Family Law

While going to court may resolve the outcome of a legal issue, it is often not the way to resolve family conflict.

While sometimes necessary and unavoidable, going to court often creates fear around possible outcomes and polarizes family members, particularly when a relationship with children will be affected. In the lead up to going to court, negative feelings and perceptions can escalate and children witness that animosity and fear. Rather than heading down that road, choose […]

Read More...

What’s the difference between a Prenuptial Agreement and a Cohabitation Agreement?

A Prenuptial Agreement is an agreement made before marriage usually to resolve issues of support and property division if the marriage ends in divorce or death. It can be entered into in contemplation of marriage but it is unenforceable until after the marriage. A Cohabitation Agreement is an agreement outlining the property and financial arrangements […]

Read More...

How is calculating spousal support different than calculating child support?

Unlike the tables for child support, which are law pursuant to the Divorce Act, the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines have never been enacted and are an informational tool only. The danger in relying on just these tables is that only some crucial considerations are addressed. The first question – what factors affect entitlement to support […]

Read More...

Do I need a travel consent letter to travel with my children?

If you plan to travel outside of Canada with your children and without the other parent, then we strongly recommend having the other parent sign a travel consent letter well in advance of your travel date. This recommendation applies whether you are divorced or married and anytime when your children are travelling with one one […]

Read More...

Divorced? Have you changed your will?

Recent changes to estate legislation in Alberta now cause a gift in a will to a former spouse to be revoked, unless a contrary intention can be shown. However, this new rule only applies to situations where the divorce was granted after the changes were proclaimed, which happened in February 2012. If you were divorced […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: My wife and I are separating and we have come to an agreement dividing all of our property. Why do we need to provide so much financial information to our lawyers to get a legal Separation Agreement drawn and signed?

Your lawyer and your wife’s lawyer must certify that they have given their clients, separate and apart from the other, independent legal advice. To do that properly, the lawyers must assess your financial situation thoroughly, much like a surgeon will not operate at your request without a complete examination prior to surgery. Like a surgeon, a lawyer can then […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: What really are the differences between using the collaborative process rather than going to court?

There are a lot of reasons why so many people are choosing to resolve matters arising on separation outside of the court system. Some of the big ones include: 1. Confidentiality. Many personal and financial details can otherwise become part of the filed documents. 2. Creativity. Working together offers many more options regarding how to […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: I’m getting divorced. Can I move to another province?

There are no restrictions on moving to another province. However, if you have not finalized matters and if you expect that you will need to resolve matters in court rather than through negotiation, you need to consider the residency requirements in the Divorce Act. To start a divorce action, you or your ex-spouse need to […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: I think my marriage is over. I’m worried about all the debt we have together. What can I do?

Identify joint debts such as mortgages, personal loans, lines of credit, and credit cards. Joint debts will remain your responsibility even though your spouse may be willing to take them over. Your lender does not care about an agreement between you and your spouse when it comes to joint debt. The only way to get […]

Read More...

Ask an Expert: My ex-spouse and I do not communicate very well right now and use email to talk about our kids, but the emails seem so nasty. What can I do?

First, take a breath! Resist the temptation to respond immediately. Take the time to consider whether you need to respond at all, and if you do, consider trying a BIFF Response. This approach, developed by the High Conflict Institute, recommends being brief, informative, friendly, and firm. Keep it short and resist getting personal. Stick to […]

Read More...