Navigating Common Family Law Issues in Alberta: Property, Spousal, and Child Support

If you are going through a family law case in Alberta, you may be facing common issues such as property division, spousal support, and child support. These issues can be complicated and emotionally charged, making it crucial to have a clear understanding of your rights and obligations under the law.

When it comes to property division, Alberta law sets out specific rules for dividing property between married couples and unmarried partners. Recent changes to the law mean that unmarried partners now have clearer guidelines for dividing property if their relationship breaks down. However, disputes can still arise, especially when it comes to dividing complex assets such as businesses or pensions.

Spousal support is another common issue in family law cases. This type of support aims to help even out the financial disparity between partners after separation or divorce. The amount and duration of spousal support can vary widely depending on factors such as the length of the relationship, each partner’s income, and their ability to earn income in the future. Child support is also a crucial issue, as it ensures that children’s basic needs are met after their parents separate or divorce.

Property Division

In Alberta, family law cases often involve the complex issue of property division. The Family Property Act and the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act are the two primary pieces of legislation that govern property division for married and unmarried couples, respectively.

The Family Property Act applies to married couples and outlines the process for dividing property equitably between spouses. Typically, an equal division of property is sought, but there are circumstances in which an unequal division may be deemed more fair. Property subject to division can include real estate, personal property, and even debts.

On the other hand, the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act pertains to unmarried couples who have either lived together for a minimum of three years or have entered into an adult interdependent partner agreement. This act also governs the division of property in these relationships, ensuring that both parties are treated fairly.

It is important to recognize that there are specific exemptions from property division under both acts. These exemptions may include property owned by one spouse before the relationship, gifts received from third parties, and life insurance policy proceeds. These exemptions aim to protect certain assets from being unfairly divided.

Property division in family law cases can be particularly challenging and contentious when significant assets are involved. Given the intricacies of the legal process and the potential for disputes, it is highly recommended that individuals seek the guidance of a family lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that the division of property is carried out in a fair and equitable manner.

Spousal Support

If you are going through a divorce or separation in Alberta, you may be wondering about spousal support. Spousal support is financial assistance paid by one spouse to the other after the breakdown of a marriage or common-law relationship. The purpose of spousal support is to help the recipient spouse become financially self-sufficient. In Alberta, spousal support is calculated based on a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • The financial means and needs of both spouses
  • The length of the marriage
  • The roles of each spouse during their marriage
  • The effect of those roles and the breakdown of the marriage on both spouses’ current financial positions

When determining spousal support, the Court will first look to the objectives of a support order serving, as set out in section 15.2 (6) of the Divorce Act, including:

  • Relief of Economic Hardship Arising from the Breakdown of the Marriage
  • Promotion of the Economic Self-Sufficiency of the Spouses
  • Conditions, Means, and Needs of the Spouses

It is important to note that spousal support is not automatic and is not guaranteed in every case. The amount and duration of spousal support will depend on the specific circumstances of each case. If you are seeking spousal support or if you are being asked to pay spousal support, it is important to consult with a family law lawyer who can advise you on your rights and obligations.

Child Support

Fort Saskatchewan Family LawyerChild support is an important issue in family law cases involving children. The amount of child support that must be paid by one parent to the other is determined by the Child Support Guidelines, which are based on the income of the paying parent and the number of children involved.

The Guidelines provide a formula for calculating the amount of child support that must be paid, and this formula takes into account the income of the paying parent, the number of children involved, and the province in which the paying parent resides.

If parents have more than one child and each parent has at least one child for at least 60% of their time, this is known as “split custody.” In this case, the amount of child support that must be paid is calculated separately for each child, and the paying parent may end up paying child support to the other parent.

Finally, “shared custody” applies when a child spends at least 40% of their time with each parent. In this case, the amount of child support that must be paid is reduced to reflect the fact that the child spends a significant amount of time with each parent.

It is important to note that child support is the right of the child, not the parent, and therefore cannot be waived or negotiated away by the parents. The amount of child support that must be paid can only be changed if there is a significant change in the income of the paying parent or the needs of the child. If you are the parent who is paying child support, it is important to keep accurate records of your income and expenses so that you can demonstrate any changes in your financial circumstances that may affect the amount of child support that you are required to pay.

How We Can Help

If you are facing a family law matter in Alberta, it is important to have a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer on your side. The Kurie Moore Law Group based in Sherwood Park can provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need to navigate the complexities of family law.

Our team of family law experts can assist you with a variety of legal issues, including property division, spousal support, and child support. We understand that these matters can be emotionally charged and stressful, which is why we strive to provide compassionate and personalized legal services to our clients.

At Kurie Moore Law Group, we believe in taking a collaborative and proactive approach to family law cases. We work closely with our clients to understand their unique needs and goals, and we develop customized legal strategies to achieve the best possible outcome for them.

Whether you are going through a divorce, separating from your partner, or dealing with other family law issues, we are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you with your family law matter.

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