children

When I’m acting as a personal representative (executor), do I need to be in contact with the beneficiaries?

While clear and regular communication with beneficiaries is always a good idea, it is also a requirement. At minimum, you are required to notify the beneficiaries of the following information: the name of the deceased person, your name and contact information, the gift the beneficiary will receive from the estate, and that gifts are subject […]

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I would like to add one of my children to the title of my home as a joint tenant so that she receives it when I die. Is this a good idea?

There are at least 3 things you should think about. Consider that once you’ve done that, you can longer sell the home or borrow against the home without your daughter’s consent. This limits your independence.  Further, there may be an unintended tax consequence if your daughter already owns a primary residence. Finally you may be […]

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We are taking our children to see their grandparents. I must return home to St. Albert before my wife and kids return. Do I need to sign a Travel Consent Letter?

For international travel, Canada Border Services Agency recommends that the non-travelling individual with guardianship rights, whether married or not, sign the letter in front of a notary public.  So, yes, it is recommended that you sign a Travel Consent Letter to permit your wife to re-enter Canada with your children. She may or may not […]

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My spouse and I have made a Separation Agreement. Do we need to file the written agreement with the Court for it to be binding?

No. An agreement is binding provided that it was entered into voluntarily, with a full exchange of financial information and with independent legal advice. Having said that, agreements often contain clauses dealing with matters that must be put before the Court in order to finalize a divorce, such as matters dealing with the support and […]

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My child’s other parent lives in another province. Which table do I use when calculating child support?

The Federal Child Support Guidelines (pursuant to the Divorce Act, Canada) set out tables for each province and territory. These tables show monthly amounts to be paid for a child’s basic and everyday needs, including things like food and clothes and often (though not always) things like school supplies.  When parents live in different provinces, […]

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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 […]

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Ask an Expert: I’m getting divorced. How can I prepare myself to move forward more positively?

Research shows there are three preconditions for positive change. First, something must motivate an individual to want to change. Second, a different relationship that provides psychological safety, empathy, and attunement must exist (like with a divorce coach). Third, there must be optimal anxiety—just the right amount of discomfort in the present to want to move […]

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Ask an Expert: Focus on children at Christmas.

Recently, when discussing plans for Christmas with my family, we talked about how kids may experience the holidays when their parents have recently separated or are having relationship difficulties, which can be heightened over the holidays. With so much focus on the “business” of Christmas and on the problems parents are facing themselves, the fact […]

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Ask an Expert: I am separating from my wife, and we have one 12-year-old child. I have heard that he can decide with which parent to live. Is this true?

There is no magic age before 18. The wishes of children should be heard, but one must be extremely careful of creating a popularity contest between two parents. However, if there is no evidence of one parent trying to exclude the other, the older the child, the more likely the court will follow the wishes […]

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Ask an Expert: I am separating from my children’s other parent and was told to attend the P.A.S. seminar. What is it?

The Parenting After Separation seminar is an excellent resource available to parents who are going through a separation and have children under the age of 16. This free, six-hour seminar is required to be completed before a court will grant an order dealing with parenting or supporting children. Even if you are not litigating and […]

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Ask an Expert: Why take the Parenting After Separation course?

There are three very good reasons to attend this seminar. First, it is free and a great opportunity to obtain some helpful legal and practical advice early in the separation process. Second, it is typically taught by a lawyer and a psychologist or social worker, and its focus will be on how best to meet […]

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