Family Law at Knisely Nagase Anderson LLP
Knisely Nagase Anderson LLP’s Family Law Department is proud to offer a wide range of family law services and solutions. Our lawyers recognize the stress that navigating the family law system causes to individuals and families. We strive to help alleviate this stress by providing timely, straightforward advice, and proactive solutions.
Flat Fee Services:
- Independent Legal Advice
- Drafting and/or executing Agreements
- Uncontested Divorces
- Notary Public
- Commissioner for Oaths
- Travel Consent Letters
We offer a number of legal services on a flat-fee basis, including Independent Legal Advice for a range of legal documents, such as pre-nuptial agreements and separation agreements, preparation of uncontested divorce documents, travel consent letters, and Commissioner for Oaths services. Please contact our office to find out more about our competitive flat-fee rates.
Separating from your spouse
Whether you are married or in an Adult Interdependent Partnership (formerly known as a common-law relationship), separating from your spouse can be an extremely stressful and overwhelming process. What will happen to your children? Who keeps the house? Will you have to pay spousal support? Taking into consideration your particular circumstances, our lawyers will fully explain your rights and obligations upon separation, and present you with the options available to you to move your matter towards resolution.
Knisely Shipanoff Nagase LLP does not currently offer mediation services, but we encourage all of our clients to consider mediation before separating or divorcing.
“You got served”
If you have been served with a Statement of Claim for Divorce, a Claim under the Family Law Act, or any other family court document, you should obtain legal advice as soon as possible, as many legal documents have strict time-frames for responding. Our lawyers will meet with you to explain the implications of the document and prepare, file and serve your response before the deadline. Please contact our office for an initial consultation.
- Uncontested divorce
- Contested divorce
- Same sex divorce
- Annulment of marriage
There are up to three grounds you can claim for Divorce in Canada:
(1) Living separate and apart;
(2) Adultery; and
(3) Mental and/or Physical cruelty
The first ground is the most common, for the simple fact that the parties need only establish that they have been living separate and apart for one year. Where a Divorce is claimed on the grounds of adultery and/or cruelty, the party asking for the Divorce will be required to present evidence to support the claim. For most people, the thought of re-hashing all of the hardship that led them to file for Divorce is simply not worth it, and so they opt for the easiest, cleanest, and least expensive option, being the one-year separation.
In order to file a Statement of Claim for Divorce in Alberta, you, or your spouse, must have been a resident of Alberta for a minimum of one (1) year.
In order to file your Statement of Claim for Divorce, your lawyer will require the following from you:
- An original Vital Statistics marriage certificate issued by the province in which you were married. In Alberta, the certificate is two different tones of brown. If you have lost or cannot access your marriage certificate, you can order one from any registry;
- If you were married outside of Canada, your original marriage certificate may still be requested but additional information will be required from you;
- A recent photograph of your spouse;
- Your full contact and personal information, as well as the names and birth dates of your spouse and child(ren), the date of your marriage, date of separation, and any other information as required per your particular circumstances;
- A photocopy of a government issued identification; and
- Copies of any existing Court Orders or Applications pertaining to your matter.
When meeting with a lawyer, it is helpful to provide as much information and documentation as possible. If you are not sure if a document is relevant, bring it to your consultation and your lawyer will discuss it with you.
Division of assets, non-liquid and/or liquid
- Interim division of property
- Division of real property
- Division of RRSPs and investments
- Freezing of assets
- Calculating any exemptions either party has
Understanding a division
In the course of your marriage or Adult Interdependent (common law) Partnership, chances are that you and your spouse have jointly or separately obtained assets, which can be categorized as liquid or non-liquid. Liquid assets are assets that can be exchanged for cash in a reasonable period, for example: cash on hand or in a bank, of any currency. Non-liquid assets are belongings of value, but that may take some time to receive “cash in hand” for the item(s). Examples of non-liquid assets are real estate, vehicles, investments, RRSPs or non-currency collectors’ items, like your Wayne Gretzky autographed jersey.
The division of assets is a complicated process that involves many rules and exemptions. Our family lawyers understand the intricacies of property division and will work with you to ensure that your marital assets are divided justly and fairly, with a goal to preserving as much of your wealth as the law will allow.
Full financial disclosure
Financial disclosure is an important part of the family law process. Whether your matter is contested or you are working amicably with your spouse to create a separation agreement, it is crucial that both parties have a clear picture of each other’s joint and individual finances. If your spouse refuses to disclose his/her financial information to you, there are legal remedies that can compel him/her to do so.
- Interim Division of Property
- Matrimonial Property
- Separation/Minutes of Settlement
- Adult Interdependent Partnership
Many separating couples are able to resolve their family law issues either between themselves or with the assistance of a mediator, resulting in a Separation Agreement. In order to ensure that your Separation Agreement is fair and enforceable, you must obtain Independent Legal Advice. This means that both you and your spouse must consult different lawyers to ensure that your interests are being protected.
We offer Independent Legal Advice services and Agreement Drafting services on a flat-fee basis. You will meet with a lawyer who will review your Agreement in detail with a view to protecting your best interests. Your lawyer will ensure that you understand the Agreement in its totality and that it is fair and equitable to you. Finally, you lawyer will properly execute and/or commission your Agreement and any accompanying supporting documents so that it is legally enforceable.
Remember, if your spouse’s lawyer drafted your Agreement, you must still obtain Independent Legal Advice from a different lawyer to ensure that your Agreement is enforceable.
There are many different types of Agreements available to you withing the family law spectrum. If you would like to find out more about Agreements and determine whether a flat-fee service may be right for you, please contact our office.
Issues involving children:
- Grandparent access
- Children Services
- Retroactive section 3 and 7 child support
- Ongoing section 3 and 7 child support
- Travel Consent Letters
The best interests of your children are of the utmost importance in the eyes of the law. Our family lawyers are experienced in a range of high-conflict family law issues involving children, including but not limited to custody, access, parenting orders, guardianship applications, access for grandparents, termination of contact, and child support.
Child Support is the right of the child, not the parent. If your spouse is refusing to pay child support, we would be pleased to meet with you to discuss your options.
Child support is regulated by either the Federal Child Support Guidelines, SOR/97-175, or Alberta Child Support Guidelines, Alta Reg 147/2005, depending if your matter falls under the Divorce Act (if you are married), or the Family Law Act (if you are in an Adult Interdependent Partnership). The amount payable to you is determined by the number of children of the marriage and the payor’s income. Your children’s living arrangements may also affect the quantum of child support. Your lawyer will provide you with a concise calculation so that you know exactly how much support you are entitled to.
Section 3 and Section 7 Child Support: What’s the difference?
Section 3 child support is the amount set out in the Federal or Provincial Child Support Guidelines, as described above. This is the base amount that a recipient is entitled to.
Section 7 child support is not a set amount, as it is meant to cover extraordinary expenses, such as school trips, extra-curricular activities, or any number of other qualifying expenses. This payment is calculated on a percentage split, taking into consideration the respective incomes of the parents.
Spousal support issues:
- Retroactive spousal support
- Ongoing spousal support
- Lump sum payments
Unlike Child Support, there is no set spousal support table. In determining entitlement and quantum of spousal support, the Courts refer to a set of guidelines, which take into consideration a range of factors, including the length of the relationship, the respective incomes of the parties, whether or not there are any children of the marriage, the needs of the recipient, the ability of the payor to pay and whether or not the recipient was disadvantaged in some way by the breakdown of the marriage. Your lawyer will speak with you about your specific situation and provide you with an appropriate range for spousal support, taking into consideration the Spousal Support Guidelines.
If you are seeking representation with respect to your family law issue, please contact our office to arrange an initial consultation. We serve Edmonton and surrounding area, including Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Fort McMurray, High Prairie, Grande Prairie, and High Level.
To schedule an appointment, please contact our Family Law Assistant, Meghan, at Meghan@knalaw.ca or (780) 451 – 4232.