Goluboff & Mazzei

Family Law


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Divorce Services

At Goluboff & Mazzei, we offer a range of services connected to divorce:

Negotiating separation agreements
Child care and parenting agreements
Division of family property and other assets
Changes to existing support and custody arrangements

In short, we provide representation during divorce, and in the years following, when a part of the final settlement has to be revisited.


A central focus of our family law practice is negotiating agreements. These include final settlements on property and asset division after separation or divorce and spousal support payments. They may also include parenting agreements covering guardianship, parenting responsibilities, custody, child support, where children live, parenting arrangements and decision-making on important aspects of the children’s upbringing.

We also provide for the negotiation and review of cohabitation agreements. These agreements are established by committed couples, determining how property will be divided during their relationship, and if the relationship ends.

Process Options

In an area of law so deeply personal, it can be of comfort to know going to court is not always necessary or preferred. At Goluboff & Mazzei, we offer a range of out-of-court options to resolve family law cases. These include mediation, direct negotiation and collaborative family law.

Separation, Divorce
and Property Division

Marriage and separation are among life’s major turning points. When people embark on new relationships, or choose to end them, they make choices that will affect them and their children personally and legally. The role of a family law lawyer is to assist with the legal aspects of these life changes, while remaining cognizant of the effect on a client’s home life.

Informed and compassionate guidance is what we offer at Goluboff & Mazzei in West Vancouver. Our family law lawyer, whose former career as a counsellor was key to her development of strong communication skills and sensitivity, is focused on helping clients to achieve resolution through agreement and conflict minimization.

Parenting, Property & Cohabitation Agreements

Family law deals with very personal issues. These issues can often be resolved in private between spouses, through the negotiation of legally binding agreements. Agreements can often help families avoid the ongoing conflict that is so detrimental to their children’s emotional well-being.

Agreements can be used at any stage of a relationship, for a variety of purposes. At Goluboff & Mazzei, we will review your concerns with you and help you to negotiate an agreement that is appropriate for your circumstances and objectives.

Types Of Agreements

Committed Relationships

Before a couple gets married, they may sign a marriage agreement. This document, also known as a cohabitation agreement for common-law couples, may outline each spouse’s responsibilities during the relationship, possibly including how debts and assets will be divided. It will also specify how property will be split if the relationship ends; in this way it has the function of what is known outside of Canada as a prenuptial agreement or “prenup.”

Separated And Divorcing Couples

When a relationship ends, and there is no existing agreement, a couple should resolve their issues by way of a separation agreement prior to divorce. This document can cover how assets will be divided, and who will care for minor children.

Parenting Agreements

After separation or divorce, most former spouses will continue to parent their children together. A parenting agreement outlines what the parenting relationship will be, including where children reside and when they will be in each parent’s care. Other important issues, such as decision-making authority and responsibility over important issues in the lives of the children, such as religion and medical care, may also form part of this agreement.

These agreements can be as detailed as the father and mother want them to be. Children, if they are of sufficient maturity, may have input into arrangements made for their care.


Family law deals with very personal issues. These issues can often be resolved in private between spouses, through the negotiation of legally binding agreements. Agreements can often help families avoid the ongoing conflict that is so detrimental to their children’s emotional well-being.

Agreements can be used at any stage of a relationship, for a variety of purposes. At Goluboff & Mazzei, we will review your concerns with you and help you to negotiate an agreement that is appropriate for your circumstances and objectives.

Resolving Key Aspects Of Divorce

Divorce is covered by the federal Divorce Act, and only a judge can declare the end of a marriage. This process may be more expedient if the couple has already agreed on the matters at stake. Among the features of a typical divorce settlement are:

Child custody and guardianship, also known as parenting time
Child support
 Property division
 Spousal support

While it is possible to go to court to resolve these matters, typically it is in everyone’s best interests to negotiate resolution. Negotiation often achieves a result similar to what a court would issue, without the conflict of litigation. Since spouses are participants in the process, they leave the process more satisfied and the agreements tend to work better in the long term.

Collaborative Family Law

When it comes to your family, especially your children, simply coming to an agreement is not enough. It has to be the right agreement, and it has to be achieved in a respectful and meaningful way. Often, even if the final result is acceptable, the conflict that led up to it can have long-lasting and damaging effects. For this reason, many separating spouses choose not to use the court process to resolve the issues arising out of the breakdown of their relationship.

Collaborative law is a distinct legal process that is different from mediation or arbitration. In collaborative law, spouses and their lawyers “contract out” of going to court. The focus is on achieving an agreement that works for everyone, in a respectful and open manner, focused on minimizing conflict, while meeting the specific needs of the parties and their children.

Benefits Of Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is for spouses who are committed to working together to settle their issues related to parenting, finances and other matters upon separation or divorce. As an out-of-court process, the spouses, with the assistance of their lawyers, maintain control of the process and the decision-making. There are no surprise outcomes, and the parties set their own priorities, using all the resources they have at hand.

In a collaborative law process, participants often obtain advice from outside experts. Social workers, parenting experts and/or financial planners may be consulted so spouses have the information they need to come to a final resolution on their divorce or separation.

Collaborative law must be approached in good faith and with a focus on achieving agreement, not prolonging conflict. As our family law lawyer has a background in counselling, she has the broad-based knowledge to assess whether it is the right process for you and to be your legal representative in collaborative law proceedings.

Property Division After The Breakdown Of A Relationship

With over three decades of experience, the divorce lawyers at Goluboff & Mazzei have the knowledge and expertise required to guide you through the property division process while protecting the interests of everyone involved.

Our family lawyers will take the time to understand your case in its entirety. We understand that property division is a stressful and emotionally-charged process and are committed to working towards the best possible outcome.

When a marriage, common-law relationship, or other similar partnership breaks down, the matter of asset division moves to the forefront. Both parties have a vested interest in how property and debt are allocated and it is important to ensure that no detail is overlooked.

Property Division In British Columbia

Under the BC Family Law Act, each partner is typically entitled to half of all family property accrued throughout the course of the relationship. The property will be divided equally unless the courts determine that doing so would be significantly unfair.

Property that falls under this category includes:

Residences (primary and secondary)
Bank accounts
Insurance policies
Business partnerships

Some types of property are excluded from the division rules. These things may include:

Property owned by one person prior to the beginning of the relationship
Gifts given to one partner
Insurance proceeds

Trusted Guidance Towards Solid Solutions

In some instances, a couple will decide that they would prefer to proceed in a different way and may opt out of property division rules. In this case, an experienced lawyer can help you understand the implications associated with unequal property division and work with you towards ensuring a fair outcome.

Practice Areas

Civil Litigation

At Goluboff & Mazzei, most of our lawyers have over 20 years of practice experience. When representing clients in civil litigation issues, we put this experience to work.


Corporate Law

Goluboff & Mazzei's corporate and commercial business lawyers have acted for start-ups, social enterprises, entrepreneurs, local businesses, and non-profit organizations.


Employment Law

From termination to labour conflicts, work-related issues can be overwhelming. That is why when it comes to employment law, it is imperative to have skilled representation.


Family Law

Goluboff & Mazzei offers a range of family law services including parenting agreements, property and cohabitation, divorce, collaborative family law, and property division.



At Goluboff & Mazzei, we pride ourselves on our innovative approach to dispute resolution. We recognize the importance of filtering through the distractions and finding the root of the problem.


Personal Injury

If you have been injured, no matter what the cause, contact Goluboff & Mazzei on the North Shore for a free thirty-minute consultation to determine if you have a triable claim.


Real Estate Law

The West Vancouver real estate lawyers at Goluboff & Mazzei each have more than 20 years of experience advising clients from around the world on virtually all aspects of BC real estate law.


Wills & Estates

Our lawyers handle probate efficiently. It can normally be achieved within a reasonable time frame, and more quickly than if the executor attempted to do it independently.


Intellectual Property

We have extensive experience preparing and negotiating various commercial contracts, and advising clients in a range of business sectors, including expertise in the technology sector.


Contingency fee arrangements will be considered on some civil litigation cases.

No–Obligation Consultation

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Goluboff & Mazzei
Suite #201 – 585 16th Street,
West Vancouver, BC, V7V 3R8

Goluboff & Mazzei