Family Law

Desk order divorces, cohabitation, marital and separation agreements

Navigating family law matters with effortless efficiency

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Separation and divorce can have a significant impact on your financial well-being. It’s essential to establish clear expectations and protect your interests through a cohabitation or marital agreement before embarking on a shared life with your partner. Alternatively, resolving matters amicably through a separation agreement after the relationship has ended can be the most cost-effective approach to navigate this challenging situation. At Sage Hill Law, we draft comprehensive cohabitation, martial and separation agreements tailored to your specific needs. Our team of family law professionals understand the importance of protecting your assets and ensuring a smooth transition during this emotionally charged time.

Your trusted advisors for desk order divorces, cohabitation, marital, and separation agreements

Simplify separation and divorce matters with professional guidance and support from Sage Hill Law

Compassionate Family Law Services | Expert Guidance from VirtuLawyers

By entrusting Sage Hill Law with your desk order divorce, cohabitation, marital, or separation agreement needs, you can have confidence that your interests will be safeguarded and your future secured. Our team of dedicated professionals will guide you through the process, providing quality legal advice and ensuring that your agreements are legally sound and comprehensive.

Please note that we do not accept contested matters or any matters requiring court appearances. We will always inform you in your consultation if it appears you may require such services and attempt to steer you in the right direction.

We offer upfront pricing, allowing you to plan your budget effectively and minimize unexpected financial burdens.

Don’t let separation and divorce drain your finances and peace of mind. Take control of your situation and simplify the process with Sage Hill Law by your side. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover how we can help you navigate the complexities of separation and divorce efficiently.


An initial consultation is required before Sage Hill Law begins work on one of the below services.

Desk Order Divorce



additional charges if required by your file: Notice of Family Claim ($200) and Service of Papers (Approximately $150 + tax)

Separation Agreement



Cohabitation Agreement



FAQ: Desk Order Divorce

A desk order divorce is a relatively straightforward and cost-effective way to obtain a divorce in British Columbia when both spouses agree on the divorce and its terms. It allows couples to obtain a divorce without having to appear in court, making it a more streamlined process.

A desk order divorce is possible under the following conditions:

  1. Both spouses agree to the divorce and its terms, including issues like child custody, support, and property division;
  2. The couple has been separated for at least one year, with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation; and
  3. At least one spouse has been a resident of British Columbia for at least one year before filing for divorce.
  • Simplicity: It’s a straightforward and less time-consuming process compared to a contested divorce. 
  • Cost-Effective: Desk order divorces generally involve lower legal fees since they don’t require court appearances.
  • Privacy: The process is private and doesn’t involve court hearings.
  • Unresolved Issues: Desk order divorces are only suitable when both spouses agree on all divorce-related matters. Generally speaking, it should only be sought after the parties have come to a separation agreement or have otherwise formally resolved all divorce related issues. If there are unresolved disputes over issues like child custody, support, or property division, a desk order divorce may not be an option.
  • Residency Requirement: One of the spouses must have been a resident of British Columbia for at least one year before filing for divorce. 
  • Waiting Period: You must have been separated for at least one year before applying for a desk order divorce.

The timeline for a desk order divorce can vary, but it typically takes a few months from the date of filing the necessary documents to receive the divorce order. The exact duration may depend on the court’s workload and other factors.

While it’s possible to complete the paperwork for a desk order divorce without a lawyer, seeking legal advice is highly recommended, especially if you have complex issues to address. A family law attorney can ensure that the process is completed correctly and that your rights are protected.

Once the court grants the desk order divorce, you will receive a divorce certificate. This certificate proves that your marriage has legally ended. You can then proceed with other legal matters, such as updating your name or beneficiaries on legal documents.

In most cases, a desk order divorce is final and can only be challenged in exceptional circumstances, such as fraud or a serious error in the legal process. However, it’s essential to consult with a lawyer if you believe there are grounds for challenging a desk order divorce.

FAQ: Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions for the separation or divorce of a couple. It should cover the division of property and assets, spousal support, child custody, child support, and potentially other matters. It is an agreement and must be signed by both parties.

Do you want to avoid a trial or prolonged litigation? Then, likely yes. A separation agreement is the cheapest way to formalize a separation. It does require both spouses to consent, but if they can do so, it can allow assets to be separated and confirm agreement to do so, allowing both parties to move on. A separation agreement can help prevent misunderstandings, disputes, and ensure a smooth transition from a shared life to separate living arrangements.

A separation agreement can cover a wide range of issues, including:

  • Division of assets and debts
  • Spousal support (if applicable)
  • Child custody and access arrangements
  • Child support payments
  • Ownership and occupancy of the family home

It can also address other specific issues relevant to your situation.

Yes, a properly executed separation agreement is legally binding in British Columbia. It is enforceable in court, and if one party does not abide by the terms of the agreement, the other party can seek legal remedies to ensure compliance.

Creating a separation agreement typically involves the following steps:

Consultation: Seek legal advice from a family law attorney to understand your rights and obligations.

Negotiation: Discuss the terms of the agreement with your spouse or partner. It’s often recommended to have legal representation during this process.

Drafting: Have the agreement drafted, either by a lawyer or with the assistance of legal document services.

Review: Ensure both parties thoroughly review the agreement and understand its implications.

Signing: Once both parties are satisfied, sign the agreement in the presence of a witness.

Yes, a separation agreement can be modified if both parties agree to the changes. The revised terms should be documented in writing and signed by both parties to make them legally binding. If you cannot reach an agreement on modifications, you may need to seek legal assistance.

If one party does not comply with the terms of the separation agreement, the other party can take legal action. This may include going to court to enforce the agreement, potentially resulting in fines or other remedies for non-compliance.

While there are templates and generic forms available, it’s highly recommended to consult with a family law attorney to draft a tailored separation agreement. Each separation is unique, and using a template may not adequately address your specific situation and legal requirements.

Yes, you can create a separation agreement after a divorce. These agreements can be used to address ongoing matters such as child custody, support, and property division or to modify previous agreements.

The time required to create a separation agreement can vary depending on the complexity of your situation and the willingness of both parties to reach an agreement. It can take several weeks to a few months or more, depending on the circumstances.

FAQ: Cohabitation / Marital / Prenuptial Agreement

All three of these documents are different terms for what is essentially the same thing: a legally binding document for couples to confirm their rights and responsibilities and what will happen if they separate or one partner passes away. A cohabitation agreement is generally done for cohabiting, but unmarried couples, while a prenuptial agreement is done in anticipation of marriage, and a marital agreement can be done after marriage. However, the effect is the same – confirming the parties agreement about what will happen in the event of a relationship breakdown.

You may consider a cohabitation agreement if you’re living with a partner and want to clarify financial and property matters. A marital agreement can be helpful if you’re already married and wish to address these same issues.

A prenuptial agreement is appropriate when you’re planning to get married and want to protect your assets and clarify financial expectations in case of divorce or the death of a spouse.

Child custody and support matters are typically determined by what is in the best interests of the child and based on who the child is staying with. Child support is properly the right of the child and not the parent, so the parent is not legally allowed to negotiate it away. Nonetheless, these agreements can confirm what the parties believe is in the best interests of the children, though that can always change as the situation does..

Yes, cohabitation, marital, and prenuptial agreements can be modified if both parties agree to the changes. Ensure that any amendments are properly documented and signed by both parties.

While it’s not legally required, it’s highly recommended to seek legal advice when creating cohabitation, marital, or prenuptial agreements. A lawyer can ensure that the agreements are drafted correctly, meet legal requirements, and protect the rights and interests of both parties.

If one party does not comply with the terms of a cohabitation, marital, or prenuptial agreement, legal remedies can be sought to enforce the agreement.

While it’s preferable to create these agreements before marriage or cohabitation begins, it is possible to draft and sign them after the fact. However, this should be done with the understanding that the legal and financial implications may already be affected by the relationship.

What people say about us

Client testimonials

Kelly S.
"Kyle Johnston and his team were amazing to deal with so helpful and honest everything I needed was done promptly and always in contact with me every step of the way...if I need anything legal again I will definitely use Kyle Johnston and his team again...I highly recommend."
Donna H.
"Fantastic, caring and understanding, questions answered, would recommend them every time."
Kevin M.
"Very friendly and professional. Great people to work with. We would definitely use them in the future."
Jim R.
I want to fully compliment the firm on their efficiency, transparent methodology, and professional service coupled with patience since there was a loss of a loved one associated with my duties. Legal Assistant, Sara Duchart was my main contact person so the bulk of this positive recommendation is related to her and Lawyer, Kyle C. Johnson.
"I would recommend the administration and estate planning. I found the entire team experience very helpful. Sara was a very good communicator who kept us informed and on the right path throughout the estate administration.I have already recommended them to a local business because I am confident with the services provided. Thank you to all of the team!"

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