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Category: Family Law

Who keeps the family pets after separation or divorce?

Who gets the pets after separation in Canada? Many people develop deep bonds with their pets, and may often view them as members of their family. At the time of a separation or divorce, this can result in some very emotional conflict about what happens to the family pet. While there are laws that specifically direct courts to make arrangements for sharing custody and access to children, the law does not treat pets the same way. Instead, pets are considered to be personal property. That means that as a general rule, unless the spouses make an agreement otherwise, [...]

By |30/09/2022|

How to Terminate Your Spousal Support in Alberta

Terminating Your Spousal Support in Alberta Spousal support may be awarded when married couples or common law partners separate in Alberta — to aid the transition to financial self-sufficiency. While periods vary for spousal support, it’s important for the payor to honour the agreement until the expiry date (usually, there is one in all but the longest marriages) or until a specific event ends the agreement (such as a remarriage). In some cases, a modification or termination of spousal support must be sought due to a change of circumstances that does not automatically end the agreement. To arrange [...]

By |26/09/2022|

Reasons Why You Should Hire a Family Lawyer

Separation and it's effects on a family agreement in BC A skilled family lawyer can help you avoid and resolve legal disputes regarding loved ones. However, many families in BC wait to seek assistance until the situation has gotten so bad that they need court intervention and mediation and don't know what else to do. While many people think family lawyers only handle dispute resolution, that is not all we do. We can also help prepare agreements between spouses and partners, assist with the marriage and divorce process, and protect families who are victims of domestic violence. A family [...]

By |31/08/2022|

Family Agreements After Separation in British Columbia

Separation and it's effects on a family agreement in BC Separating from a spouse involves many important decisions that have consequences for those around you, especially if there are children from your marriage or common-law relationship. You will need to decide how will you take care of the children, how property and debt will be divided, whether support payments are due, and so on. At emotional times like this, it can be challenging. The guidance and support of a family lawyer can help you and your spouse agree on the terms of the separation and draw up an [...]

By |29/08/2022|

Who Decides Whether Grandparents Can Have Contact with the Children After Parents Separate?

Deciding if Grandparents Can Have Contact with the Children After Separation When couples separate or divorce, extended family members may have concerns about their ability to continue to spend time with the children of the relationship. In particular, grandparents, who may have previously enjoyed a close relationship with the children, can find themselves wondering what they can do if the parents’ separation or divorce has resulted in their access to the children being diminished, or even cut off entirely. Conversely, parents who for various reasons may have objections to the continued involvement of grandparents or extended family in [...]

By |23/08/2022|

Top Reasons Not to Self-Represent in Alberta Family Law Matters

Representing yourself Over Family Law Matters in Alberta Some people self-represent in family law matters in Calgary. On the face of it, this may seem like a viable option but it rarely is. Often, the motivation for self-representation is to save on legal fees but many family law issues can have a huge impact on family members’ lives and, with such high stakes involved, saving a few dollars can be a false economy if the result of the dispute or legal action goes against you. Other people are worried about the impact of sharing intimate family matters with someone [...]

By |08/08/2022|

How to Obtain Emergency Child Custody in Alberta

Obtaining Emergency Child Custody Orders in Alberta The safety of one’s children is a parent’s priority and if this is put at risk, you probably don’t need reminding that it is important to act. Whether that means a call to the police or your lawyer, the family law system in Alberta can help you protect your children. You may have several options, including obtaining emergency child custody via an emergency protection order — but it can be challenging during such a concerning and stressful period to take the right steps at the right time. The following explains how you [...]

By |13/07/2022|

Property Division and the Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreements in Alberta

Enforcing Property Division & Prenuptial Agreements in Alberta Alberta’s Family Property Act provides a legislative scheme governing the division of a couple’s assets in the event of separation or divorce. The default rule under the Act is equal division of all property acquired during the relationship, subject to exemptions for things like gifts or inheritance. While courts retain discretion to order an unequal division, they are generally disinclined to do so in the absence of some exceptional circumstance creating a real imbalance in the contributions made by each spouse (Jensen v Jensen, 2009 ABCA 272). However, this default [...]

By |06/07/2022|

Intestate Succession and “Marriage-like Relationships” in BC

Intestate Succession and “Marriage-like Relationships”: Determining Who Inherits In two recent decisions, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has provided guidance concerning the circumstances in which a common law partner may qualify as a “spouse” under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”). The qualification is an important one - it determines whether the individual is entitled to inherit the estate of a partner who has died without leaving a will. In Coad v. Lariviere, 2022 BCCA 222, the applicant was found to be entitled to inherit; in Jones v. Davidson, 2022 BCCA 31, she was not. [...]

By |06/07/2022|

Child Support for Children Attending Post-Secondary Education

Child Support for a Child's Post-Secondary Education in Alberta Alberta’s Family Law Act states that every parent has an obligation to provide support for his or her child (s. 49(1)). After separation or divorce, this obligation requires parents, to the extent of their means, to share the costs associated with the care, support and educational needs of the child, and is not limited merely to providing the necessaries of life [1]. Nor is it limited to children who are minors. On the contrary, both the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act define a “child” to include one who [...]

By |30/06/2022|

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