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Jurisdictional Issues

Do you want to know how to deal with jurisdictional issues?

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What are jurisdictional issues?

Jurisdictional issues include any issues involving a family law issue that may involve jurisdiction outside of BC (or whichever province your lawsuit is in). The jurisdictional issue could be a property located in China, an agreement signed in the US, your child residing outside BC, or your spouse’s company operating or owning assets in Singapore, just to name a few. Below are just some of the jurisdictional issues we deal with:

  • Enforcing or defending against a court order obtained, or an agreement signed in another country;
  • Deciding the the most favourable place for custody, support and family property and dealing with valuation and division of property;
  • Obtaining orders in Canada and enforcing them against spouses in other countries;
  • Tracing or imputing properties hidden in other countries;
  • Obtaining orders when children were unilaterally removed from one country from, or to, Canada;
  • Dividing family property around the world in the most favourable fashion for you; and
  • Proving income and obtaining child and spousal support from someone living in another country.

What makes these issues especially complex?

Jurisdictional issues are particularly complex for several reasons.

First, they require you to consider and deal with the laws in multiple countries at the same time. To obtain the best outcome, you must understand all the foreign laws potentially applicable to your case, and how different legal systems work together. There are many crucial questions you must answer at the very initial stage of your case, such as:

  • Can I sue in another country, and if so, what would the outcome be?
  • What are the tax consequences if my spouse buys out my shares in our company based in another country?
  • Where do I get the most favourable child and spousal result?

Second, there are practical and logistical considerations. For example:

  • How to obtain key evidence in another country, such as the value of a company or obtaining records of hidden transactions?
  • Do you need to fly back and forth if you want to sue in BC and live in Beijing for example, or if you decide to litigate in both countries (which may be the correct decision in some cases)?

Finally, procedural rules that govern jurisdictional issues are extremely complex and unforgiving. One seemingly small misstep, even an unintentional one, can easily lead to losing the entire case and millions of dollars in assets.

Which is the right jurisdiction for our divorce or separation?

When Vancouver, BC, or Calgary separating spouses have connections to multiple jurisdictions, there can be a dispute about which is the right jurisdiction for the divorce or separation to proceed in. The choice of one jurisdiction over another can, and often will have enormous implications: BC and Alberta courts have broad powers to bring about a fair financial result on divorce or separation, many other jurisdictions are inflexible or provide a far less generous financial provision.

If you or your spouse has connections to multiple jurisdictions, you need to act fast by obtaining early expert high net worth international separation advice followed by prompt and decisive action to secure the most favourable jurisdiction for you.

How do you deal with such issues?

At Herr Law Group when we start on a case that potentially involves jurisdictional issues, our first step is to conduct a preliminary analysis to identify:

  • Issues that can be litigated in more than one jurisdiction;
  • The relevant laws of those potential jurisdictions;
  • The range of outcomes.

Based on the analysis, we will formulate an action plan to allow us to advance your case effectively, and obtain the most favourable result for you and your children. We can frequently complete these two steps quickly, in some cases even during an initial consultation, owing to our constant exposure to, and vast experience in these issues.

Once the strategy is set, we will tenaciously and aggressively pursue your claims in cooperation with reliable foreign experts with whom we have established strong relationships, and litigate in multiple countries if need be.

Why is Herr Law Group best equipped to help resolve jurisdictional issues?

Herr Law group is very experienced in jurisdictional issues, and we’re committed to obtaining the best results for our clients.

For over 35 years, promoting culture, diversity and commitment to excellence have been the fundamental values of Herr Law Group. Our lawyers and support staff come from a variety of cultural backgrounds, speak multiple languages fluently, and are all passionate about bringing the best results to our clients.

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