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Vancouver and Edmonton Family Law Blog

Parenting Plans: Living Arrangements and Afterschool Schedules.

As listed on the Government of Canada website, parenting plans “outline how parents will raise their children after separation or divorce”. While custody and access are also settled during divorce and separation proceedings, parenting plans are slightly different. They focus on how parents will communicate with each other and share specific responsibilities regarding their children.

As former spouses move on with their lives, they may have to interact with each other while their children grow up. It’s best to have a plan in place that allows an amicable way for both parties to “parent” their children with as much structure as possible.

Family law: Understanding issues around spousal support

Spousal support can be one of the most contentious issues when it comes to a couple separating or divorcing. British Columbia family law helps residents to figure out support payment amounts, who should be paying whom, when support should be paid and other issues associated with spousal support such as time limits to apply. The province has spousal support advisory guidelines to help residents figure out payment amounts and outlines the issues that could affect those payments.

A couple can agree to payments without involving family court. These payments should be outlined in either a formal separation agreement or in a divorce settlement. The agreements, however, should be filed with the court. Getting independent legal advice when coming to a support amount agreement may be the fairest way for both parties involved. 

Family law: Giving kids a voice in parenting coordination

When separated or divorced parents are having trouble with parenting plans that are in place, they have some recourse in the form of parenting coordination. Under family law, Alberta parents can utilize parenting coordinators to help them problem solve any issues they are having with parenting plans. Parenting coordination -- which is a part of alternative dispute resolution in the province -- uses various techniques to help parents and those can include education, mediation and negotiation.

Parenting coordinators try to help parents keep issues out of the courtroom. They will work with parents to ensure that the best interests of children come first. This form of alternative dispute resolution is becoming more popular thanks not only to its cost-effectiveness, but its success rate. In some instances, children are given a say in those issues that concern them, and in fact, it's one of their fundamental rights under the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child, which was ratified in Canada.

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.

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

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