Families face many challenges. And some of those challenges must be resolved by legal means.
The family law team at our Calgary office is here to help. Our dedicated family lawyers are adept at handling divorces, adoptions, and elder care concerns.
In most cases, before you can get divorced the law requires you to be separated for at least one year. There are ways to get around this provision, but you must be prepared to prove adultery or cruelty to use them. Most people just opt to live “separate and apart.”
The steps you take during your separation can have a big impact on your divorce later. For example, you may need a formal separation agreement. The provisions of that agreement could end up being very close to what happens during the divorce. Once you’re separated, divorce is on the horizon. Make sure you have the right legal protection in place from Day 1.
You need great advice during this difficult time. Every decision made will have a direct impact on your personal and financial future. And when marital assets and debts grow complex, you need expert help to untangle the knot.
We’ll guide your case from start to finish, from helping you meet Alberta’s divorce requirements to helping you negotiate with your spouse. And if your case goes to court, you can rest easy knowing you’ve placed it in the hands of some of Calgary’s toughest litigators.
Child Custody & Support
Your child custody case will either be handled under the Family Law Act or the Divorce Act. If you were married you can choose. If you were unmarried your case will fall under the provisions of the Family Law Act. Even deciding which Act to opt for can be a complex decision requiring good legal guidance.
Most parents want as much time with their child as possible, and the right to make decisions in the child’s life. The courts prefer arrangements which allow this. But some scenarios are more complex. For example, allegations of abuse can create complications. Whether you’re trying to protect your kids or are facing a false allegation, Merchant Law is there.
No matter what happens, the courts will require a child support agreement. Base child support amounts are set under the Federal Child Support Guidelines. There are some exceptions which can drive these amounts up or down. Let us strive to ensure the adjustments are in your favor.
Spousal support, sometimes called alimony, is a difficult issue to resolve. If you’re eligible to either pay or receive spousal support you’ll want the best legal guidance you can get.
Spousal support guidelines consider how many years the couple was together and the responsibilities each party fulfilled during the marriage. Other factors include whether either party has dependents, or whether one party will be living with someone else. These factors all leave a lot of room for interpretation and argument. We are here to make sure the spousal support arrangement is one you can live with.
The act of adopting a child is legally complex. These laws exist to protect children. But if you don’t know how to navigate them, they can keep you from bringing the child into your own, loving home.
We’ll walk you through every step of the process so you know what to do and what to expect. We’ll deal with any issues that arise, or questions you may have.
Emotions can run high when an elderly loved one’s well-being is at stake. It takes precise legal steps to gain the resources you’ll need to look out for your loved one’s financial and medical interests. And sometimes family members don’t agree on how these issues should be handled, creating disputes that require legal solutions.
If you are a senior citizen you want to consider what happens in the event you are no longer physically or mentally capable of taking care of yourself. Come to Merchant Law to make sure the proper guardianship and power of lawyer documents are in place.
Where to Get Help
Call (403) 237-7777 today, or visit our offices at 2710 17 Ave SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2A 0P6.