In today’s fast paced, high powered society, in order to sustain a decent standard of living, both spouses are required to work and contribute to the household, especially if there are children involved. Other households rely on a single income in order to make ends meet. Whatever the case is, upon a dissolution of a relationship, it is important to PROTECT THE INTERESTS of the party that stands to lose from the income of the other party once relied on.
‘Til Death Do Us Part is sometimes easier said then done. We may come to a point in our lives where the emotional and physical burden of carrying on with our partner is simply overwhelming.
Remember when you were moving out of your parents’ house to be with your significant other in your first ever joint residence? Saying goodbye, there were tears of course, but wasn’t there also a sly degree of happiness? You got to make you own rules, for the first time ever…subject to your significant other.
We live for our children. There is no other way to look at it. No matter what is happening with our spouse or common law partner, we simply cannot let our children down. Upon the dissolution of the relationship, one party may have primary care and control of the children, while the other party could have limited parenting time with the children.
Nobody should be a party to and on the receiving end of domestic abuse. So many victims stay silent and continue to live with the abuser, at the risk to themselves and their children.
From the moment we bring children into this world, we have a duty to make sure that we provide for them, take care of them, and incentivize them, so they will succeed and one day take care of us. When there is a relationship breakdown between the parties, children often suffer the most. They may be exposed to arguments, parental substance abuse, changes in their daily routine and distancing from other family and friends.
You may have focused on developing your career first, and as a result gained a moderate amount of financial wealth. However, it is only now that you find yourself in a first real relationship. You feel that this is the right person to spend the rest of your life with, however, you are cautious. On the other hand, your relationship has deteriorated, and you want to ensure that the verbal contract you have with your ex-partner is solidified.
Your relationship is growing, but you do not believe in the traditional concept of marriage, or do not believe marriage should define the type of bond that you have with your significant other. Marriage may eventually happen, but for now, it is not necessary to validate the beautiful relationship that you have and continue to build on.
The FLA is the main law regarding the principles of legal family matters in Alberta. It covers mainly child, spouse or partner support, parenting rights and obligations, contact orders, and other related topics. However, it does not include matters such as divorce, adoption and children’s welfare.
Child support is the financial aid provided to the child by their parents or guardians. It is usually granted when the parents of the child do not live together nor have equal control over them, and so the parent who takes care of the child the most can request the other to pay child support.
Child Support is paid by either:
- Biological parents
- Adoptive parents
- Legal guardians
- Someone who has acted as a parent to the child (e.g. stepparents)
The payments are made directly to the adult who has the care and control over the child every month. Child Support usually lasts until the child reaches 18 years old, but can be extended if the child needs financial aid due to illness, disability or if they seek higher education, in which the parent would assist in the payment of their university or college costs.
No, but it is the best option. While the parents or guardians of the child can arrange the terms of the child support and contact orders by arbitration or mediation, it is highly advisable that they also seek a court order. By doing so, both parties guarantee that their case will have a proper record and can be easily enforced by the Family Responsibility Office.
Yes. If the economic situation of one of the parents changes dramatically, either can request that the child support reflects that. This includes both when the finances drop or increase significantly.
In most aspects, marriage and common law are very similar, especially when it comes to the rights and obligations towards child support. The main difference is regarding the division of property.
Married couples getting a divorce will both benefit, as much as possible, from the division of property. That is, if they own a matrimonial home together, the divorce procedure will outline their property rights and result in a balanced partition. The same does not happen with common-law partners, who do not share rights of properties and will not go through this division.
No, but it is recommended that you get one. Having a lawyer to assist you will soothe the often heavy burden of a divorce. A lawyer will take care of the paperwork and negotiations while also guiding you through the process.
Divorce applications can go through the Superior Court of Justice or the Alberta Family Court. The fee for an application is around C$260 and the process can take up to three months to finish.
There are three grounds on which a person can apply for a divorce: Separation, Cruelty and Adultery.
The first requires the couple to separate for one year before filing a divorce. This does not mean that the couple needs to live apart, however, as long as there is a clear distinction between their physical space and no intentions of remaining in any sort of intimate relationship.
The Cruelty ground applies to individuals who wish to terminate their marriage based on any abuse that they might have suffered. This includes physical and psychological abuse, domestic violence, excessive drinking or drug use.
Lastly, a person can ask for divorce on the grounds of adultery. If one person has cheated on the other by having sexual relationships with another, outside of the marriage, their spouse can file for a divorce as long as there is evidence of adultery or an affidavit confirming the fact.
Any person who might fall victim to violence committed by members of their family can require an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) at any time, including weekends and holidays.
This order will enforce that the abuser does not come near the protected family members, leave the family home and get their weapons seized by the police.
The order will last for one year after being granted, but it is possible to renew it if the situation does not change.
If someone breaches the emergency protection order, you must call the police immediately, without contacting the person. It is always good to keep a copy of the EPO with you to instruct the officers about your situation. The police might then arrest the family member causing harm, and a criminal suit will take place.