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Vancouver and Edmonton Family Law Blog

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.

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.

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

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