If you are getting a divorce you need to resolve issues relating to spousal support, child maintenance and custody, and property, debt and asset division.
Spousal Support Agreements – Family Law
Spousal support is determined by the incomes of the parties, along with their needs, abilities to earn income, child care arrangements, and a variety of other considerations. It may be a short-term or long-term obligation.
Child maintenance is determined by the Child Support Guidelines and is based on the incomes of the parents, the needs of the children and the custody arrangements. Custody and access are based on what is in the best interests of the children, it being presumed that the children should have contact with both parents as much as possible.
Are you and your spouse considering a divorce?
Do you need help with your separation?
Talk with your lawyer before separating, we can help you negotiate a separation agreement. Ahlstrom Wright will ﬁle for divorce and help you navigate through the court process. Contact Ahlstrom Wright for more information about this and other areas of Family Law.
Property Division – Divorce Lawyers
Property division is governed by the Matrimonial Property Act, which, subject to exceptions and imposition of certain considerations, provides for the equal division of all assets and debts acquired during the marriage.
Before the court will grant a divorce judgment the issues of spousal support, child support, maintenance and custody, property (both real and personal), and debt must be resolved. If both spouses are not agreeable, the court will decide through the form of a trial how all these issues will be resolved, meaning who pays who and how much, who keeps what property or if it must be sold and who must pay which debts and how much. When the court decides these issues sometimes both parties are unhappy with the results. If the parties are able to agree on how to deal with these issues then the lawyers at Ahlstrom Wright can prepare a separation agreement detailing what the parties have agreed upon. A separation agreement is beneficial during this time-consuming and emotional time in your life.
An annulment is different from a divorce and is only possible to obtain in rare situations. When a marriage is annulled it ends immediately. The Court is reluctant to annul a marriage if the spouses have lived together as husband and wife or if there are children of the marriage. If the Court grants you an annulment then both parties will receive a court order called a Nullity Decree which declares the marriage is void. At that time the Court may also make court orders for financial support, custody and access and distribution of property, as the case may be.
Examples of possible situations that can lead to annulment are:
- If one ‘spouse’ was legally married to another person without a divorce, then the second marriage is void;
- If a partner is unable (not just unwilling) to have sexual intercourse on a permanent basis and did not tell the other partner before getting married. The inability to have sexual intercourse can be due to a disability either physically or psychologically, but it must be permanent and irreversible. This does not include sterility;
- If a partner is under 16 years old;
- If the partners are too closely related;
- If a partner did not consent to the marriage, e.g. a partner is mentally incapacitated or very drunk at the time of the marriage ceremony.
The Court may find that you have agreed to continue the marriage, that would otherwise be annulled if you continued to live together when you believed that you had the grounds for an annulment. If you believe you have grounds for an annulment please contact the lawyers at Ahlstrom Wright.
Contact Ahlstrom Wright in Sherwood Park, Alberta
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