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Family law: When a woman wants to keep her married name

When a couple divorces, there may be something a former wife wants to keep that makes her former husband scratch his head: his surname. There is no set rule in family law in Alberta that says she can't do that, but if it's a bone of contention, the man can always make it a part of the divorce agreement. If a man is adamant he doesn't want his former wife to keep his surname and yet she wants to, he may have to make some concessions to get her agreement.

Family law: Protecting an inheritance during a divorce

Divorce can stir up some nasty emotions. Luckily, in Alberta, there are family law rules in place that provide guidelines for some possible contentious issues like division of property and other assets. These laws can sometimes overlap into other other areas. For instance, how would one go about safeguarding a downpayment on a house that has been given as a gift when going through a divorce?

Family law: Parental abduction is a criminal offence

There is nothing worse for a parent to think that his or her child could be in harm's way. No parent wants to believe his or her former spouse and the parent of his or her child would do anything to hurt their children. But when British Columbia couples are going through high-conflict divorces, one person may take the children somewhere without the knowledge of the other. This is a serious family law issue that could result in an accusation of parental abduction, and there are laws in place to protect children and hold parents accountable when they do things they shouldn't.

Family law: Parental alienation and its effects on children

Divorce can be particularly difficult to process for children, no matter what their ages. Alberta has distinct family law rules in place that protect children from disturbing circumstances. Parental alienation is when one parent vilifies the other in front of their children, so much so that the children start believing what they're being told about the parent. This often happens when parents are fighting over the custody of their children.

Family law: Social worker claims province trying to drive her out

A social worker says the provincial child welfare system wants to get rid of her for going to bat for parents. The Alberta woman -- who has spoken up regarding some issues surrounding family law -- says she is being penalized for defending parents against what she alleges are discriminatory, abusive and deceptive practices within the provincial child welfare system. The woman is often paid through Legal Aid which, she says, has drastically reduced her payment and payment structure.

Family law: January sees increased levels of divorce filings

Once Christmas is over and the glitter of the holidays is coming to an end, couples whose marriages have been in turmoil may decide that a new year is the right time for a fresh start. Some British Columbia couples make the difficult decision to divorce in January -- a month that is a popular one for endings and beginnings. Lawyers who focus on family law see many clients with questions regarding ending their marriages or common law unions during this time. 

Family law: Length of spousal support payments can be perplexing

How many years a former spouse should receive support payments has been a bone of contention for quite some time. Alberta residents who pay and who receive spousal support are guided by both provincial and federal family law rules. Those who are divorced are can look to Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG), but decisions as to how long the support should last remains all over the map. Generally, the longer a couple was married, the longer support is payable, but that isn't written in stone.

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.

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


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