Family Law Lawyers in Strathmore AB Putting Your Best Interests First
Family law is often one of the most challenging branches of law 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.
A family law lawyer is a lawyer who has worked mainly in the area of family law and who may typically handle any number of personal issues such as, but not limited to:
- Divorce, Separations, and Annulments
- Custody and Child Support Issues
- Adult Interdependent Partner and Spousal Support
While experiencing these or any number of other family law-related scenarios, a practiced lawyer will work closely with you in order to meet your desired outcome through a dispute-resolution process of negotiation, collaboration, mediation, and litigation.
Adoption is a program that is regulated differently from province to province. In Alberta, a family law lawyer can help you navigate all three separate types of adoptions;
Adoption of an Alberta Child in Care:
Adopting a child or group of siblings who have been placed in permanent government care can be a long and arduous process. The Alberta Children Services trains families in order to prepare them to match with an adoptable child.
Gaining permanent custody of a child who lives in another company requires additional steps due to having several steps with unpredictable timelines. You will also be going through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which has the sole authority for admitting a child into Canada. International adoptions may take three to four years and cost $15,000 – $40,000 to complete.
Private adoption, where a child is adopted directly, through a licensed agency, or by a spouse/step-parent, is the simplest form of adoption in terms of the steps needed to complete the process. However, private adoption can come with many legal complications depending upon the birth parents’ involvement in the child’s life.
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.
Divorce, Separations, and Annulments
Even before someone files for divorce, a family law lawyer will typically start working for them, reviewing the grounds for the divorce and helping to provide statements, documentation, and evidence if needed to show the court.
Any lawyer may often work in contract dissolution. A real estate lawyer may help dissolve a contract over a purchase disagreement. Marriage, in the eyes of the law, is a legal contract. And as such, a divorce is often known as a “Dissolution of Marriage.” A lawyer with a history of family law will assist in the dissolution of your marriage contract, redistribution of assets and property, alimony, child support, and much more.
While navigating the dissolution of everything your spouse and you shared in so many ways, it can be helpful to have someone with knowledge of contract inner-workings to guide you through the process.
There are three types of marital or adult independent partnership separations that a family law lawyer can help you navigate:
- Dissolution/Divorce: 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.
- Annulment/Nullity: To nullify or annul a marriage or domestic partnership, a court ends a marriage by deciding that the marriage was not legal.
Child Custody and Child Support Issues
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
When the average person thinks ‘custody,’ they are most likely considering physical custody. Physical custody regards whom the child spends the most in the direct care of, as well as with whom the child lives.
Legal custody is regarding what person makes essential legal decisions for the child, decisions concerning medical care, schooling, or other matters.
Sole vs. Joint Custody:
Joint custody is when two parties share custody over the child. While it is rarely an exact 50/50 split, both parents are meant to receive the same amount of time with the child and have equal input on their well-being and significant life decisions. Joint custody is intended to be the default in the state of California.
Sole custody is when a child resides primarily or permanently with one parent or guardian.
Adult Interdependent Partner and Spousal Support
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.
Enacted after the Divorce and Family Law Act, some situations could result in one spouse or partner (the payor) being ordered to give the other (the receiver) a payment in support throughout a predetermined time:
- When the care of children is determined to go above and beyond what is covered by child support
- When one spouse or partner stands to benefit or be disadvantaged unfairly by a divorce or separation
- When the disadvantaged spouse or partner is unable to support themselves within a sustainable amount of time
- To lessen the hardship that may take place in one spouse or partner’s life due to the act of the divorce itself
Each spouse or partner, during the divorce, will probably consult with a family law lawyer; therefore, they should already have a working relationship with someone who can help them determine an adult interdependent partner or spousal support terms for which to ask. Ultimately, however, the court determines the payor spouse or partner will provide the amount and length of time support.
Spousal or adult interdependent partner support is not intended as a reward or punishment for either partner or spouse; therefore, misconduct during a partnership, marriage or divorce, or separation proceedings should play no part in the support ruling.