In every conflict over spousal support both parties inevitably reach a point when they consider whether an agreement is better than going to court. Usually that point is not reached by both sides at the same time otherwise conflicts would probably settle quicker.
Generally, lawyers and judges would say that an agreement is better than taking the risk of going to Court. A Family Court Judge made the analogy that going to court is like getting into the trunk of a random car: you know you are going somewhere but will likely be surprised by the endpoint.
The Attorney General of British Columbia suggests that it is better to “come to a fair agreement on spousal support” rather than go to Court. The Attorney General webpage spells out the disadvantages of going to court as follows:
• Lack of control over the results in court;
• Cost in terms of money, time and stress; and
• Long delays in resolution of conflict.
I am asked this question often: "If I buy the family residence from my spouse, do we deduct the potential real estate commission from the valuation used for the buyout?"
The simple and short answer is “no”.
MADAM JUSTICE LEVINE of the BC Supreme Court addressed this issue (in Halsey-Brandt v. Halsey-Brandt, 1996 CanLII 2597 (BC SC) — 1996-04-10 Supreme Court of British Columbia — British Columbia) and stated the following:
"Mrs. Halsey-Brandt claims that the value of the home on Fairdell Crescent should be reduced by the amount of the real estate commission that would be payable if it were sold, though she intends to keep it for an indefinite number of years. In circumstances such as these where it is not known if or when the property will be sold, the amount of any commission that may be paid on a sale is purely speculative and should not be deducted in determining the value of the home for the purposes of a transfer from Mr. Halsey-Brandt to Mrs. Halsey-Brandt.(See Vetter v. Vetter1994 CanLII 1229 (BC CA), (1994), 50 B.C.A.C. 14, 8 R.F.L. (4th) 290 (B.C.C.A.); Wheatley v. Oliver(27 March 1996) Vancouver Registry No. CA20177 (B.C.C.A.))."