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Calgary Family Law Blog

Parental Alienation

Parental alienation can occur in the context of divorce when parents are engaged in high conflict over custody of the children.

Parental alienation means that one parent is discouraging or preventing the children from having a relationship with the other parent without a justifiable reason.

The parent who is perpetuating the alienation is referred to as the alienating parent. The parent who is a victim of the alienating behaviour is the alienated parent.

Oops - Mistakes in Contracts

All family law contracts should be negotiated in good faith. There must be a clear "meeting of the minds" in forming a contract to ensure each party gives and receives exactly what he or she bargained for. That is not always the case. There are times when parties, in forming a contract, are not on the same page, and that can lead to costly consequences. 

Ordinary Residence and Commencing Your Divorce Action

Perhaps you are working in Saskatchewan but the family home is in Alberta where your children attend school. You may be wondering if you can start your divorce in either province or which one is the right province to start an action? 

Soby Boyden Lenz LLP Supports the Calgary Food Bank

Soby Boyden Lenz LLP believes in giving back and supporting our community. Over the past number of years and counting, Soby Boyden Lenz LLP graciously sponsors the annual Lady Member Guest Golf Tournament at Country Hills Golf Club (the "Tournament"). As Gold level sponsors, our firm is one of the major benefactors behind the Tournament's success. 

Separation Without Lawyers

Do I really need to consult a lawyer if I am separating from my spouse amicably and we have already agreed on how to share parenting, how much support is to be paid and how to divide matrimonial property?

Many couples who are in the process of separating or have recently separated ask themselves these questions. Over the years, as family law lawyers, we have seen many clients who made the decision to settle the terms of their separation themselves and sign separation agreements purportedly setting out the terms of custody and access of minor children, child support, spousal support and division of property without the benefit of one or both parties consulting a lawyer. One or both spouses consult the myriad of resources available online and find a precedent separation agreement online. This may become more prevalent in the current troubled economy when spouses are trying to cut costs as much as they can, particularly in circumstances when they are separating and having to fund multiple households. These clients come to us after the fact, sometimes many years after they have separated, when issues or disputes arise. Some clients come to us because they never obtained a divorce after separating and now want to remarry years later.

Hurdles to Undue Hardship

The Province has fallen on hard economic times, which has, for many, reduced cash flow for the purpose of child support. Payor parents who have lost their jobs may apply for a variation in child support, but financial hardship may continue for those fortunate enough to retain their current employment. 

Alternative Dispute Resolution - Another Way Forward

The traditional approach to Family Law has favoured an adversarial practice with the engagement of the Court system. While there are certainly situations when this is appropriate to provide a resolution to the parties, there are often other approaches that are better able to deal with the breakdown of the family in a way that does not involve the Courts or traditional litigation.

How is my severance going to fit into all of this? A question of income or property

Family law is filled with items that cause confusion to people as they go through their separation. One reason for this is the misunderstanding that because something gets a certain treatment under the Income Tax Act, that it will receive the same treatment under family law. This is not always or even often the case. One of these items is severance. While treated as income under tax legislation, severance monies may be treated as property in the breakdown of a relationship. If severance is treated as property, it then becomes become divisible under the Matrimonial Property Act. 

Emergency Protection Orders ("EPO"): Know Your Rights

Have you been served with an Emergency Protection Order or do you think that you require an Emergency Protection Order? Emergency Protection Orders (EPOs) can be issued pursuant to the Protection Against Family Violence Act RSA 2000 c P-27 ("the Act"). Pursuant to this Act, an EPO can be granted by a Judge of the Provincial Court or a Justice of the Peace, on an Application without notice to the Respondent, if the Judge or Justice of the Peace determines: 

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