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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.

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.

Alberta family law: Maintaining contact with your grandchildren

The truth is that the law doesn't assume grandparents have the right to have a relationship with their grandchildren, nor does it assume grandchildren have that same right. The Family Law Act in Alberta does not protect grandparents' rights to see their grandchildren. It does give grandparents options to be able to see their grandchildren when the kids' parents don't want that to happen -- namely, grandparents can apply to the court for a contact order. 

Family law: Some frequent flyer parents tying up family court

Parents who have the need to appear in family court for many issues are often referred to as frequent flyers. When it comes to children's issues in British Columbia, rules are instated under family law. Parents who want the court to intervene in the smallest details often take up valuable court time, which could be a problem for those parents who have more serious issues to iron out. 

Alberta family law: When it's all in a name

Decades ago, it was a given that, when a couple married, the wife would take her husband's last name. Fast forward to the 21st century, and that is not always the case with Alberta couples. Issues attached to marriage in the province fall under family law, and those include name changes. Women don't always change their surnames once married. Sometimes, a man takes his wife's surname, or the couple takes on a different name together, but whatever the case, they have to adhere to the rules.

Family law: Varying a child support order in British Columbia

When the need arises to make changes to child support payments, either the payor or the payee can ask for a support order to be varied. Under family law in British Columbia, the term variation is used when an increase or a decrease in child support payments is requested. A request to vary a support payment can be formally made when there is a change in life circumstances such as an increase or a decrease in parents' income, a change in parenting agreements or when the child turns 19 years of age.

Alberta family law: Differences between separtion and annulment

When couples make the decision to end their relationships, they have a few choices regarding how to do that under the law. In Alberta, as in the rest of the country, those who are married can choose to separate or to divorce, while those living together can choose to separate. Under family law in the province, there is also the option of annulling a marriage under specified circumstances.

Family law: Divorcing couples seeking ways other than court

The road to divorce is rarely an easy one. The rules that govern divorce in British Columbia fall under family law. Most couples want as seamless and as stress-free a divorce as possible, and that is why many couples are choosing alternative methods to come to divorce settlements. Very rarely do couples choose litigation to iron out their differences regarding things like support and division of assets.

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

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