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October 2019 Archives

Children's issues: Too many delays for autism diagnoses

There is likely nothing more frustrating for any parent than waiting on a diagnosis for their child. British Columbia parents concerned with children's issues have become vocal when it comes to how the province handles diagnosing children with autism. Parents say the diagnosis procedure also needs to be revamped with more health care providers trained in diagnostics. 

Family law: Social worker claims province trying to drive her out

A social worker says the provincial child welfare system wants to get rid of her for going to bat for parents. The Alberta woman -- who has spoken up regarding some issues surrounding family law -- says she is being penalized for defending parents against what she alleges are discriminatory, abusive and deceptive practices within the provincial child welfare system. The woman is often paid through Legal Aid which, she says, has drastically reduced her payment and payment structure.

Family law: January sees increased levels of divorce filings

Once Christmas is over and the glitter of the holidays is coming to an end, couples whose marriages have been in turmoil may decide that a new year is the right time for a fresh start. Some British Columbia couples make the difficult decision to divorce in January -- a month that is a popular one for endings and beginnings. Lawyers who focus on family law see many clients with questions regarding ending their marriages or common law unions during this time. 

Family law: Length of spousal support payments can be perplexing

How many years a former spouse should receive support payments has been a bone of contention for quite some time. Alberta residents who pay and who receive spousal support are guided by both provincial and federal family law rules. Those who are divorced are can look to Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG), but decisions as to how long the support should last remains all over the map. Generally, the longer a couple was married, the longer support is payable, but that isn't written in stone.

Are you eligible for spousal support?

When you realized your marriage was coming to an end, you may have had many concerns, especially if you have children. One important consideration is your financial future and making ends meet, at least for the first few years after the divorce. If you have been out of the workforce for some time, for example to raise children, or if you have depended on your spouse's higher salary throughout your marriage, the changes a divorce brings to your finances can be devastating.

Family law: Saying I do to a marriage contract

Marriage contracts are becoming more acceptable, but before signing on the dotted line, there are some things of which people should be aware. These types of contracts in Alberta -- which also include cohabitation agreements for couples who choose to live together without marrying -- fall under family law rules. Understanding how the law applies to these contracts is crucial before signing them.

Children's issues: The important role of stepmothers

Blended families are becoming more the norm in the country and around the world. One of the most important children's issues in British Columbia surrounds the relationships between stepmothers and their stepchildren. Stepmothers have not always been given good press or been painted in a rosy light in movies, but most stepmoms are working hard to change the negative perception of the roles they play in their stepchildren's lives. 

Family law: There are financial options in a grey divorce

Couples who divorce later in life may have a newfound emotional freedom, but it may come at a hefty financial cost. Divorce is ruled by family law in Alberta, which spells out how a couple's assets and debts should be divided upon separation or divorce. When couples divorce after many years of marriage and when the people are 50 years of age or older, grey divorce, as it is known, can seriously impact each person's pocketbook.

Family law: Options for couples thinking about divorce

Making the decision to divorce may be one of the most challenging decisions a person will ever make. Most British Columbia couples have much invested in their marriages and ending a relationship is never easy. Family law in the province provides some guidelines for couples to follow if they choose to end their marriages. But before ending a marriage for good, experts suggest each person may want to consider doing a few important things.

Family law: Separated Alberta couple duke it out over debts

If a couple divorces and they have taken care of splitting their assets and their debts, one would think that is the end of the story. Not always, apparently, as one former Alberta couple found out recently. Rules in these cases fall under the family law umbrella in the province. The couple in question was pretty financially successful during the marriage, but the businesses they owned had to be liquidated after they separated, causing a battle on how to split the proceeds.

Children's issues: Funds earmarked to reduce poverty rates

Poverty has a penchant for destruction in many ways. Sadly, many children's issues in British Columbia are enmeshed with this societal problem, however, the provincial government says it intends to do something about it by putting $5 million on the line for municipalities to be able to come up with local action to help lower the overall rate of poverty by 25% and the rate of child poverty by 50% over the next five years. Funds are earmarked for the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) for work under the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action program. 

What is an annulment?

An annulment is a legal document that says your marriage was not a valid marriage. There are other ways to end a marriage, such as separating from your partner, or filing for a divorce. However, an annulment is not a way to end a marriage. Instead, it is an official document that states the marriage did not exist in the first place.

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


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