Helping You Resolve Family Law Disputes
Family law disputes are often emotionally charged. If you are going through a separation or divorce, especially if you have children, it can be difficult to focus on arriving at fair and effective legal solutions that meet your personal needs while being centered on meeting the needs of your children.
We put our experience to work for you to advise you on legal solutions in the important areas of:
- Residential or non-residential parenting time (“custody and access”)
- Child support
- Partner or spousal support
- Division of property and debt acquired in the course of your marriage or common law relationship
Children Come First
Children come first in any legal dispute which affects them. Children have a right to a healthy and positive relationship which each of their parents. We take a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to helping you protect your children from the personal conflict which often arises between separating or divorcing co-parents. We may advise you that personal or separation counselling may help you deal with strong negative emotions which may impact you and your children. We will help connect you to community, government, professional and other important resources that will help you achieve personal balance and focus as we advise you and help you find legal resolution.
We are happy to help families in the important work of “building” their families through different forms of legal adoption of children. We will help you draft and navigate through the detailed paperwork involved in a Spousal Step Parent Adoption.
Helping You Find A Resolution That Works
We strongly recommend the use of mediation services to help you arrive at compromise and settlement.
- Relationship counselling: Using a mediator will help you arrive at an outline of settlement called a “Memorandum of Understanding”. You and your co-parent, spouse or partner share the cost of the mediator’s professional services. We will then help you put the Memorandum of Understanding in one of the legally binding forms of domestic contracts described below. Mediation is a cost effective way to arrive at legal resolution.
We believe that your personal and legal needs are best met by helping you negotiate a fair out of court settlement of your legal issues. Our legal goal is to negotiate compromise and settlement in the form of a legally binding agreement. Depending on the legal issues and your personal needs, that agreement may take the form of:
- A Separation Agreement: this type of agreement is often reached in the weeks and months following separation but before final legal resolution of the legal issues such as by a divorce judgment and corollary relief order
- Minutes of Settlement: as the title suggests, this type of agreement is a formal and complete statement of the settlement between your co-parent or former spouse or partner on all legal issues. The terms of Minutes of Settlement are often condensed and incorporated in a divorce judgment and corollary relief order
- Property Division Agreement: this type of agreement deals with the division of property and debt acquired during the course of a marriage or common law relationship where parenting and child or spousal/partner support issues do not arise.
We strive to render proactive and cost effective legal services to help avoid legal disputes and conflicts in the first place. This may often be achieved by advising you at the start of a marriage or common law relationship or early in a marriage or common law relationship by drafting:
- A Pre-nuptial Agreement: this type of agreement is strongly recommended if you are entering into a second or later relationship or later marriage after you have accumulated significant personal assets or net worth. This type of agreement is also an important estate planning tool.
- Cohabitation Agreement: this type of agreement resembles a Pre-nuptial Agreement and sets out rights between the parties entering into a “common law” relationship contemplated by the Adult Interdependent Relations Act in Alberta.