Do You Need A Lawyer In Canada If You have Been Convicted Of Driving Under The influence

Do You Need A Lawyer In Canada If You have Been Convicted Of Driving Under The influence

Do You Need A Lawyer In Canada If You have Been Convicted Of Driving Under The influence

In Canada, driving under the influence (DUI) has been considered a federal criminal offence since 1921, punishable under the Criminal Code if the driver's blood alcohol level is higher than .08 within two hours of ceasing to operate a motor vehicle. You can also be charged if you refuse to have a blood or breath test as requested by the police officer on the scene. When you are charged with a DUI offence, the officer will provide you with a document known as a "Promise to Appear", which will indicate your court appearance date. Another scenario may be that you are allowed to leave without charges, only to receive a summons in the mail afterwards. This will also indicate the date on which you need to appear in court, and it indicates that you have been charged with an offence. In some cases, you may be charged with both a criminal offence and an ADP - a 90-day administrative prohibition issued to drivers who are suspected of impaired driving.

What Is The Difference Between An ADP And A DUI?

An ADP is essentially an administrative charge, issuable under the Motor Vehicle Act. The law has changed, in that in the past, an ADP could only be issued if the driver had a reading that was higher than 0.8. Today, if the driver had a reading of exactly 0.8, they could receive an ADP. As is the case in the Criminal Code, the law covering ADPs also extends the offence to the time frame within two hours of driving. Although the law covering ADPs was initially aimed at drivers whose abilities were impaired by alcohol, it has adopted specific drug-involved offences. For instance, it has imposed a prohibited level of 5 nanograms of THC per 1 ml of blood. Other limits are imposed for other drugs, including ketamine, cocaine, and methamphetamines.

Why Is Hiring A Lawyer A Good Idea?

Hiring a lawyer for DUI offences or when you are issued with an ADP, or both an ADP and a DUI, is key, especially given that DUI laws do change over time. This is because there are very specific time limits that can have a major effect on your life when you surpass them. For instance, if you are charged with both a DUI and an ADP, your court date may be months away, but you will still have just seven days to dispute your ADP. Both charges also have very different rules and regulations governing them - including rules with respect to evidence. Your lawyer will ensure that you comply with all obligations as early as possible, and will see if there are any flaws in the way your evidence has been collected or processed. They might be able to have specific evidence excluded, which could result in a reduction or dismissal of charges.

How Can A DUI Or ADP Affect Your Life?

Both charges can have a serious effect on your livelihood, especially if you are deemed to have committed a felony. This will increase the time that your licence is suspended for, and will result in you having a criminal record. Any future employers who run background checks will have access to your files.

Changes to the DUI Penalties in Alberta

The government of Alberta is currently proposing new penalties for drivers charged with a DUI. Bill 21, the Provincial Administrative Penalties Act, will grant police the right to give first-time offenders with a blood alcohol reading of .08 or higher, a fine of $1,000. First offenders will also face a 30-day vehicle seizure and have to complete a mandatory education course. This would be in addition to existing penalties, which include a 12-month licence suspension and the requirement to use an interlock system for 12 months. However, in the absence of aggravating circumstances, the driver will not be charged criminally. Under the new rules, those caught a second time will face criminal charges and receive an additional $2,000 fine. Finally, those who commit this offence a third time will face a $2,000 fine and will have to use an interlock system for life.

If you are charged with a DUI or ADP, seeing a lawyer is always a good idea. This is because both charges have different rules and regulations, and in some cases you may need to act fast. A lawyer can help reduce or dismiss charges if evidence has been erroneously collected, or if your constitutional rights have been violated during your arrest, so ensure you are as well advised as possible.

Written by Cassie Steele for Verhaeghe Law Office

When is family mediation a good option?

When is family mediation a good option?

When is family mediation a good option?

Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution that is commonly used by families to resolve conflicts arising from a divorce or separation. It involves negotiation between the spouses with the help of a neutral third party, who is known as the mediator. While the mediator is often a lawyer, they are not there to give legal advice or to take sides. You can bring your lawyer with you to a mediation session, or consult your lawyer ahead of time if you prefer.

Family mediation can be a faster and more cost-effective way to deal with family conflicts when compared to taking these issues to court. Our Edmonton divorce lawyers can help you determine when family mediation is a good option and whether it is the best option in your circumstances.

When can you use family mediation?

While the use of mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is typically voluntary, the Alberta court has changed the rules in response to COVID-19 and the resulting backlog in the courts. It is now possible for a judge to order the parties to a family action to participate in some form of ADR before they can proceed through the court system. As of May 2020, Calgary and Edmonton have a family court docket, which requires the court to explore the possibility of using ADR with each family that appears before them.

Some mediators recommend that mediation is not appropriate in cases where family violence has occurred or where one spouse tends to bully the other. It may be possible to correct for any power imbalance in your relationship by bringing your lawyer with you to the mediation session.

What issues can a family mediator help to resolve?

Mediation can be used to resolve any of the disputes arising from your separation or divorce. They can help you and your spouse come to an agreement regarding:

  • the payment of child support or spousal support
  • the division of family property or the payment of family debts
  • child custody or guardianship
  • parenting schedules and other disputes relating to the children.

They can also help resolve any other matter that might be preventing spouses from moving towards a solution. For example, if one spouse has failed to produce certain documents that the other spouse wants to see before agreeing to a specific division of the family property, the mediator may be able to help them negotiate a solution to the problem and relieve the spouses of needing to bring an application for the production of those documents in court.

Is there anything a mediator cannot do?

The only thing a mediator is unable to do is grant a divorce. A divorce must be granted by the court. However, it is fairly straight-forward to obtain a simple divorce from the court once all of the other issues arising from your divorce have been settled. You do not need to appear in court to obtain a divorce.

Book a consultation with our Edmonton family lawyers to see if mediation is right for you

One of our Edmonton family lawyers can help you determine when family mediation is a good option. We have been proudly helping Albertans with their family mediation issues for decades now and a member of our legal team will be pleased to speak with you. Contact us today to figure out if family mediation is the right option for you.

Disclaimer: Please note the content contained in this article is not intended to act as legal advice as each matter is different. Please consult with an Alberta lawyer for specific legal advice on this topic

The benefits of having a will in Alberta

The benefits of having a will in Alberta

The benefits of having a will in Alberta

A will is a written document that sets out how you want your property to be divided after your death, specifies who you want to be the guardian of any minor children you leave behind and appoints a person to be in charge of the distribution of your property.

Many people avoid preparing a will because they find it unpleasant to think about dying. Some people do not think they have enough money or property to make the effort worthwhile. The real benefit of having a will in Alberta is not about controlling what happens to your money after you die, but rather that you can organize your family's finances to ensure their well-being after you are gone. Our estate lawyers can assist you in preparing a will that addresses all of your concerns.

Do you need a will?

Having a will is particularly important if:

  • you have dependent children, a spouse and/or an ex-spouse
  • you want to leave money or property to charity when you die
  • you want to leave specific property or heirlooms to specific individuals.

A will enables your family to proceed with their lives after you are gone while minimizing the stress and expenses associated with transferring your property and responsibilities.

What will happen if you die without a will?

If you die without a will it is referred to as dying intestate. In this situation, the court will be asked to make certain decisions, including:

  • who will manage the distribution of your estate
  • who will be the guardian of any children who are minors when you die.

If you own any property or have any money when you die, it will be distributed according to a pre-arranged formula set out in Alberta's Wills and Succession Act. This formula may or may not reflect the reality of your life and take care of everyone who is important to you.

If you die intestate, a certain amount of your estate goes to your spouse or your interdependent partner as described in the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act, if you have one. If your children are also your spouse's children, your entire estate will go to your spouse.If your children are not all also your spouse's children, then your spouse will receive part of your estate and the rest will be divided among your children.

If you die without a spouse or children, your property will be divided among surviving grandchildren, parents, siblings, nieces or nephews, if applicable.

Even if the formula set out in the legislation reflects your wishes for the distribution of your property after you die, a will is still beneficial. If the court has to make any decisions, even if the only decision they have to make is naming an executor for your estate, then the distribution of your property will take significantly longer and cost significantly more money than if you had left a will.

Contact our Edmonton Wills and Estates Lawyer & Book Your Consultation

Protect your family from the uncertainty and financial repercussions of having to deal with the intestate division of your estate. Talk to one of our estate lawyers about the benefits of having a will in Alberta. Contact us as soon as possible and safeguard your family's future. Proudly representing Albertans with all their legal needs.

Disclaimer: Please note the content contained in this article is not intended to act as legal advice as each matter is different. Please consult with an Alberta lawyer for specific legal advice on this topic.

Do fathers have the same parental rights as mothers during a divorce in Alberta?

Do fathers have the same parental rights as mothers during a divorce in Alberta?

Do fathers have the same parental rights as mothers during a divorce in Alberta?

When it comes to questions of custody or guardianship, parenting time and contact orders, mothers and fathers have the same legal rights.When the court is asked to resolve disputes involving children, it no longer makes sweeping generalizations based on the gender of the parent.Instead, the court focuses on what will be best in each specific situation, with a particular focus on what will work best for the children.

Who is a parent?

Unless a child has been adopted or was born using a method of assisted reproduction, the parents of a child are the child's biological mother and biological father.If a child was adopted, the child's parents are the people, or person, who adopted them.

In the case of a child born using assisted reproduction, the child's parentage is determined based on whose biological material (eggs, sperm, embryo) was used during the assisted reproduction and whether or not a surrogate is the birth mother of the child. If you intend to use assisted reproduction to conceive a child, or if you intend to donate biological material or be a surrogate, be sure to consult a lawyer to ensure that you fully understand what your rights and responsibilities will be with respect to the child.

There are certain legal presumptions that are made regarding who is the father of a child.For example, if your wife or common law partner gives birth, either during your relationship or within a certain period of time after you become divorced or separated, you will be presumed to be the father of the child.This presumption can be proven to be incorrect in court, if necessary.

Do fathers have the same parental rights as mothers during a divorce in Alberta?Legally, a father and a mother have the same rights with respect to their child. Parents who live together share guardianship rights and responsibilities and are expected to make decisions for their child together.If disputes arise during a separation or divorce, sometimes parents will find it necessary to have the court help them resolve these disputes.Rather than focusing on the rights of the parents, he court looks at factors relating to the best interests of the children.

What are the best interests of the child?

What factors will a court look at when making decisions affecting children?The court is required to do everything it can to ensure the child's safety (physical, emotional and psychological).The court must consider all of the child's needs and circumstances, including:

  • physical, psychological and emotional needs, specifically including the need for stability
  • who has cared for the child during the relationship
  • the cultural or religious upbringing of the child during the relationship
  • the child's opinion, if appropriate depending on the age of the child
  • specific plans for the child's care proposed by either parent
  • family violence that occurred during the relationship
  • the relationships that the child has with each parent and with other relevant individuals such as siblings, step-parents or grandparents
  • the ability of each parent to meet their responsibilities with respect to the child
  • any civil or criminal proceedings that are relevant to the child's well-being.

Speak with our Edmonton divorce lawyers for more help

Our Edmonton divorce lawyers can help answer all of your questions relating to whether fathers have the same parental rights as mothers during a divorce in Alberta.Let us help you protect your family. Contact us today.

Disclaimer: Please note the content contained in this article is not intended to act as legal advice as each matter is different. Please consult with an Alberta lawyer for specific legal advice on this topic

Can A Spouse Sue for Adultery in Alberta

Can A Spouse Sue for Adultery in Alberta

Can A Spouse Sue for Adultery in Alberta

In Canada, divorce is governed by the Federal Divorce Act. There are no provincial laws governing marriage or divorce. The Divorce Act provides for three “grounds”, or reasons, for which a divorce will be granted. These are:

  • adultery
  • cruelty
  • living separate and apart from your spouse for one year.

Of the three grounds, by far the most commonly used is that the spouses have been separated for a year, even if the real reason for the divorce is that one of the spouses committed adultery. Our Edmonton divorce lawyers can help you determine the best way to claim a divorce in your situation.

Do you still have to wait a year to get divorced?

When can a spouse sue for adultery in Alberta? You do not have to wait any length of time to either file or obtain your divorce if the ground you claim is adultery (or cruelty). However, this will probably only enable you to obtain a divorce quickly if your spouse agrees to sign an affidavit admitting that they committed adultery.

If you need to have a trial to prove the adultery, it is likely that you will end up having to wait at least a year for your divorce order.Therefore, many people find it more practical to file for divorce based on one year of separation.The court requires less evidence, so it is easier and cheaper - unless your spouse is willing to cooperate and provide all the evidence relating to the adultery.

What is adultery?

Adultery occurs when one spouse voluntarily has sexual intercourse with a person other than their spouse during the course of the marriage. Adultery has not occurred, and a court will not grant a divorce if:

  • you lie and say you committed adultery when you really didn't (collusion)
  • you encouraged your spouse to commit adultery so you could obtain a divorce (connivance)
  • you forgave your spouse for the adultery they committed and agreed to continue the marriage (condonation).

If you forgave your spouse for a particular incident of adultery and then they committed adultery again after that, you can still claim a divorce based on adultery, as long as you did not give them permission to commit adultery on an ongoing basis, such as in an open marriage.

How can a spouse sue for adultery in Alberta?

In order for an Alberta court to grant a divorce based on the ground of adultery, the court must have evidence that the adultery occurred. If the spouse who committed adultery is willing to admit to the adultery in court, they can sign an affidavit swearing to the adultery.

If the spouse who committed adultery is not willing to admit to the adultery, it can be more difficult to prove. In order to prove adultery at a trial, you will need a witness who can testify about the adultery based on something they saw or did themselves. Someone who heard about an affair between two other people but did not witness it first-hand cannot provide evidence that the affair happened.

Contact our Edmonton divorce lawyers for legal assistance today

Our Edmonton divorce lawyers will provide you with the advice you need to determine if you can, or should, claim adultery as a ground for divorce. Let us help you protect yourself and your family. Get in touch today! We are proud to represent Albertans with their legal needs and a member of our legal team will be pleased to speak with you.

Disclaimer: Please note the content contained in this article is not intended to act as legal advice as each matter is different. Please consult with an Alberta lawyer for specific legal advice on this topic

How can an Edmonton Slip and Fall Lawyer Help Me?

How Can An Edmonton Slip And Fall Lawyer Help Me?

How Can An Edmonton Slip And Fall Lawyer Help Me?

Data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) indicates that in Alberta, unintentional falls are the leading cause of injuries requiring a trip to the hospital. Falls are notorious for causing broken bones, concussions and injuries to soft tissue such as strains or sprains. Serious injuries like these can interfere with your ability to engage in normal activities including but not limited to:

  • caring for yourself or others
  • maintaining your home and
  • working.

The effects of a slip and fall accident may last for weeks, months or even longer. Long-term injuries that prevent you from working or performing other necessary activities can have a lasting financial impact on you and your family. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, an Edmonton slip and fall lawyer can help you determine if you might be entitled to financial compensation.

Seniors Are Particularly Susceptible To Slip And Fall Injuries

As we age, we may be both more likely to fall and more likely to be seriously injured when we fall. A recent report from the CIHI indicates that 4 out of every 5 seniors who were hospitalized due to an injury (as opposed to an illness) between 2017 and 2018 were injured in a slip and fall accident. In addition, the number of slip and fall-related injuries requiring hospitalization of seniors has increased since the 2015-2016 reporting period.

Slips On Snow And Ice Are Especially Dangerous For Seniors

Here in Edmonton, we enjoy several months of winter. Extended periods of freezing weather can result in icy and other slippery conditions. The cold and snow can also make it difficult for property owners to keep up with necessary repairs and maintenance that might prevent others from slipping or tripping and falling on their property.

A report from Statistics Canada indicates that for all age groups, slip or trip and fall accidents on a non-icy surface are the most common cause of fall-related injury. However, slipping on ice or snow was also very common, especially among seniors. In fact, slipping on ice or snow caused 19% of falls among those aged 65 or older.

What Your Slip And Fall Lawyer Will Do For You

A slip and fall accident can happen to anyone at any time. Depending on factors such as the location of your accident, the extent of your injuries and how your injuries have affected your life - you may be eligible for compensation. A Slip and fall lawyer will review your case details with you, arrange for treatment and handle all aspects of your case to ensure that you get the compensation you may be entitled to. They will also handle all communications with your insurance provider so you can focus on healing from your injuries.

Contact our Edmonton Slip and Fall Lawyers for a Free Consultation

People who have been injured in a slip and fall accident are often unsure of their legal rights. There is no need to remain uncertain about your health or your finances. Protect yourself and your family with the help of a slip and fall lawyer. Our Edmonton slip and fall lawyer will gather the information necessary to assess your case and let you know whether or not pursuing compensation for your injury is worthwhile. A consultation with one of our slip and fall lawyers is risk-free and easy to arrange. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Disclaimer: Please note this article is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice please consult with a lawyer.

Alberta seeking to amend Police Act, Provincial Offences Procedures Act and Queen’s Counsel Act

Alberta seeking to amend Police Act, Provincial Offences Procedures Act and Queen’s Counsel Act

Alberta seeking to amend Police Act, Provincial Offences Procedures Act and Queen’s Counsel Act

The Alberta government has recently passed Bill 38, the Justice Statutes Amendment Act, which, when in force, will amend various statutes that govern the province's justice system. The long list of legislative changes includes an official recognition of the importance of First Nations police forces in the province.

Amendments to the Police Act

The Police Act governs the provision of police services in Alberta. Among other things, the Act:

  • sets out minimum qualifications for police officers
  • grants jurisdiction to police officers and police services and
  • establishes and governs a system for hearing public complaints related to policing in the province.

The recent amendments officially acknowledge the role of First Nations police forces in the province. This recognition will ensure that the government's plans to modernize policing in the province through a review of the Police Act will take into account First Nations police forces. It will also ensure that any future changes made to the Police Act as a result of the review will apply to First Nations police forces and the communities they serve.

Amendments to the Provincial Offences Procedures Act

The Provincial Offences Procedures Act governs procedures for the enforcement of provincial offences and the use of violation tickets.

The recent amendments will authorize First Nations to enforce their bylaws by issuing tickets. Other amendments include the ability to:

  • participate in trials by videoconference or telephone
  • communicate with the court through the use of electronic means (telephone and email) for certain routine matters including entering a plea or setting a trial date
  • serve a wider variety of tickets through the mail.

Amendments to the Queen's Counsel Act

The Queen's Counsel Act governs a system for recognizing outstanding service among lawyers who are members of the Bar of Alberta by granting the designation of "Her Majesty's Counsel", commonly referred to as "Queen's Counsel" or "QC."

The recent amendments will result in an automatic revocation of the designation for any Queen's Counsel who are disbarred.

The current eligibility criteria set out in the Act require a lawyer to practice for a minimum of ten years in Canada, Great Britain, or a combination of the two. The amendments to the Act will enable the designation to be granted to a lawyer who has spent all or a portion of that ten years practicing in other Commonwealth jurisdictions that use a legal system based on the common law.

Other Changes to the Justice System in Alberta

Other changes intended to help modernize the province's justice system include:

  • an amendment to the Jury Act that allows juror summons to be sent by email
  • an amendment to the Referendum Act that will enable referendums and senate elections to be held at the same time as a municipal election
  • changes to the Victims Restitution and Compensation Payment Act (soon to be renamed the Civil Forfeiture Act) to increase the number of offences eligible for civil forfeiture and allow the government to fund the administration of the civil forfeiture program through proceeds raised by the program.

Disclaimer: Please note this article is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice please consult with a lawyer.

Rehman v Sadouzai : Dividing Assets from Foreign Property

Rehman v Sadouzai : Dividing Assets from Foreign Property

Rehman v Sadouzai : Dividing Assets from Foreign Property

Rehman v. Sadouzai, 2020 ABQB 623: Dividing Assets from Foreign Property

The recent Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench case of Rehman v. Sadouzai provides some useful insight for those involved in a division of matrimonial property concerning assets located outside Canada. Specifically, the Court examined documents relating to the sale of a property in Pakistan and the tracing of those funds to the purchase of assets in Canada. The Court’s analysis involved a discussion of the standard to which the Court must hold documentary evidence obtained from other countries.

Case Summary of Rehman v. Sadouzai

In this case, the parties (Mr. Kahn and Ms. Sadouzai) were originally from Pakistan. Mr. Kahn had inherited a property in Pakistan along with his siblings before the parties were married. The property was sold during the marriage. Mr. Kahn provided some evidence that he immediately loaned the money to a friend and was repaid over a period of time. Mr. Kahn claimed that he eventually used the funds to purchase shares in his employer in Canada. The shares were sold at around the time the parties separated.

There was no dispute between the parties that the increase in value of the shares was matrimonial property. Ms. Sadouzai did not dispute that Mr. Kahn could claim an exemption for funds that could be traced from the sale of the Pakistan property to the purchase of the shares. The only dispute arose from discrepancies in the documents provided by Mr. Kahn as evidence of the value of the Pakistan property at the time it was sold.

The original deed of sale indicated that Mr. Kahn’s share of the property was approximately $18,000 CND. After the separation, Mr. Kahn contacted a lawyer in Pakistan to obtain the paperwork related to the sale. The lawyer provided documents that indicated the original deed was incorrect and Mr. Kahn’s share of the property was approximately $126,000 CND. Ms. Sadouzai had no direct knowledge of the sale of the property but she was prepared to accept the value on the original deed to determine the value of the exempt property.

Mr. Kahn explained that the discrepancies in the paperwork were a result of the different way of doing business and keeping records in Pakistan. He took the position that it would not be proper to hold Pakistan to a Canadian standard of record-keeping. The court found that Mr. Kahn’s claim for an exemption from the division of matrimonial property arose from Alberta’s Matrimonial Property Act and therefore the laws of Alberta and Canada must be applied to all the evidence supplied in support of that claim, even the evidence obtained from foreign jurisdictions.

Mr. Kahn was given an exemption of $18,000 CND from the sale of the shares, as agreed by Ms. Sadouzai. Neither the documentary evidence nor Mr. Kahn’s testimony satisfied the court that he was entitled to an exemption of $126,000 CND.

Contact our Edmonton Divorce Lawyers for help dividing assets from foreign property

If you have property outside the jurisdiction, it can add an extra obstacle to the already complicated process of dividing family assets after a separation or divorce. It can be difficult to obtain the documents or evidence that the court needs to make a fair assessment. Our Edmonton divorce lawyers can help. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Alberta Government Seeks To Offer Dispute Resolution Procedures for Landlords and Tenants of Mobile Home Sites

Alberta Government Seeks To Offer Dispute Resolution Procedures for Landlords and Tenants of Mobile Home Sites

Alberta Government Seeks To Offer Dispute Resolution Procedures for Landlords and Tenants of Mobile Home Sites

Recent changes to the Mobile Home Sites Tenancies Act have made it possible for landlords and tenants of mobile home sites to access the government of Alberta's Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) for help with a number of residential tenancy-related disputes. If you require legal assistance with a matter similar to this - contact our law firm to book a consultation with a member of our legal team.

What is the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS)?

The RTDRS is a government service that provides a quicker, more affordable mechanism for resolving disputes between residential landlords and tenants than is possible through the court system. It was created in 2005 to hear claims under the Residential Tenancies Act. The jurisdiction of the RTDRS was expanded in May 2020 to enable it to hear applications brought under the Mobile Home Sites Tenancies Act as well.

What types of Disputes will the RTDRS hear?

The RTDRS can resolve a number of claims arising under the Mobile Home Sites Tenancies Act.A tenant of a mobile home site can apply for:

  • the return of a security deposit
  • an order ending the tenancy
  • a reduction of rent in certain circumstances
  • compensation for performing duties that the landlord promised to perform as part of the rental agreement.

A landlord of a mobile home site can apply to the RTDRS for:

  • an order involving unpaid rent
  • an order ending the tenancy and permitting the landlord to take possession of the mobile home site or requiring the tenant to vacate the mobile home site.

Either a landlord or a tenant can apply to the RTDRS for financial compensation for damages caused by the breach of a rental agreement.

Are you eligible to apply?

The RTDRS accepts applications dealing with claims valued up to $50,000. An application can be filed by either a landlord or a tenant of a mobile home site or a representative authorized by either a landlord or a tenant. An application must be filed within two years of the date the claim is discovered by the applicant.

If your claim is valued at over $50,000 or deals with an issue outside the jurisdiction of the RTDRS, such as specific repair orders, you still have the option of filing your application with the courts. There are however nuances to this, so we recommend you consult with a lawyer to go over your case.

What does the dispute resolution process look like?

Once an application is filed with the RTDRS, the applicant must serve a copy on the other party. The RTDRS then schedules a hearing in front of a Tenancy Dispute Officer, who issues an order that can be enforced in a court.

The fees are lower than the fees for filing a claim in court and the process relieves some burden on the court system by keeping many residential tenancy disputes out of the courts. The RTDRS is also less formal than the court system, which some people find less stressful.

Contact our Edmonton Real Estate Lawyers For Legal Assistance

No matter whether you are a landlord or a tenant, a qualified Edmonton real estate lawyer can help you determine if your dispute can be dealt with by the RTDRS and ensure that you get the resolution you deserve. Making an appointment is easy. Contact our law firm today to book a consultation with one of our Edmonton real estate lawyers today.

Disclaimer: Please note this article is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice please consult with a lawyer.

Separation and Separation Agreements in Alberta

Separation and Separation Agreements in Alberta

Separation and Separation Agreements in Alberta

How is separation defined in Alberta?

Whether a couple is married or involved in an inter-dependant relationship and that relationship ends – they are considered separated in Alberta. When a couple is considered separated for a year or more – that is typically enough grounds for divorce. Couples can also end their relationship in the form of a separation agreement which is a contractual agreement between both parties that outlines the terms of their separation prior to divorcing.

What does a Separation Agreement contain?

A separation agreement will outline a framework for contentious issues such as:

  • Child custody and child support
  • Spousal support
  • How property will be divided accordingly including both financial and physical assets
  • How debts will be divided for repayment
  • How will legal fees for the proceedings be paid

Separation agreements will be signed by both parties and it is recommended that both parties hire a divorce lawyer for this process to ensure the rights of both parties are protected.

Valuation of Assets

With respect to assets - a lawyer would recommend that the assets get a valuation done by a third-party expert. A separation agreement may also contain details of who will assess the value of the assets. Financial assets may include but are not limited to things like pension plans, insurance policies, tax refunds, financial investments, stock and bonds, trusts, GICs, profit sharing plans, bank accounts (both joint and individual) and possibly more. Physical assets may include things like pets, tools, vehicles, real estate that includes primary homes, cottages and real estate investments. Other things include jewellery, artwork, inheritances, furniture and more.

Allocation of Debts and Outstanding Payments

Another thing that a separation agreement should outline is who is responsible for paying existing debts and loans. This part is very important and generally a very contentious point in the divorce process so hiring a lawyer or a mediator to handle this part can be helpful.

Disclosure of Financial Information

During a separation or divorce proceedings - both parties are obligated to disclose their financial information including tax returns, bank account statements, credit card statements, property assessment notices, pay stubs, corporate financial statements and more. Hiding any of this information is against the law and can result in criminal charges being laid if you knowingly hold back any of this information during your proceedings. We recommend you hire a lawyer if you are about to commence a separation or divorce proceedings.

Contact our Edmonton divorce lawyers for legal assistance on separation and separation agreements

Our Edmonton divorce lawyers are qualified to provide you legal advice on separation and separation agreements. We have provided legal advice to thousands of Albertans on separation matters. With 3 offices in the Edmonton area - we are committed to making access to justice easier for our local community. Please contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation with our legal team if you are contemplating separation or a divorce. Book your consultation here or call us at 587-410-2500 now.

Disclaimer: Please note the advice in this article is not to be substituted for legal advice as it pertains to your unique situation. For legal advice please consult with an Edmonton divorce lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office as every situation is different from one another.