LGBTQ Individuals & families

Family law affects members of Canada’s LGBTQ communities just as it affects everyone else. People in same-sex relationships can marry or live can together as unmarried partners, have children, purchase property together and become financially interdependent, and all of these life events have the potential to become family law problems when their relationships change or end.

John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers provides:

  1. independent legal advice on cohabitation agreements and marriage agreements, for couples planning on living together or marrying;

  2. mediation, arbitration and med-arb services to help people leaving a relationship resolve their legal disagreements;

  3. independent advice on separation agreements, for couples who have already resolved the legal issues arising from the end of their relationship; and,

  4. parenting coordination to help couples implement the parenting arrangements required by a final order or agreement.

We also provide:

  1. independent legal advice on multi-party assisted reproduction agreements and parenting agreements, for people planning on having or raising a child with the help of other people;

  2. mediation for couples encountering disagreements about parenting arrangements and parenting choices during their relationships; and,

  3. views of the child reports and independent legal advice for children who are transitioning.

John-Paul serves on the LGBT Committee of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and has presented on LGBTQ issues in family law for lawyers’ associations, including the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community section of the Canadian Bar Association British Columbia.

For a brief overview of how family law can impact people in same-sex relationships as well as transgender and transsexual individuals, read the wikibook JP Boyd on Family Law published by Courthouse Libraries BC.

Polyamorous Individuals & families

People who identify as polyamorous are, or prefer to be, involved in more than one intimate relationship at a time. As long as these relationships don’t produce children and don’t involve marriage or living together long enough to qualify as “spouses” in British Columbia or “adult interdependent partners” in Alberta, polyamorous people may never need to worry about family law. When relationships like these end, there aren’t likely to be any legal problems at all except for issues about joint debts and jointly-owned property or tenancies.

However, when a polyamorous relationship does produce children or when two or more of the adults involved do qualify as spouses or adult interdependent partners, complications can arise that may require the help of a lawyer to resolve. John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers provides:

  1. independent legal advice on multi-party cohabitation agreements, for people planning on living together or marrying;

  2. independent legal advice on multi-party assisted reproduction agreements and multi-party parenting agreements;

  3. mediation, arbitration and med-arb services to address the issues arising when one or more people leave a polyamorous relationship; and,

  4. independent advice on separation agreements, for people who have resolved the legal issues arising when someone has left a relationship.

John-Paul Boyd conducted some of the very first research in Canada on polyamorous individuals, their experiences, their attitudes and their relationships while at the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family. He has served as a speaker on family law issues for the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association, presented on polyamory and the law for associations of lawyers and judges, and is frequently consulted by local and national media on the legal implications of polyamory and polyamorous relationships.

John-Paul’s research papers “Polyamorous Relationships and Family Law in Canada” and “Perceptions of Polyamory in Canada” can be downloaded from the University of Calgary Library.