms!

If you are looking for a FB page for information on all of the above, the below link is going to be it.

Bare with me as I get started out and proceed through training for certification but please use the tools and support that we can all provide to  one another on this journey!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/848785481891933/

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Disney movie night……

So, this weekend past we were faced with an off the cuff comment (as informative as it may have been) from the eldest stating something that made my husbands face drop….

In the middle of watching a Disney movie (which had a family in it talking about their day at school etc.) we told my eldest SS that we were proud of his Intrim Report which was excellent. This led into us talking about other school things and how we ordered something on the school website for him to which he asked “how did you find me”? Finding this odd, we asked what he meant. Long story short, he said that he thought he was registered in school under BM’s last name. Which then led to him stating that “Mommy told me that she has paperwork to fill out to change our last name to hers”.

I tried to control my voice and told them both (7 & 4yrs) that I didn’t know that and that I believed that they couldn’t change their name until they were 19yrs old and that I think Daddy and Mommy both had to agree to it before that would happen. My husband was devastated. You could see his face drop a mile away. What is WRONG with this woman that she can’t just leave well alone? We all know she is bitter and twisted but to constantly put the children through this….and TELL them about it…simply as she has nothing better to do is ludicrous.

Her parenting is abysmal. I am embarrassed for her. I understand that it drives her INSANE that I have the same last name as the kids….and that they look more like my children than they do hers, but this is ridiculous. What kind of example is this continuing to set for the children?

I could understand if a woman didn’t know who the Father was…or he was not in the child’s life or even for their safety but for NO reason other than because SHE wants it that way is sickening to me. It’s happening first hand to us, but I would feel this way for any poor couple that had to deal with this kind of selfish behavior.

Simply proves yet another Narcissistic character trait. ALL ABOUT HER.

*sigh* I really do hope that she can’t or doesn’t follow through with this. I have had a look online and discussed this with a colleague who used to work in Social Services and it appears that there is a chance that she could…….

Honestly, I would assume that as she could not give good reason enough for “the system” to honor a waiver of the required signature from my husband….but the way the Justice system works these days…I just don’t know. 😦

Below is information from BC Vital Statistics for anyone’s reference on this matter:

Government of B.C.

Legal Change of Name Application

The Application for Change of Name accommodates many potential situations for a name change. Some parts of the application may not apply to you and may be left blank.
You can help us process your application smoothly by thoroughly reading this page, which provides you with information about who can apply, what steps are required, and what documentation is needed for your particular situation, including consent and fingerprints.The average legal change of name application takes four to six weeks to process. We cannot process applications that are missing documentation or payment.

Who can Apply for a Legal Change of Name?

To be eligible for a legal change of name, applicants must:

  • be 19 years of age or older;
    Exception: If you are younger than 19 years old and a parent with custody of your child, you may apply for a legal change of name.
  • be changing their own name, or the name of their child for whom they have custody who is 18 years of age or younger; and
  • have lived in B.C. or had a permanent residence here for at least three months immediately before the application date.

How to Apply for a Legal Change of Name

These are the basic steps for applying to change your name legally.

  1. Read the instructions included in the Application for Change of Name (VSA 529) form (PDF, 476KB) and look through the application first without filling anything out. Make a note of which documents, waivers, or signatures you need to obtain to complete the application.
  2. Complete the application. All applicants must complete Parts1 (a) and (b). If you are a parent changing the name of your child, you must also complete Part 2.
  3. Submit the Application for Change of Name along with the required documents and payment in one of the following two ways:

By Mail

Vital Statistics Agency
PO Box 9657 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 9P3
ATTN: CONFIDENTIAL SERVICES

In Person

Go to any Service BC location.Cost

Adult (19 years of age or older) without dependent child (18 years old or younger) $137
Adult (19 years of age or older) with dependent child (18 years old or younger) $137 + $27 per child
Child (18 years of age or younger) $137 for first or only child $27 per additional child
Birth or Marriage Search $27 if event occurred in B.C. AND an original certificate is not enclosed

The cost of a legal change of name includes a Certificate of Name Change listing the old and new names of all individuals involved in the application.It does not include the cost of:

  • Fingerprinting
  • Criminal record checks
  • Witnessing your signature on a statutory declaration
  • Certifying documents
  • New identification following the name change

Note: Service BC representatives can witness your signature, and copy and certify documents to submit with your application for a small fee.Required Documentation

The table below describes the different types of applicants for name changes. Every time a description on the left side of the table matches your circumstance, you should submit the documentation listed to its right in the table.

If you… Submit this…
Are an adult, 19 years of age or older who was born in Canada. An original birth certificate with registration number
Are an adult, 19 years of age or older who was born outside of Canada. certified copy of immigration and/or citizenship documents
Have changed your name before. Your original Change of Name certificate(s)
Have documents that are not in English. Certified English translations of the documents
Got married in B.C. and are not divorced or widowed. Original British Columbia marriage certificate(s) or photocopy if the marriage certificate already lists the new name
Got married outside of B.C. or Canada. Photocopy of marriage certificate(s) including registration number
Are changing the name of your child who was born in Canada. Your child’s original birth certificate listing the name of the parent or parents
Are changing the name of your child who was born outside of Canada. Certified copies of the following:

  • Immigration or citizenship documents
  • An original birth certificate or adoption papers from the country of birth showing parentage.

Provide certified English translations if these are not in English.

Are changing the name of your child, but the name you use now is different from the one listed on your child’s birth certificate. Documentation showing how you came to have your current name. (i.e. marriage certificate(s), change of name certificate(s), letter of explanation.)
Are changing your child’s last name to the last name of your spouse. photocopy of your marriage certificate and your spouse’s consent.
Changing the name of your child who is 12 to 18 years of age. A short letter written by your child providing his or her reasons for wanting a change of name.* Remember to have your child sign the application on page 5.

Required Consent when Changing a Child’s Name

If you are changing the name of your child… You must obtain consent from…
And a second parent is listed on your child’s birth registration The other parent.If you cannot obtain consent, request a waiver of parental consent
And your child is 12 years of age or older Your child.See Part 2 (page 5) of the application. Your child must also write a brief letter stating why he or she wants the name change
To match the last name of your spouse Your spouse.See Part 2 (page 5) of the application.

Requesting a Waiver of Parental Consent

The Name Act allows for consideration of a waiver of the other parent’s consent. The following is a list of situations for which a waiver of parental consent may be approved. If you would like to request a waiver of the other parent’s consent, consider which situation described below best describes yours and provide all the requested information.

Situation A

The person whose consent is required is not recorded on the birth registration of the child whose name is to be changed (Section 4.6 of the Name Act).What you need to provide:

  • If the child was born in Canada, you must provide an original birth certificate showing parentage.
  • If the child was born outside of Canada, you must provide a certified photocopy of the child’s birth documents showing parentage. If the birth documents are not in English, you must provide a translated version from an accredited individual.

Situation B

The person whose consent is required cannot be located after a reasonable, diligent and adequate search has been conducted as demonstrated by the statutory declaration and supporting evidence maintained in the change of name file (Section 4.5(a) of the Name Act).What you need to provide:

  1. include the mailing address and any other contact information for the parent whose consent is to be waived. If you are unaware of the other parent’s whereabouts, search his or her name on Canada411.ca using Canada as the location, and submit a printout of the results;
  2. indicate if you receive child support. If you are registered with the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP), you must include a copy of your most recent statement; and
  3. explain all efforts you have made to contact the other parent, including contact with relatives, email contact, etc.
  • A brief letter written by the child if he or she is 12 years of age or older. Have your child describe why he or she would like a change of name.

Situation C

The person whose consent is required is deceased, proven by a copy of a death certificate maintained in the change of name file (Section 4.6 of the Name Act).What you need to provide:

Situation D

A person whose consent is required is unreasonably withholding their consent (Section 4(5)(b) of the Name Act).What you need to provide:

  1. include the mailing address and any other contact information for the parent whose consent is to be waived;
  2. indicate if you receive child support. If you are registered with the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP), you must include a copy of your most recent statement; and
  3. explain all efforts you have made to contact the other parent, including contact with relatives, email contact, etc.
  • A brief letter written by the child if he or she is 12 years of age or older. Have your child describe why he or she would like a change of name.

Situation E

A person whose consent is required is mentally disordered, as demonstrated by statutory declaration and supporting evidence (Section 4.5(a) of the Name Act).What you need to provide:

  • A copy of a court order, showing you have custody of your child.
  • A letter from a physician/court order stating that the person whose consent is to be waived is incapable of understanding what he or she would be signing.

Situation F

Exceptional circumstances make it unreasonable to seek the consent of the required individual (Section 4(6) of the Name Act).What you need to provide:

  • A copy of a court order, showing you have custody of your child.
  • One of the following:
    • A court ordered no contact order.
    • A court ordered restraining order.
    • A letter from the police indicating you would be in danger if you attempted to contact the parent whose consent is required.

Note: The requirements identified here are a guide only and the registrar general of the Vital Statistics Agency has the authority to ask for additional information.Note: Statements made in a statutory declaration are considered the equivalent of statements made in a court of law and may provide the basis for action against the applicant if they are proven to be fraudulent.Fingerprint Information

If you are both 18 years of age or older AND are changing your name, the Name Act requires you to have your fingerprints taken as part of a criminal record check. If you have a criminal record, the name change is noted in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. Fingerprints are only used for the purpose required by the Name Act and confirmation of the criminal record review is returned to the applicant directly from the RCMP.Effective July 1, 2014, only electronic fingerprints are accepted. You can have your fingerprints taken electronically at any of the following facilities:

  • Most RCMP detachments
  • Vancouver Police
  • Victoria Police
  • Any RCMP-accredited fingerprinting company or its affiliate who submit fingerprints electronically for the purposes of criminal record checks. For a list of accredited companies and information about affiliates, visit: www.rcmp.gc.ca/cr-cj/index-eng.htm

What to Submit with your Change of Name Application

Different agencies may charge different amounts for fingerprinting, but a criminal record check is always $25. Pay these fees directly to the agency you have chosen to take your electronic fingerprints and perform a criminal record check.Once you have paid for the fingerprinting service and criminal record check, the fingerprinting official will give you a receipt. Submit a photocopy of the original receipt with your application.

Family Law In British Columbia: Some Info For Those That “Need to Know”…..

Family Law In British Columbia

Separation

There is no such thing as a “legal separation.” If you’re married or in a common-law relationship, you become separated as soon as you and your spouse start living apart with at least one of you wanting to separate. You don’t need your spouse’s permission to start living separately. You can tell others that you wish to separate, but you don’t have to see a lawyer, sign a document, or go to court to be separated.

You might even still live in the same house to save money, but you’re usually still considered separated if you don’t share things like meals, a bedroom, and social activities.

If you’re married, you’ll be legally married until you get a court order for divorce. You don’t need your spouse’s permission to apply for a divorce. If you weren’t married to each other, a divorce isn’t necessary.

Note that there are important time limits if you want to apply for spousal support and/or divide property, debt, or a pension. See our fact sheets Spousal support and How to divide property and debts.

What to take with you if you leave

Here are some of the important documents and items you should take with you:

  • Your financial information, such as your tax returns for at least three years; plus bank account, credit card, investment, and debt statements; and copies of recent pay stubs
  • Your BC Services Card/CareCard (medicare card)
  • Your marriage certificate (if you were married)
  • Your passport, your children’s passports, and any other immigration papers you may have
  • Your status card and identification
  • Your children’s birth certificates and BC Services Cards/CareCards (medicare cards)
  • Your clothing and personal belongings and those of your children
  • If possible, photocopies of information about income and assets in your spouse’s name alone, such as pay stubs, tax returns, company records and ledgers, bank accounts, investments, and RRSPs. Also write down your spouse’s Social Insurance Number, BC Services Card/CareCard number, and date of birth. (These can be useful later if you have a dispute about money and property, or if you need to find your spouse.)
  • Medications and prescriptions for you and your children

Separation agreements

Many separating couples can agree about how they’re going to deal with parenting, property, and child and spousal support without ever going to court. If you and your spouse or partner can come to an agreement, you’ll save yourselves time, money, and emotional turmoil, as well as keep control of important decisions that affect your family. This is often called a separation agreement, and agreements about parenting are sometimes called parenting plans. (The provincial Family Law Act, however, only uses the term “agreements.”)

For more information about agreements, see our fact sheets Making an agreement after you separate and Who can help you reach an agreement? For information on drafting a legally binding separation agreement, see our self-help guide How to write your own separation agreement.

Spousal Support

Spousal support (also called maintenance) is financial support to help with living expenses paid to a former spouse under an agreement or court order. You can apply for spousal support if:

  • you were married,
  • you lived together in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years, or
  • you lived in a marriage-like relationship for less than two years and have a child together.

When should spousal support be paid?

Under provincial and federal laws, spousal support is intended to:

  • recognize any financial advantages or disadvantages a spouse may face because of the relationship or the separation;
  • make sure neither spouse faces economic hardship as a result of the breakup;
  • make both spouses share the financial burden if there were consequences to caring for the children during the relationship; and
  • if possible, help each spouse become financially independent within a reasonable amount of time.

Consider these reasons when you apply or have to pay for spousal support.

How do I figure out the amount of support?

How much spousal support you should get and how long it will last depends on the following:

  • If you worked outside the home during the marriage or relationship
  • How long you lived with your spouse
  • If you’re able to support yourself
  • If you are or were at home with the children
  • Whether you earn a lot less than your spouse
  • If the spouse being asked to pay is able to pay

The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines can help you figure out the amount of spousal support that should be paid. These guidelines aren’t the law (neither you or the judge has to follow them), but if your case went to court, the judge or master would probably look at the guidelines to help make his or her decision about the amount of spousal support. The guidelines take into account the income of both spouses, how long you were married, and whether you have children.

For more information, see the Department of Justice website on spousal support.

Tip: MySupportCalculator.ca is a website with a support calculator that can provide you with a “ballpark” number that you can adjust based on your circumstances. Because the calculations are complicated, you may want to get a lawyer with the right software to help with a more accurate calculation. (The Legal Services Society doesn’t claim these figures are precise or accurate nor does it endorse the lawyers listed on this site.)

Can I reach an agreement without going to court?

Many couples come to an agreement about spousal support without going to court. Agreements that are filed with the court can be enforced — they have the same force as a court order. They can also be set aside (cancelled) if the situation changes.

If you’re trying to negotiate an agreement, consider the factors listed under When should spousal support be paid? (above) and the amount of support listed in the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. Get advice from a lawyer about what is fair.

Tip: For information on drafting a legally binding separation agreement, see our self-help guide How to write your own separation agreement. If you want help negotiating an agreement, see our fact sheets Making an agreement after you separate and Who can help you reach an agreement?.

Applying for spousal support

If you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement, one of you can apply to the court for an order for spousal support. Court applications can be expensive and time-consuming, so see a lawyer for advice about whether what you’re expecting is reasonable. To find out more about orders, see our fact sheet All about court orders. (This fact sheet contains links to our step-by-step guides on How to get a final family order and How to get an interim family order.)

Providing financial information (disclosure)

When one spouse applies for spousal support, both spouses will have to provide financial information to each other and to the court. You will have to share detailed documents showing your income, assets, and debt. Both Supreme and Provincial Court have rules setting out exactly what needs to be shared and when.

Be aware that the law requires you to provide “full and true” information to the other party, whether you’re negotiating an agreement or making or responding to a court application. There can be serious consequences if you don’t. There may be financial penalties, and the court could make changes to your agreement or order.

In the Supreme Court, both parties must fill out a Financial Statement (Form F8) and file it with the court for orders related to support. For help, see our guide How to deal with a Supreme Court Financial Statement.

In the Provincial Court, both parties must fill out and file a Financial Statement (Form 4). For help, see our guide How to deal with a Provincial Court Financial Statement. However, if you agree about the amount of your incomes and how much support should be paid, you can instead fill out a Consent form (Form 19) and file it along with copies of your most recent income tax returns and notices of assessment.

How long will spousal support last?

Spousal support agreements or orders are often for a limited period of time, possibly just a few years. Longer relationships can lead to longer periods of support. But the law still expects people to support themselves as soon as reasonably possible after a divorce or separation.

A spousal support agreement or order can say that spousal support will automatically be reviewed after a certain amount of time has passed. It’s a good idea to have this process built in because circumstances often change over the years.

If you need to extend spousal support and don’t have this automatic review process as part of your order or agreement, apply before the end of the time limit stated in the court order or agreement. It’s a good idea to get a lawyer’s help. (See Who can help? to find a lawyer.)

Time limits for applying for support

There are two laws that deal with spousal support: the Family Law Act (a provincial law) and the Divorce Act (a federal law). If you weren’t married to the other party, your spousal support order will be based on the Family Law Act. If you were married and are now separated or divorced, the order can be based on either of the two laws. For more information, see our fact sheet Which laws apply to your case?

If you are applying under the Family Law Act, you must apply for spousal support no later than two years after getting an order for a divorce or annulment. If you were living in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years (sometimes referred to as a common-law relationship) or living together for less than two years but had a child together, you must apply within two years of the date on which you separated.

There is no time limit under the Divorce Act.

Can I enforce the agreement or order?

Once you have an agreement or order for spousal support, you can enroll in the BC Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP). This government program will monitor the spousal support payments you should be receiving. Staff in the program will take action to help you get the payments if you’re not receiving them.

Can I change the agreement or order?

If you have a spousal support agreement, you can apply to set aside (cancel) part of the agreement or replace the agreement with a court order if:

  • one of you didn’t share accurate information about your finances,
  • one of you took advantage of the other’s vulnerability, or
  • one of you doesn’t understand the agreement.

You can also apply to change the agreement if the agreement itself is “significantly unfair.” The court will consider:

  • if your or your spouse’s circumstances have changed,
  • how long it’s been since the agreement was made,
  • whether (and to what extent) you both intended this agreement to be final,
  • how much you both rely on the agreement, and
  • how much the agreement meets the goals of spousal support in the Family Law Act.

If you have a spousal support order, there are cases where you can apply to have it changed. Sometimes there is a change in the “condition, means, need or other circumstances of either spouse”; for example:

  • one of you gets a raise or cut in pay (if you weren’t told about the other spouse’s increased income, a court can order an increase/decrease of spousal support back to the date of the raise),
  • the paying spouse becomes unemployed or disabled and can’t pay,
  • one of you gets remarried and has increased household income from the new spouse, and
    one of you gets a financial windfall.

You can also apply to change the order if either spouse didn’t provide important financial information. In fact, you can apply to change either a spousal support agreement or order if you now have important information that wasn’t available when the agreement or order was made.

How do income tax rules affect spousal support payments?

Certain income tax rules apply when you separate or divorce. See the Tax Matters Toolkit, a two-part online resource from the Canadian Bar Association that explains the tax rules for a number of topics, including spousal support.

Cancelling or reducing arrears

Arrears are past support payments that haven’t been paid. While the law does allow a judge or master to reduce or cancel arrears, it’s difficult to do unless there’s a very good reason for the change.

A Day In The Life Of A BC Bonus Mom……..”A New Beginning”.

Hello everyone!

I am back after a few months away, due to personal reasons, and upon attempting to log into my blog “A Day In The Life Of A BC Bonus Mom”….I quickly realized that it was GONE. No longer available. My hard work, sweat, laughter, tears…had all been obliterated into the internet ether somewhere.

So, I find myself back and having to start all over from scratch, regaining my old contacts, finding all who I used to follow and support, so bare with me as I find my blogging feet again!

Nowadays, I am being found under “bcbonusmomblog” and I will be re-entering the world of Step-Families and not only looking for support but giving it on whatever levels I can. There will be posts on everything family related…kids….education….recipes….legal stuff….opinions….relationships as well as the constant struggle between bio parents and step parents. There simply does NOT appear to be much, if ANY support for step-moms…step-parents….in British Columbia at all. Now, I am not sure if I can or will change that but I am sure that I can endeavor to try.

I attempt to attend as many early childhood development workshops (psycho-educational) as well as step-parenting/step-family courses that I can annually, as well as having the day to day issues and drama that comes with being a stepmom coupled with first hand experience with an uncooperative co-parent with an evil streak. 🙂

For those of you that don’t know me, or don’t remember me, I am Nell and I am a Smommy to two wonderful young boys that entered my life 3 years ago now when I met the man who I would eventually marry. We did indeed marry a year after meeting and I officially got the name of “stepmom”….or evil stepmom as I have been so lovingly called…lol I have lived, worked and traveled overseas most of my life and have gained a plethora of life experience along the way. Although I now have a permanent base set up back home in BC Canada, my journey has not ended, it has simply taken a different road….and it is certainly a roller coaster ride!

So, join me! Follow me as I start the next chapter….share and care with flare!!

Nell xo