A new family law in B.C.

Jennie Weeks, with her sons Oliver, 9, and Benjamin, 11, was living with her boyfriend. They lived together for about two years. Photo by Mark van Manen, The Vancouver Sun

Jennie Weeks, with her sons Oliver, 9, and Benjamin, 11, was living with her boyfriend. They lived together for about two years.
Photo by Mark van Manen, The Vancouver Sun

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun and Statistics Canada

Level 1

Every year, many couples think of love on February 14.
Many couples like Valentine’s Day.
They say it is romantic.
Some couples go to a restaurant.
Some men give women flowers.
Some women give men cards.

Different couples
Some couples are boyfriend and girlfriend, for example.
They do not live together.
Other couples are married.
Some couples are not married.
But they live together.
They are called common-law couples.
Some of these couples have children.

Did you know?
About 70 per cent of families in B.C. are married couples.
About 13 per cent of families are common-law couples.

New family law
On March 18, 2013, B.C. will have a new family law.
We know married couples share property.
This means they both own things like
their house, their sofa, their pet and their car.
The couple also has to share money.

What will change with this new law?
In March, common-law couples will also share things.
After two years, common-law couples will own everything together.
If they split up, they must divide everything.
One person gets half.  The other person also gets half.
Sometimes, one person may pay money
to the other person every month.

Writer warns couples
One writer, Meg Jay, says be careful.
It is easy to get into a relationship.
It is hard to get out of a relationship.
Many young people live together
after only one or two months.

Men and women are different
Men and women live together for different reasons.
Some young men want to save money.
He wants to share the rent with his girlfriend.
Some young women hope to get married.
This is why she lives with her boyfriend.

Talk about money
Meg says couples need to talk about money early.
She says talk about money often.
Do not wait.

www.TheWestcoastReader.com©2012 The Official Westcoast Reader

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