Defining Family Law in Calgary
Family law in Calgary, Alberta and surrounding areas can be defined as the legislation comprising the legal governing of responsibilities between the people within a domestic relationship. Most family law Calgary proceedings are due to the termination of a marriage or domestic partnership and involve individuals that are related by blood or marriage but can also affect people in more casual relationships. Family law cases can be emotionally charged and it if often advisable that legal counsel is obtained to assist in matters related to the following:
● Child custody, child support and visitation scheduling; and
● Property division following a divorce or separation
Family law also protects individuals from physical and emotional abuse, this includes both current and former spouses and their respective children. Protection is also extended to elderly family members and people within dating relationships. When allegations of abuse are made, be it emotional or physical, the courts will take the matter very seriously and often issue a restraining order against the accused to prevent any more communication and contact.
During a contested family law matter, it is important that you hire a lawyer that is highly experienced and knowledgeable in family law for Calgary, Alberta. A family lawyer will know how to find any assets or income that a spouse may be trying to hide and will be able to offer arguments that will support child custody and visitation disputes. Self representation can leave you vulnerable to waiving important legal rights.
What Are the Parental Rights and Responsibilities With Family Law?
Child Custody disputes are incredibly commonplace in family court. Parents want to ensure that after a separation or divorce, the needs of their children will continue to be met. If spouses are unable to agree on child custody then it is left to a judge to decide what will be in the best interest of the children.
Depending upon what is best for the child, legal and physical custody may be granted to one parent or, it may be shared equally between the two. Typically, a non-custodial parent could expect to receive a visitation schedule of weekends and alternating holidays with their children, and would still have an equal say in any major decisions regarding the children. The court should endeavour to keep the children’s schedule as normal as is possible.
Child support and spousal support take into account the respective income of each spouse/parent, required expenditures for the children such as medical, dental and recreational and will be subject to modification as circumstances change.
How Can a Calgary Mediator Help With My Family Law Matter?
A mediator who specializes in family law and divorce is a neutral third party that can assist you and your spouse through matters relating to divorce and separation. A divorce mediator can be invaluable when it comes to reaching an agreement with your spouse and will endeavor to perform the following tasks:
● Educate on certain aspects of the legal system
● Describe what actions may be taken by a lawyer or judge regarding a certain issue
● Allow for equal, uninterrupted speaking time for each spouse
● Ask questions for clarity around an issue
● Help spouses identify alternative solutions to issues
● Allow time for fair discussion regarding child and spousal support; and
● Open discussions about child visitation schedules
Although mediation is successful for many couples, going through a separation or divorce can cause emotions to run high and some people may not believe that they will be able to negotiate directly with their spouse. A qualified mediator is skilled in assisting spouses through this tumultuous time, so long as they are both interested in working through things in a peaceful manner. However, if there are allegations of abuse in the relationship, it is advisable to seek the help of a family lawyer to negotiate on your behalf.
● Start the search for your lawyer as soon as possible
● Choose an expert in their field that will appropriately meet your needs
● Meet with your lawyer and ascertain personal compatibility
● Ensure your lawyer is accessible and has time for you
● Don’t let cost be the deciding factor
When should I contact a Family Lawyer?
A2. Common reasons for needing a Family Lawyer include:
● Dissolution of marriage
● Child custody and guardianship matters
● Paternity matters
● Termination of parental rights
● Protection Orders
Family Lawyers typically charge by the hour. In Calgary, Alberta and surrounding areas the range is generally between $200 to $600 per hour. It is important you understand how you will be charged and discuss this with your lawyer.
● How much experience do you have with cases like mine?
● What will I be charged for, how much and how will I be billed?
● Are there other options or avenues when it comes to solving my legal issues?
● How often can I expect communication?
● What is expected of me as the client?
● What is the expected outcome of my case?
● Good communication skills
● Effective time management
● Passion for the job
● Compassion for clients
● Knowledgeable in their respective fields
● Good judgement