In deciding matters of child custody, one of the Court's main concerns is to ensure, when appropriate, that contact between the child and both parents is sustained. That being said, if one parent wants to move with the child, the Court will take a fresh look at custody arrangements, having regard to the following factors:
Alternative dispute resolution processes are recommended for divorcing spouses in Alberta because these processes tend to be the most cost-efficient, least adversarial way of ending a marriage or common law relationship.
In the last few decades, the rate of divorce in Canada has fluctuated between 35 per cent and 42 per cent. When couples who are not married are taken into account, the rate of family breakdown increases significantly. The last year for which Statistics Canada provided information on divorces was 2008, and that year the average age at divorce for women was about 42, and the average age for men was about 44.
The lawyers of Kirk Montoute LLP are experienced litigators, but our firm also helps families resolve their disputes outside of court. Litigation places the parties in opposition to one another, and that situation is not always appropriate if the goal is to come to an agreement on family law issues such as child custody.
Judges in Alberta make child custody and guardianship decisions based on the child's best interests. While every case is different, it may be possible under certain circumstances for a person who is not the child's biological parent to be awarded custody or guardianship.
The term "parenting," as opposed to "custody" and "access," is used in Alberta's Family Law Act, and under the Act, the term "parenting" refers to the plan for how divorced or separated parents will make decisions regarding their child and how the parents' time with the child is shared.
In matters of child custody, the Alberta courts generally presume that maximizing contact between the child and both parents is in the child's best interests. Every family is different, though, and economic or employment issues may arise that require one parent to relocate with the child.
If you and your co-parent are separating or divorcing in Alberta, then you have options as to how you come to an agreement about a parenting plan. Your agreement doesn't have to be put into writing, but you should know that, if your agreement is informal and only verbal, then you have no proof of the agreement. This sort of situation too often leads to costly legal disputes that have a negative impact on parents and children.
Whether your relationship with your former spouse is amicable or strained, co-parenting during the holidays can be a challenge, especially if these are the first holidays with a new parenting plan. With that in mind, let's discuss how Calgary parents can avoid disputes and help their children make warm and lasting memories.
Alberta remains one of only four Canadian jurisdictions where family law matters are divided between the lower and superior courts, while the other nine jurisdictions have some kind of unified family court.