International Family Law


International Family Law

In an age of increasing globalization where a growing number of individuals have ties to networks of people and places across the globe, rather than to a current geographic location, people are increasingly marrying, raising families and developing estates across national boundaries. Our Family Law Group has significant expertise and an in-depth understanding of a multitude of family law issues and we focus on providing legal services regarding expatriate-related family law matters.We have developed highly skilled teams of family law practitioners in China and Thailand, where many expatriates have reallocated, to assist clients in need of family law services. We commonly assist clients who were married in Canada and are living in China with processing a divorce, which is sometimes a difficult procedure since some Canadian laws require one spouse to have lived in Canada for one year prior to divorce.

Our international family law experts provide the following services:

  • Marriage contracts
  • Marriage annulments
  • Divorce and separation agreements
  • Child custody and access
  • Property division
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Drafting international wills
  • International estate administration
  • Immigration and relocation planning
  • International estate planning

In addition to providing family law services in Asia, our lawyers in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec and our China-based Canadian lawyers provide a full range of legal services for Chinese nationals and Chinese-Canadians who are establishing businesses or conducting real estate transactions in Canada and one of our niche areas is assisting Canadian and Chinese individuals with wealth, estate planning and family law matters in Canada such as:

  • Assisting with Canadian investment transactions (legal services, assistance with negotiations, business matching, applications for government grants, etc.)
  • International property ownership services (advice on property ownership laws, due diligence, and assistance with property acquisitions and real estate transactions in Canada)
  • Notarization of Canadian property purchase and sale documents
  • Legal advice on tax-compliant wealth structuring
  • Interpretation of double tax treaties and transfer pricing laws
  • Advice on capital gains and inheritance taxes
  • International estate planning and administration
  • Wealth planning and asset protection solutions (creation of trusts to hold and distribute assets, use of foundations to capitalize on incentives and the utilization of life insurance and private investment funds to preserve wealth and earn interest)
  • Inheritance, retirement and international pension planning
  • Drafting international wills

Note on drafting wills: The recommended practice is to have a will for each jurisdiction in which assets are located. Most jurisdictions allow a will which refers to world-wide assets but the effective implementation of a will which has been prepared under the laws of one jurisdiction and is being used to deal with assets in another jurisdiction is difficult because it requires numerous procedures to be gone through in order to have the will recognized in the jurisdiction where the assets are located.  Our experts are experienced with drafting wills and helping clients distribute a deceased’s assets in multiple jurisdictions.