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Vancouver and Edmonton Family Law Blog

Preteens and Divorce

Preteens are generally between the ages of 9 to 12 years old. In terms of behaviour, it’s common to see children in this age group doing more in activities in school, hanging out with friends more frequently, attending birthdays, playing sports, joining clubs, and participating in events.

In terms of personality, children this age are becoming more social and actually begin to understand more about relationships, especially between adults. It’s important to note that while this age group may understand what a divorce or separation means, they may have difficulty with the emotional impact this may have.

Parenting Plans: Holidays and Special Occasions

The first year following a divorce or separation can be difficult for parents and children. How will they spend the summer? Which parent gets to take the children on vacation? Who takes the children trick-or-treating?

These are all issues that parents should formalize in a parenting plan. It may not solve all the issues or special circumstances that come up, but it can lay out the blueprint for how to handle and resolve any problems that may occur.

Even court-ordered child support is not set in stone

The laws of Alberta and other provinces recognize the duty of parents to support and provide for their children. Whether you and the other parent were married or never even lived together, you are both responsible to provide the child with the financial support that allows the child to maintain a standard of living comparable to that he or she would enjoy if both parents were in the home.

It is possible that you and your ex-partner worked out an agreement for support payments. However, unless the agreement is in writing, you may have little legal ground to stand on if a dispute arises. On the other hand, if you have a court approved support agreement, you may be wondering if you would ever have the right to change the amount of support.

Family law: The first things to do when divorce is on the horizon

Ending a serious relationship -- whether a marriage or a common law union -- is never easy. Family law in Alberta paves the way for people going through divorce to take care of themselves and their children. When a breakup is imminent, there are a few things people should consider doing right away, and the first is to take care of themselves since a breakup can be emotionally exhausting.

There is such a thing as a healthy (or at least a healthier) divorce or separation. Although divorce can impact the entire family dynamic, the individuals involved should take some time to evaluate their health -- both mental and physical. Allowing honest communication is one way of accomplishing that. If children are involved, their safety and well-being is paramount; the law sees it this way as well.

When family law and estate planning law cross paths

There are certain instances when two separate entities under the law converge. Such might be the case when it comes to family law and estate planning law in British Columbia. In some cases, business owners may put an estate freeze on their estates and depending upon how this is set up, this could affect family law in the province. Estate freezes usually make it possible to exchange shares in a business that could appreciate in value with those that are fixed.

An estate freeze can be helpful for a business owner to defer taxes if he or she has a number of shares in a business. Family law comes into play should an estate freeze be in effect if a couple's marriage breaks down. It may make things complicated when it comes to the sharing of assets upon the dissolution of a marriage or relationship. If some of those shares were gifted to an estranged partner, many complexities can kick in and legal advice is crucial for both sides.

Teenagers and Divorce

Nuclear families have a tough time with teenagers – and it’s much the same with blended and single-parent families.

As teenagers go through this emotionally stressful period of their lives, they will make mistakes, and need their parents. Especially during a period of upheaval, such as a separation or divorce, it’s important to provide a network of strong support and guidance.

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


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