Family law is a wide-ranging field of law that serves many purposes, especially in family situations that are more difficult than pop culture would have you believe. Many sensitive family matters require the close attention and professional acumen of a family lawyer.
With our vast experience in family law, we can offer the support and guidance you need when it comes to divorce, separation, child custody, cohabitation agreements, and prenuptial agreements. Family law is a very personal field. This is why the professionals here at Heritage Law take these types of issues to heart.
Let our legal experts help ease the difficult transition of a changing or blending family with the following family law services.
Divorce and Separation Lawyers Edmonton
Despite popular belief, the terms divorce and separation are not interchangeable. Divorce involves terminating a legal marriage, while separation allows spouses to live apart without legal divorce.
Splitting up is an unfortunate reality for many married couples, and it’s important to understand your options as well as the process.
In the province of Alberta, you need necessary grounds in order to file for a divorce, such as adultery, abuse, or living separate and apart for one year.
Having a lawyer during the process of divorce is not necessary but highly recommended. Our skilled Edmonton divorce lawyers can properly prepare documents and support you during any necessary court hearings.
Separation, on the other hand, involves living separately from your spouse while still remaining legally married.
Couples opt for this course of action for many reasons, such as allowing some space to work through marital issues, retaining medical and health benefits, and avoiding a potentially long and costly court process.
Separation agreements are created to settle matters such as custody, property, etc.
A separation can be ended by filing a motion to dismiss, but it’s important that you have all documentation reviewed by a lawyer to there are no delays in the process.
However, a separation agreement can also be converted into a divorce settlement.
No matter what direction a separation or divorce goes, it’s important to have family law professionals in Edmonton to guide you through the process.
Many family law situations involve children, and their welfare is the most important aspect of any serious family change. In many cases, child custody is an intensely contested family law matter.
When children are involved, emotions can run high, and it can be easy to get carried away with arguments and disputes. You can best protect the best interests of you and your children by seeking the support of child custody lawyers in Edmonton.
Child custody involves so much more than simply where the child will live.
One of the first things to consider is custody and access. Custody refers to the ability to make major decisions about the child’s life, such as health, education, and welfare. Access defines the other parent’s right to see the child and make inquiries regarding the child’s life.
There are also four different types of child custody:
- Joint Custody: Both parents are expected to cooperate and make decisions together that may impact the child.
- Shared Custody: This is a version of joint custody where the child lives with each parent for at least 40% of the time.
- Split Custody: While operating under the rules of joint custody, one parent has sole custody of one or more siblings while the remaining siblings live with the other parent.
- Sole Custody: One parent has the final say in all decisions regarding the child, but the child still has access to the other parent.
Custody arrangements can be decided between the parents, but most are unable to come to an agreement without formal help. In the case of child custody, it’s important to speak with child custody lawyers in Edmonton.
If you have been living with a significant other for an extended period of time, you may want to consider having a cohabitation agreement.
Even though there are laws in place for common-law couples, an official agreement will protect each member of the relationship in the case of separation or other forms of estrangement.
You don’t have to be married to run into issues after the relationship is over. Without a cohabitation agreement, your ex may have a legal claim to some of your shared assets, or you may be held responsible for any debt they accrued during the relationship.
While cohabitation agreements in Alberta are not a legal requirement, you should consider getting one if you are interested in protecting your assets after the relationship is over.
Keep in mind that a cohabitation agreement only applies to non-married couples and does not constitute a prenuptial agreement upon marriage.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract made between a couple prior to marriage. It dictates their legal rights and obligations in the event of divorce or separation.
These types of agreements typically include information such as property, debts, and assets, as well as support obligations and the division of property and debts if the marriage breaks down.
However, prenuptial agreements do not include child custody and access. This is determined by the court during the time of divorce or separation.
Also, you cannot enter a prenup if you are already married, but you can enter a postnuptial agreement.
Prenups can get tricky since you want to make sure each member of the relationship is treated fairly and no one is taken advantage of. Be sure to contact a prenuptial agreement lawyer in Edmonton before signing anything.
Family Lawyers South Edmonton – Here to Support You!
With over 30 years of family law experience, our team at Heritage Law provides quality legal representation and keeps your best interests in mind.
Let us take care of the process and provide you with the resources necessary to make the best decision for you and your family.