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Vancouver and Edmonton Family Law Blog

Alberta Common-Law Relationships and Separation

When married couples decide to end their partnership, they get a divorce. Specific legislation outlines the rights of each partner when dividing the different aspects of their shared lives.

For common-law couples, they may only agree to separate. In Alberta, common-law couples fall under the category of adult interdependent relationships. In order to protect your rights if you are separating from your partner, it’s important that you understand what protections you can apply in your situation.

Responding when your ex applies for an ISO

When you are involved in a relationship, you willingly entangle your life with someone else's. The longer you are together, the more complicated your bond becomes. In addition to emotional attachments, you may have shared assets, pets or even children. One of you may have made generous sacrifices for the other's wellbeing, such as giving up a career or paying the partner's educational debts.

A relationship that ends rarely does so without complex issues to resolve. Your former partner may feel you owe him or her financial support or may expect to obtain support for a child that resulted from your relationship. However, if your former partner lives outside of Alberta, you may be unsure how to respond to a request for support.

Will my social media account affect my divorce?

It’s possible your social media posts could impact your divorce proceedings. Specifically, social media can weigh heavily into discussions about finances, support payments and parenting abilities. Individuals should be cautious about what they post while their settlements are still being negotiated. You may not realize how much information a single image or 140-character message can hold.

In a recent article, one of the examples of the effects of social media was a picture of a parent taking a child boating, and the child wasn’t wearing a lifejacket. This could be used to show negligence and poor parenting skills in a fight for sole custody. Whereas its common for married couples to disagree on a parenting issues, these conflicts can turn into ammunition for divorcing couples. This is why parents should be careful about what they post on social media during divorce proceedings.

Understanding guardianship in British Columbia

Family law matters often have unique terminology that can change as family advocates strive to use language that most accurately describes the circumstances. Understanding these terms is important, especially if you have children and your family situation is in flux. For example, British Columbia laws are moving away from using the word "custody" to describe the relationship between a parent and child following a divorce or separation. Instead, the law describes this as guardianship.

If you are going through a divorce, are the parent of a child out of wedlock or are a concerned relative of a child in a difficult family situation, you may wish to gain as much information as possible about your rights and options related to the guardianship of the child.

How is parentage determined in British Columbia?

Becoming a parent can be the most life-changing experience a person can have. However, it can also be fraught with confusion and frustration if there are disputes over whether a person is, in fact, a parent. 

Below, we examine a few specific situations in which a person's status may be in question and what parents and others may do to resolve questions about parentage.

What is family property?

Dividing property in a divorce or separation can cause stress and concern for many people. 

Add in confusion over what is and is not eligible for division and people can get overwhelmed. However, learning what to expect from the process can make it a little easier to navigate. For instance, you should know what is and is not family property, and why the distinction matters.

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

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