Family Law Lawyers in Calgary, AB Putting Your Best Interests First
FAMILY LAW MEDIATION
Family law is often one of the most challenging branches due to the cases’ interpersonal nature. Litigation in family law often pits couples, relatives, or those who have had long and storied histories against one another. Those types of legal cases can all too often end up with heartbreak and destroyed feelings.
Any legal services involved in commercial law will tell you that a family law matter can quickly turn ugly. From prenuptial agreements, divorce settlements, and parenting arrangements to child welfare cases and vicious family violence issues, family lawyers often see some of the most contentious legal processes in provincial court. Such cases regarding family-related legal issues tend to be drawn out in court, raising legal fees during the process.
It is paramount to seek legal counsel from a family law practice who will draw up a plan using the appropriate circumstances for a conflict resolution approach, settling the client’s interests in a cost-effective manner. So, begin making informed decisions in your settlement negotiations today by scheduling your initial consultation with one of the professional family law lawyers at Getz Collins and Associates: (587) 849-4470
What Does a Family Lawyer Do?
Any law firm that provides family law services will tell you that the vast field is numerous. Typically, it can include, but is not limited to:
- Adoptions and Guardianship
- Dependent Adult Applications for Support and Spousal Support
- Custody and Child Support Issues
- Divorce, Postnuptial Agreements, and Property Division
During any of these family matters, a family law lawyer will work closely with the client’s interests while drafting agreements and approaching the opposing party in as best a non-adversarial manner as possible.
Using collaborative law, dispute resolution processes and an interworking knowledge of case law, a member of a family law firm such as Getz Collins and Associates will handle whatever family law services you need.
Adoptions and Guardianship
Adopting or securing guardianship for a child is regulated differently depending on the province you reside in. In Alberta, a qualified family lawyer will be able to help you through all three types of adoption:
Adoption of an Alberta Child in Care
While adopting a child or sibling group who is in the permanent care of the Albertan government, you may be trained and prepared to match with a specific adoptable child who matches with your family. It can be a long and complex process but is one of the most well-established and satisfying.
Establishing yourself as the guardian of a child who lives in another country requires additional steps, which have unpredictable timetables. This also requires the prospective parent to go through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the sole authority for accepting children into the country. International adoptions may take three to four years and cost $15,000 – $40,000 to complete.
Adopting a child privately is the simplest form of adoption. There are many reasons a parent or guardian may do this:
- Directly from a relative or a known entity
- Through a licensed adoption agency
- Adopting a child as a step-parent
As simple as private adoption can be, it is often paired with legal complications if the birth parents are not consenting to the adoption.
To be eligible to apply for adoption in Alberta, you must be a resident at the time of application, approval, and placement, according to Alberta’s Child, Youth, and Family Enhancement Act.
Dependent Adult Applications for Support and Spousal Support
When cohabitation agreements such as marriage or dependent adult relationships end, there are different ways to go about the separation process. After a divorce or separation agreement, a court may decide that one spouse or partner will suffer severely unequal disadvantages due to the separation. In alternative dispute resolution, the court will order the lesser encumbered spouse to pay a form of spousal support or dependent adult support to the more financially affected party for a certain amount of time.
Some situations could result in one spouse (known as the payor) giving the other (receiver) spouse money for anywhere between half the amount of time they lived together to an amount of time equivalent to the entirety of the relationship or anywhere in between.
Adult interdependent partner support or spousal support is obtained when, after a divorce, a court has decided that one spouse will be placed at a substantial financial disadvantage after divorce or separation.
This form of a postnuptial agreement is not considered a punishment to the payor party nor a reward to the receiving spouse. There can be serious consequences if a court is found to have taken misconduct during the partnership, marriage, or divorce/separation proceedings into the calculation of partner or spousal support amount.
Child Custody and Child Support Issues
There are four types of child custody; a few combinations of which can occur when a marriage or partnership between two legally recognized parents is dissolved;
First, what constitutes child custody? There are four types of legally-defined custody:
- Physical custody
- Legal custody
- Sole custody
- Joint custody
Physical vs. Legal Custody
Most people think of physical custody, or which guardian spends the most parenting time with the child, when they hear the term ‘custody.’ This definition regards the daily parenting of the child, as well as the child’s living situation.
The parent who controls “legal custody” of the child is the one that makes the legal decisions for the child, such as their medical care, schooling, and other such matters.
Sole vs. Joint Custody
If “sole” custody is granted to one parent or guardian, one of the parents will do the primary parenting more than 50% of the time. This will also be the parent with who the child lives.
Joint custody is the default state, as the court’s stance is in the child’s best interest. It is determined, outside of some special or extenuating circumstances, that a child’s mental and physical well-being is better off if they can split their time 50/50 with both parents in the case of a divorce.
Divorce, Postnuptial Agreements, and Property Division
In real estate law, a lawyer may dissolve a purchasing agreement contract. In business law, company mergers or buy-outs may be disbanded after the fact. As in these fields of law, marriage is a legal contract that needs to be dissolved through various separation agreements. This dissolution is the responsibility of the lawyer with a background in family law.
A family law lawyer will often start working on a divorce well before the divorce itself is filed. The lawyer will begin working for their side, reviewing grounds, drafting statements, documenting, and gathering evidence (if needed) to provide their client’s case to the court.
There are three types of marital or adult independent partnership separations that a family law lawyer can help you navigate:
- Dissolution of Marriage, more commonly known as divorce, is a standard solution to separate a marriage. Dissolution ends all legal bonds between the two individuals. Either partner may request or petition a divorce. Neither spouse can force the other to remain in the partnership nor stop the process by refusing to participate. Divorces take at least six months to finalize. You must have resided in California for six months to file for divorce in California.
- Legal Separation:
- A legal separation does not end a marriage or domestic partnership. It allows individuals to live separately legally and make individual choices regarding property, money, and children. You cannot marry another person while in a legal separation. However, you cannot ask a court to order a division of debts, property, custody, or support. You do not have to be considered a resident to file for legal separation in California.
- To nullify or annul a marriage or domestic partnership, a court ends a marriage by deciding that the marriage was not legal.
In ugly divorce cases, a family law lawyer may also help an individual with emergency protection orders from their ex-spouse or partner if they feel their livelihood or safety is threatened.
The dissolution of marriage can be a difficult road to manage. While doing so, consultation with an experienced family law lawyer can provide a severe upper hand toward dispute resolution that can turn a headache into the turning of a new page. When you are ready for the legal expertise of a law firm that is ready to enter civil litigation with you, call the folks at Getz Collins and Associates to get started: (587) 849-4470