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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spousal support seems to be one of the most contentious issues when it comes to divorce settlements. These issues come under the family law umbrella in Alberta. So, when a spouse is paying support to his or her former partner who he or she believes simply doesn't want to work, the Divorce Act looks at four areas when it comes to support payments: relief of economic hardship arising from marriage breakdown; how much each spouse contributes financially to caring for children over and above child support; disadvantages or advantages coming out of the marriage or the breakdown of the marriage and how each individual has gone about trying to be financially self-sufficient within a reasonable time frame.