How long does it take to get divorced

The first questions many family lawyers are asked by their clients are, “How long does the divorce process take?” and, “When will I be divorced?” Well, there is a more short and theoretical answer and a longer, more complex one. I have included both here for you below. 1. The Short Answer to the Divorce Process:… View More

Alison J . Chickloski

Claiming Spousal and Child Tax Benefits, Credits and Deductions

Claiming child tax benefits and spousal support tax deductions after separating from your spouse and divorcing is extremely important to have confirmed to avoid disagreement and delay by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) processing these credits, benefits and deductions. Child Tax Benefits and Deductions Parties often do not understand who claims the Canada Child benefit (CCB)[i] as… View More

Nicholas J. Van Duyvenbode

Who Is and How to Become a Legal Guardian of a Child

As we have previously discussed, guardianship in Alberta grants an individual certain rights and responsibilities towards a child. These rights include, among other items, the ability to decide where a child lives, who they live with, their education, their medical treatment and their cultural upbringing. Given the importance guardianship has in a child’s development and life, it’s… View More

Roger G. Rouault

Step Parent Adoption in Alberta

The process of adopting a step child begins when the birth parent to the child and his or her new spouse files an Application in the Court of Queen’s Bench. The adoption forms which are necessary at the same time include affidavits that outline the child’s birth parents, date and place of birth, the child’s… View More

Alison J . Chickloski

Separation, Divorce and Privacy Protection Issues

When separating or divorcing, parties often are faced with having to disentangle and protect their personal information, whether that being accounts with passwords, back-up questions to accounts, cloud computing with automatic uploading of information or social media access. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION? Separating or divorcing spouses are strongly encouraged to… View More

Nicholas J. Van Duyvenbode

Child Support and Undue Hardship

Child support is crucial for ensuring that children have the financial support they need. However, the cost of supporting a child can be quite expensive. For parents struggling to make their child support payments, it is possible for the amount of child support payments to be reduced if they are creating an undue hardship on… View More

Roger G. Rouault

Rights of Common Law Couples During a Break Up

We often hear the term “common law couples” used for non-married couples in Alberta.  Common-law couples have different rights than married couples upon the breakdown of a relationship.  The rights of unmarried persons in Alberta can be better explained by dividing them in two categories: the rights given to unmarried couples by legislation; and the… View More

Sean Moldowan

Independent Legal Advice: Is it Necessary for Divorce?

With various divorce processes having the potential to cost a lot of money, it’s no surprise that many divorcing couples seek ways to keep their costs to a minimum. To do this, many chose to prepare and file the required paperwork on their own, without the assistance of a lawyer. These couples are often surprised… View More

Diana J. Richmond

What is the Dispute Resolution Program and Why is it Compulsory?

The Dispute Resolution Officer program was first introduced in Calgary in 2001 as a pilot project.  It is now, and has been for many years, mandatory in both Calgary and Edmonton prior to any child support application being brought at the Court of Queen’s Bench level.  This means that you need to attend a DRO… View More

Debra J. Price

Negotiation, Mediation or Arbitration in Family Law: Which is Best?

When parties separate and commence the divorce process or when they decide to settle support or parenting matters, many times they advise their family lawyer that they do not want to end up in court or have their matter decided by a judge. Instead, the parties will look to his or her lawyer for options… View More

Alison J . Chickloski

Post-Secondary Education Expense Obligations for Separated or Divorced Parents

Section 7 of the Alberta Child Support Guidelines and the Federal Child Support Guidelines sets out a number of expenses that are to be shared by the parents of a child. Such expenses are above and beyond any monthly child support amounts, and are shared by the parents’ in proportion to their incomes. Though Section… View More

Alison J . Chickloski

Unequal Division of Matrimonial Property

Under Alberta’s Matrimonial Property Act, there is a presumption that all property acquired during marriage is divided equally between the spouses, as long as the property is not exempt (see my post on exempt property). It does not matter if the property is held in joint names or in one spouse’s name alone. However, there may be… View More

Alison J . Chickloski

How am I able to claim the dependent deductions?

The decision of Harder v. The Queen 2016 TCC197 dealt with the Appeal of a Child Support Order in which there was shared parenting. Mr. Harder earned more money than his ex-wife, and the two shared the parenting of their children. As a result, following Federal Child Support Tables for Alberta, Mr. Harder paid a simple offset amount, that being the… View More

Aaron vanin

Financial Disclosure What am I entitled to receive and required to provide?

In family law matters, updated and complete financial information is necessary. Both parties need this information in order to have clear understanding as to their joint and individual financial circumstances and in order to properly negotiate or litigate child support, spousal support or matrimonial property issues. If the parties are unable to agree between them… View More

Sean Moldowan

The Pitfalls Of Foreign Marriage And Divorce: Part 2

Getting divorced in another country can also lead to some unintended consequences. In my last blog post, I discussed the potential issues with getting married outside of your home country. In order to get divorce in Alberta, you or your spouse must have lived in Alberta for one year prior to filing the divorce paperwork…. View More

Alison J . Chickloski

High Income Earners – Child Support and Incomes Over $150,000

The Child Support Guidelines, which were first adopted federally in 1997, and subsequently shortly after in Alberta have become a strong source for the standardization of child support payments in family law. There are however particular exceptions that are built into the Guidelines to provide the courts with greater flexibility to determine child support obligations.  One such exception… View More

Nicholas J. Van Duyvenbode

The Pitfalls of Foreign Marriage and Divorce: Part 1

The issues of foreign marriage and foreign divorce are arising more and more frequently due to globalisation and the increasing ease of travel between international borders. Before considering a foreign marriage, it is important to investigate whether the marriage will be recognized in your home jurisdiction. If you are a resident of Alberta and are… View More

Alison J . Chickloski

In Loco Parentis – Step Parents, Unwed Parents, Non-biological Parents and Child Support

Dating back to the 19th Century, Canadian courts have legitimized the presence of a non-biological parent of a child for custody purposes and in modern times, with increasing importance, child support obligations. In loco parentis is a Latin term that translates to “in place of a parent”, which may seem to be a crude or ill-fitting term… View More

Nicholas J. Van Duyvenbode

Understanding Guardianship, Parenting Orders and Parenting Time.

In 2003, the Family Law Act (FLA) received royal assent in the Alberta legislature and created significant change in the family law context. Prior to this most recent legislation, decisions were made in terms of custody to one or both parents, and access to a parent or another individual who had an invested interest in… View More

Nicholas J. Van Duyvenbode