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Vancouver and Edmonton Family Law Blog

Family law: Man in marriage of convenience faces citizenship woes

An immigrant will be having his citizenship revoked for a marriage faux pas. British Columbia and other Canadian provinces and territories do not forgive violations of family law or criminal law lightly. Even so, the federal government rarely revokes citizenship once granted, but it is revoking the citizenship of a Chinese man it says secured his citizenship through a false marriage nine years ago. The government claims the man was in an alleged marriage of convenience to obtain Canadian citizenship.

The man's former wife says she received a sum of cash on the wedding day and an additional sum after the wedding took place. The man divorced the woman two years after the marriage took place. The federal government was ordered by a court to give the man a fair hearing prior to stripping him of his citizenship. 

Date of marital separation important under Alberta family law

The date a couple formally separates plays a major part in the divorce process. Determining that date under family law in Alberta can be confusing and may lead to complications. Unlike proving the date of marriage, doing the same for separation can be complex since a couple may continue to live under the same roof even though they consider themselves separated.

It is crucial to note the exact date upon which a couple separates since the court may use that date to make certain financial calculations such as money owed to one spouse from another. It is usually the spouse who earns more who makes equalizations payments -- from the time of the marriage to the date of separation. When making a decision to select a date of separation, one spouse may prefer a date that is later if net worth has decreased over the years.

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.

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


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