Is sale of property in family law dispute ‘necessary’ or ‘expedient’?

By Kendelle Pollitt
(August 4, 2021) — The family home is often a point of heated contention between divorcing spouses. Often, the home is the couple’s most valuable asset, or at least one of the most valuable. Further, family homes often carry with them sentimental value, family memories, as well provide an anchor of familiarity and comfort during the otherwise
unfamiliar and turbulent time of separation.

All these factors have the potential to inflame conflict when couples need to decide when and if to sell the family home, or whether one spouse will remain in the family home and buy out the other’s interest.

The B.C. Court of Appeal recently addressed the issue of a court-ordered sale of a family home in the family law context in Dosanjh v. Lalli 2021 BCCA 204 (Dosanjh v. Lalli). In particular, the Court of Appeal examined Rule 15-8 of the B.C. Supreme Court Family Rules (SCFR).

Rule 15-8 of the B.C. SCFR provides as follows:
Court may order sale

(1) If in a family law case it appears necessary or expedient that property be sold, the court may order the sale and may order a person in possession of the property or in receipt of the rents, profits or income from it to join in the sale and transfer of the property and deliver up the possession or receipt to the purchaser or person designated by the court.

Conduct of sale

(2) If an order is made directing property to be sold, the court may permit any person having the conduct of the sale to sell the property in the manner the person considers appropriate or as the court directs.

This article was originally published by The Lawyer’s Daily ( a division of LexisNexis Canada

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