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Vancouver and Edmonton Family Law Blog

Family law agreements are helpful in many situations

More Alberta couples are recognizing that their relationships have more complexities than just emotions. You may be in love with your partner, but you also purchase property together, share a bank account and accumulate debt. These are serious matters that have little to do with your feelings. While taking these actions may seem to solidify your union, they also make things complicated if the relationship ends.

If you and your partner are considering marriage or cohabitation, the last thing you want to think about is whether you will break up. However, since you do not always have control of the path life takes, it is reasonable to take steps to prepare for that potential and to protect yourself and your partner in case that time comes.

Children's issues: Child gets non-gender-specific health card

Babies born today may be registered at birth with a nonspecific gender. A child born in British Columbia was issued a health card without identifying a specific gender. When it comes to children's issues -- this is the first time this had been done ever anywhere in the world. Experts said it may be paving the way for birth certificates to be issued in the same way.

The parent of the child identifies as nonbinary transgender and wants the child to choose "their" own gender when old enough. The child's family does not use the he or she pronouns when referring to the child, but use the pronoun, their. Eight individuals, including the parent of this child, are petitioning the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal for the right to change their own birth certificates. 

Family law: More grandparents are raising their grandchildren

There are times when grandparents have to step in to raise their grandchildren. Family law rules in Alberta can make this a possibility and an Edmonton step-grandfather knows this first hand since he is doing just that even though he's in his 60s. The man is raising two toddlers, and he is not in a class by himself since there are some grandparents today doing exactly the same thing.

Statistics from 2011 showed that 72,000 Canadian grandparents were raising their grandchildren. Despite stepping up to the plate when their own children couldn't, there is still a stigma attached to it, according to the step-grandfather who says people ask him why he thinks he could do a better job the second time around. But he also says governments would rather have children raised by relatives who care about them rather than putting them into foster care, and apparently, grandparents agree.

British Columbia family law: The notice of attachment form

There are many things that go hand in hand with being divorced or separated. There are so many terms and documents that are connected with British Columbia family law in this respect. Take, for instance, a notice of attachment form, which is issued when a payor of child and/or spousal support is in arrears with payments. This form needs to be filled out by those who owe a payor money so that a portion or all money owed to the payor can be paid to the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP). This is also known as a garnishment.

A payor's money can come from a number of sources. They can include a place of employment, pensions or workers' compensation benefits. Other areas which can be garnished are funds obtained from rental property, banks accounts, ICBC claims or disability payments. Attachees must respond to all notices of attachment and send payments on behalf of the recipient to the FMEP.

Alberta family law: The costs of a contentious divorce

Ironically, the more a couple agrees on the particulars of divorce, the smoother and less costly the process is likely to be. So, it's important to be on the same page about major issues to avoid ending up in front of a family court judge. Family law rules govern divorce in Alberta and the process can be costly, although how much it will actually cost varies from couple to couple.

One thing seems to be certain, though. A divorce usually ends up being much less costly if it's amicable. It's always costlier going to court since court fees can add up. When a couple can't agree on important aspects of a divorce, added expenses can multiply. In fact, it's likely to cost several thousands of dollars more when there's a court battle.

Plan carefully if you want to relocate with your children

One lesson you may have learned by this point in your life is that things change. Fortunes come and go. Children grow up. Relationships end. You may have firsthand knowledge of how change can affect your life and the lives of those around you. Not all change is bad, and when the opportunity for a new experience comes along, you may be the kind of person to seize the moment.

Perhaps this is the situation you are in now. Whether you have a business opportunity, you want to be closer to family or you simply want to make a move, you have a lot to consider, especially if you have children and your time with them is governed by a court-ordered parenting arrangement. Moving across town may not make much difference unless your impending move will affect the parenting schedule of you or your former partner.

Understand your legal options. Make informed decisions. Contact the family law lawyers of Henderson Heinrichs LLP

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