Recognition of Spousal and Family Status

The Attorney General asked the British Columbia Law Institute to review the statute law of British Columbia and make recommendations for legislative changes necessary to provide legal recognition to the variety of family relationships in the province, and to address the rights and obligations that should attach to those relationships. The request from the Attorney General followed amendments made by the legislature to the Family Relations Act in 1997, which recognized certain marriage-like relationships. After examination of provincial statutes across Canada, the Institute concluded that in many cases they draw unsustainable distinctions between persons who are married, and those of the same or opposite sex who live in non-traditional marriage-like relationships. The same is true of distinctions between conventional families, and non-relatives who choose to live together as a family. This report contains a number of proposals that attempt to eliminate these distinctions and provide greater legislative recognition of a variety of family relationships.

Keywords: family law, marriage and common law, divorce and separation, support, gays, lesbians, trans & bisexuals, spousal status, family status, gay couples, unmarried couples

Related Files

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