Jessica England

Lawyer (Vancouver)
Jessica England

Jessica’s passion as a lawyer lies in helping families resolve parenting and custody disputes, and she has spent the vast majority of her legal career focusing on issues involving children affected by divorce. Her extensive work with families has included advising on mobility and relocation issues, as well as complex cases involving parental alienation and estrangement, visitation resistance, and child abduction. 

Jessica also has special expertise advising clients on interjurisdictional issues, such as where one spouse has substantial assets outside the province (or country), or where there is a question about which court should be resolving the dispute. 

Her approach is outcome-based in the broadest sense: her goal throughout is to improve the lives of parents and their children by resolving family conflict in as effective and timely a way as possible. She draws on a wide array of methods for resolving family law disputes, ranging from mediation to litigation. Before pursuing a particular course or strategy, Jessica will explore all possible options for a client and discuss with them which approach best fits their circumstances. Her focus is on building innovative, lasting solutions to her clients’ family law problems. 

Like the other members of the Connect team, Jessica works in an innovative and collaborative way to achieve the best outcome possible for her clients. This is reflected in her Collaborative Family Law training, her network of other professionals who specialize in the wellbeing of children, and her practice of incorporating social science research into her work where appropriate.

In addition to her special interest and expertise in child and parenting-related issues, Jessica offers her clients the benefit of several years of rigorous education and training as a litigator.

While pursuing her law degree at the University of British Columbia, she completed the UBC Law Mediation program and served as a Judicial Extern to members of the judiciary at Vancouver’s Provincial Court. Since becoming a lawyer, Jessica has supplemented her knowledge of business and asset valuation and estate matters through courses with BC Continuing Legal Education and the Justice Institute of BC. She regularly attends conferences abroad on topics relevant to her practice and has completed parenting coordination training as well as extensive coursework in child interviewing.

Her advocacy experience includes appearances in Provincial Court, Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeal of British Columbia. Examples of notable cases that Jessica has argued in court include:

  • Parker v. Mitchell, 2016 BCSC 723: In a trial involving a common law couple, successfully argued that the Courts of British Columbia should apply Californian law to the division of six properties located in B.C. despite the limited relief available to the opposing party under that law. By contrast, the law of British Columbia called for an equal division of assets.
  • S.L.B. v. M.D.R.B., 2015 BCSC 478: Successfully obtaining sole custody for one parent in a case where the other parent’s parenting time with their two children had been equal, but exercised intermittently. The judge found that this parent was intentionally underemployed and set their income at a higher amount for the purpose of child support. The parent who obtained sole custody also received an order for retroactive support.
  • Yu v. Jordan, 2012 BCCA 367: Success in a Supreme Court trial awarding primary residence of the child to one parent. Jessica and her co-counsel defended the decision at the Court of Appeal and won in a judgment of importance to the legal community. This decision and counsel’s comments were featured in the October 2012 issue of the legal publication “Take Five”.

Jessica is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Trial Lawyers’ Association of British Columbia, and the American Family and Conciliation Courts.