The Importance of Estate Planning in Alberta

The Importance of Estate Planning in Alberta

The Importance of Estate Planning in Alberta

At Verhaeghe Law Office – our Edmonton estate administration lawyers always advise our clients to have a proper estate plan regardless of how old or young you are. While estate planning for someone in their 20s may differ from someone in their 30’s or 40’s – the sooner you have an estate plan in place, the better. Our estate lawyers can provide many estate planning solutions regardless of how small or large and complex your estate needs may be. Our lawyers will begin by gaining a thorough and detailed understanding of your estate as well as your individual needs and goals. After undertaking this phase – our lawyers will present you with many options to help accomplish your estate goals. For some individuals – the thought of succession planning after death can be a very uncomfortable and daunting task. But estate planning is very important for many reasons which we’ll explain here.

Why is Estate Planning So Important?

Having a plan in place is always better than not having a plan. One of the primary benefits of estate planning is that it leaves your loved ones with less burden after you pass on because every aspect of your estate plan will be clearly outlined in a legal document. A lawyer may provide in-depth advice on matters such as:

  • Cottage property and other investment property succession
  • Establishing trusts
  • Minimizing probate and estate taxes
  • Charitable planning
  • Power of attorney for personal care and other financial related matters
  • Maximizing life insurance and other insurance policies in an estate plan
  • Providing for beneficiaries with special needs
  • Providing for dependants
  • Complex will planning
  • Business succession planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Incapacity Planning
  • High-net worth estate planning
  • Financial incapacity planning
  • Investment planning
  • And more

While disputes may still arise even if there is a will present – having a detailed estate plan may minimize the chances for conflict down the road if a lawyer has done it properly. An estate lawyer will also ensure that your last wishes will be carried out in the most effective, pragmatic and cost-efficient way possible. At Verhaeghe Law Office – our estate planning lawyers can also assist with domestic, cross-border and multijurisdictional trust and estate legal advice. We understand that all clients have different needs – and that’s why our lawyers will come up with a custom estate solution for you based on your individual needs.

Contact our Edmonton Estate Planning Lawyers Today

If you or a loved on are in need of legal advice regarding estate planning – contact our Edmonton estate planning lawyers today. Our estate planning lawyers can represent Albertans with all their estate planning needs. Our law firm has three offices – making it easier to serve our clients with an office in Edmonton, Athabasca and St. Albert. Book a consultation with our legal team today and let us put our experience to work for you.

Disclaimer: If you are in need of specific legal advice regarding estate planning please consult with a lawyer for specific legal advice. Our article here is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and not as individual legal advice.

Safeguarding Family Wealth During Rising Divorce Rates

Safeguarding Family Wealth During Rising Divorce Rates

Safeguarding Family Wealth During Rising Divorce Rates

Last week we discussed how divorce rates were looming in Canada and across the world after COVID-19 hit. Sometimes – parents may also look at their own children’s marriages and fear that their children may end up in a divorce which may affect their estate planning decisions. A research study commissioned by Handelsbanken Wealth Management Company reported that 67% of people had delayed family inheritance planning due to the fear that their cumulative assets could leave their estate during their children’s divorce. The same report concluded that 27% of parents have little or no confidence about their children’s marriages lasting which also contributes to the fear of doing estate planning early on. Finally, the same report also concluded that 13% of parents are holding back financial support because they believe it inhibits their children’s desire to work and earn their own money.

Tips on Safeguarding Family Wealth

At Verhaeghe Law Office we have seen many instances where marriages fail because things were not in writing from the get-go. Here are 3 tips we have prepared on how to safeguard your family wealth in the event of a divorce:

  1. Cohabitation Agreements: Have a cohabitation agreement in place from the moment you have moved in with your significant other. This agreement will provide guidelines on how things get divided in the event your relationship ends – leaving a lot of guesswork out of the process later on down the road.
  2. Setting Up Family Trusts: Have Trust(s) set up by a wills and estates lawyer. An estate lawyer can set up a Trust(s) that works for you and your estate. Family trusts especially allows wealth to be passed out of the parent’s estate for inheritance tax purposes and clauses can be put in as to what happens in the event of your children divorcing.
  3. Prenuptial Agreements: Have prenuptial agreements in place prior to becoming legally married or lawful partners. Again, these types of agreements can prevent your assets from getting taken from you and your child if it’s clearly laid out from the beginning in writing. Always encourage your children to get one done before getting married – as it will save both parties a lot of money down the road.

Finally, we always recommend you consult with a lawyer for legal advice on how to better safeguard your family wealth prior to your children getting married. We also recommend that you guide your children to hire a lawyer as well to ensure that any necessary legal documents and paperwork are set in place prior to them getting married or living together as this will prevent a lot of excess legal fees down the road. It is better to plan first than to be sorry later.

Verhaeghe Law Office’s Edmonton Estate Planning Lawyers & Family Lawyers Are Here For You

Our Edmonton estate planning lawyers and Edmonton divorce lawyers can assist you with safeguarding your family wealth during divorce proceedings. Taking a little extra time to safeguard your wealth can save you a great deal of money down the road. Contact our law firm today for a consultation with an estate planning lawyer or family lawyer.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute legal advice. If you require divorce law advice in Alberta – then please consult with a divorce lawyer or family lawyer for specific advice as it pertains to your specific situation.

The Rise in Divorces During COVID-19

The Rise in Divorces During COVID-19

The Rise in Divorces During COVID-19

The recent COVID-19 pandemic certainly gave families an opportunity to spend more time together with most people having to work from home. However, for relationships that were already in peril – it offered a somewhat different experience and set of emotions. A recent news article by CBC Global News in July of 2020 reported that divorce rates have increased during the coronavirus pandemic and that lawyers are expecting even more divorce applications in the near future. The only challenge presented by divorce applications during the pandemic is that due to the fact the courts were partially closed for non-urgent matters – divorce applications are taking longer to process.

Canada Expected To See Spike in Divorces as Courts Re-open

While the pandemic isn’t quite over yet – many lawyers across Canada believe that there will continue to be a surge in divorces as courts slowly re-open. Some law firms have already reported seeing a 20% increase in inquiries from people looking to separate from their spouses than before COVID 19 appeared. This trend is not only happening in Canada and the United States – but many law firms have witnessed this same trend in other countries including Italy, Spain and China. These countries are seeing soaring divorce rates. A potential second wave of infections has couples concerned they may have to live through their current situation longer than they wanted – so this may also contribute to the rise in divorces.

Delays in Getting Your Divorce Application Processed

With the COVID 19 pandemic our country (as well as many other countries) had to endure many lockdowns – including courts across Canada. While courts were reviewing emergency family law matters such as emergency orders, child custody and support disputes, etc. – divorce applications were being put on the back burner which to many divorcing/separating couples – only made a challenging situation even more difficult. Some provincial courts were slower than others to adopt new technologies to further delay any court proceedings – but our lawyers are optimistic that whether a second wave hits or not – we’ll still be able to help you get your divorce processed and finalized as soon as possible.

Verhaeghe Law Office’s Edmonton Divorce Lawyers Are Here For You

Verhaeghe Law Office is proud to represent Albertans with their family law and divorce law needs. Our Edmonton divorce lawyers operate out of three offices including Edmonton, St. Albert and Athabasca – making it easier to serve our clients. If you or a loved one are in need of legal assistance to process your divorce – don’t delay and act now. Contact our divorce lawyers now for a consultation with a member of our legal team. If you book a consultation online – a member from our team will be in touch with you within 24 hours. You can call us, email us or live chat with us to get your consultation booked.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute legal advice. If you require divorce law advice in Alberta – then please consult with a divorce lawyer or family lawyer for specific advice as it pertains to your specific situation.

Contino v. Leonelli-Contino: It’s Impact on Child Support Guidelines in Alberta

Contino v. Leonelli-Contino: It’s Impact on Child Support Guidelines in Alberta

Contino v. Leonelli-Contino: It’s Impact on Child Support Guidelines in Alberta

On November 10, 2005 – the Supreme Court of Canada reviewed and advised on the Child Support Guidelines with respect to the calculation of child support in shared parenting situations. This precedent setting case is now relied upon by lawyers when disputes in shared custody cases and child support matters arise. In this decision, the Supreme Court of Canada attempts to lay the framework for Guidelines in calculating child support under section 9.

Contino v. Leonell-Contino Case Facts

In 1992, a couple separated and maintained joint custody of their son who primarily lived with his mother full-time. The father made an annual income of $87,000/year while the mother made an annual income of $68,000/year. Approximately 9 years after the date of separation – the father applied for an application to reduce his monthly child support payments pursuant to s. 9 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines. He did so on the basis that he and the mother were now sharing custody of the child and he now had more access to the child. While initially the judges agreed to reduce his monthly child support payments to $100/month – the divisional court set aside that decision and ordered the father to continue paying the full table amount of $688/month. The Court of Appeal then reduced that amount to $399/month after consideration of s. 9 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines. The mother then appealed this decision and took this matter to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Contino Decision

The judges reviewed each part of s. 9 including the amounts set out in the child support tables for each of the spouses, the increased costs of shared custody arrangements as well as the conditions, means, needs and other circumstances of each spouse in this matter. They also reviewed the initial court orders and variations. The judges advised that there was no presumption in favour of the full table amount nor was there a presumption in favour of a reduction. The judge also advised against the “chill-effect” which refers to a situation where a slight increase in access can result in a massive reduction in child support. Essentially, the courts ruled that s. 9 needs to be interpreted in a way to avoid chill-effects. The judge also warned that we need to exercise caution when interpreting this section as it may encourage parents to prevent access beyond a certain threshold.

Edmonton Child Support Lawyers Serving all of Alberta

At Verhaeghe Law – our Edmonton child support lawyers have been helping clients across Alberta since the firm was founded. Our child support lawyers take an educational approach with our clients where we aim to educate our clients on the Child Support Guidelines and provide legal guidance on what’s best for the family unit. Contact our law firm today to speak directly with an Edmonton child support lawyer. If you book a consultation with us – a member of our legal team will be in touch with you within 24 hours to review your child support issue with you. Don’t delay and book a consultation with us today.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute legal advice. If you require specific legal advice regarding child support legal issues in Alberta – then please consult with a child support lawyer or family lawyer for specific advice as it pertains to your specific situation.

What You Need to Know About Getting a Home Appraisal While Going Through a Divorce

What You Need to Know About Getting a Home Appraisal While Going Through a Divorce

What You Need to Know About Getting a Home Appraisal While Going Through a Divorce

Getting a divorce is a stressful and overwhelming time for anybody going through it. No matter the reason, whether it be because of infidelity, finances, or simply different outlooks on life, getting a divorce is a time-consuming process that is anything but simple. There are various things that the couple must do before they finalize their divorce, such as determine custody of children, sort out finances, and decide who gets what.

When deciding who gets what, many couples have to decide who gets to keep the house or property. This in itself is a complex task, especially if both parties want to keep the home. However, what happens when neither party wants to keep the home and they both want to sell it? Couples can go ahead and put their home on the market for sale, but will first have to get a home appraisal.

The Top 3 Home Appraisal Tips To Think About If You Are Getting a Divorce

It’s important to get an appropriate home appraisal before selling your home so that you can get the right asking price for your home. With that being said, since couples will need to call home appraisers during a divorce, it's important that they know the basics of what will happen and what to do in regards to that appraisal. If you are in the process of getting a divorce and are preparing for a home appraisal, here are 3 important tips to think about.

1. Prepare Your Home In an Appropriate Way

This is an important thing to consider whenever you are getting a home appraisal, however, some people don’t make an effort to do this when they are getting a home appraisal in the midst of a divorce. Preparing your home is essential in getting an appropriate and quality appraisal; and preparing your home means much more than just vacuuming and straightening up the rooms. In fact, preparing your home for an appraisal should be a fairly in-depth process, and will require a decent amount of time, effort, and money; which is why those getting a divorce do not take the time to properly prepare their home. Some ways that you and your soon to be ex-spouse should prepare your home for an appraisal include:

  • Redo the kitchen or bathrooms if they are old or worn
  • Paint rooms that need a fresh coat
  • Touch up baseboards
  • Make the exterior of your home look attractive
  • Repair and holes in the wall and scuffs or scratches on the walls
  • Replace flooring

Working with your soon to be ex-spouse can be a challenge, but if you truly want an appropriate appraisal of your home, you will have to put aside your differences and prepare your house.

2. What to Do When You Can’t Agree on an Appraisal

It’s common for couples in the midst of a divorce to not be able to agree on an appraisal value or even an appraiser in general. If this sounds like something you are dealing with, there are a few outcomes that may occur, such as:

  • Each spouse gets their own appraiser to value the home and the court will take the average of the two prices or will decide which price is more accurate
  • Each spouse gets a CMA from a different real estate agent, and the court will choose who to hire for the appraisal
  • The couple can come to an agreement

You should strive for one of these outcomes and talk to your divorce lawyer about what you can do to make one of these outcomes happen in a simple and civil way.

3. Split the Value

You will need to make sure that you and your soon to be ex-spouse are splitting the home’s value. Of course, there are a few complex aspects of this tip, such as whether or not you and your ex-spouse bought the house together or not and whether or not the house is 100% paid off; but overall, you will need to work towards splitting the value fair and square.

Knowing that you need to split the value will make not only the home appraisal process easier, it will also make the divorce easier too.

Make Your Home Appraisal and Divorce as Pain- Free as Possible

Divorce is a tough situation for a lot of reasons, so it's important that for your own peace of mind you do all that you can to make the process as easy as possible. When it comes to getting an appraisal for your home, keep these 3 simple tips in mind, and you will be doing your part in making the home appraising process of divorce an easy one.

About the Author
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey

What are Dependant’s Relief Claims?

What are Dependant’s Relief Claims?

What are Dependant’s Relief Claims?

In Alberta, the Wills and Succession Act outlines the rights of beneficiaries to receive support after an individual has passed away. Additionally, it provides clarity on the definition of who constitutes a “dependant”. A dependant’s relief claim is essentially an application to receive support from the deceased individual’s estate in the event they were not included in the will or if someone dies without a will. When an individual dies – payments to beneficiaries typically take precedence over any other bequests in the will.

Who is eligible for dependant’s relief?

In order to be considered a dependant in Alberta – the individual must:

  • Be a spouse, child or sibling of the deceased; and
  • Immediately before the deceased death – the deceased must have been providing support to them or was under legal obligation to provide support to them

The definition of a parent also extends to grandparents or a person who has demonstrated a “settled intention to treat the deceased as a child of his or her family”. The definition of a child can also include grandchildren of the deceased or a person who has demonstrated a “settled intention to treat as a child of his or her family, any child conceived before and born alive after the parent’s death”. The definition of a spouse also includes a legally married spouse, or if they were legally married and were subsequently divorced, a common-law spouse, interdependent partner who lived continuously with the deceased for a period legislated by the Province of Alberta or a person whom the deceased had some form of continuous relationship with that was of some permanence. Finally, a sibling in this sense is considered a brother or sister of the deceased.

How an Edmonton Estate Litigation Lawyer Can Help with Dependant Relief Claims

A lawyer will ensure a Notice of Application is filed with the courts including any supporting affidavits and supporting documents. They will also ensure all the relevant parties are served with the documents and court attendance may be necessary. In highly contentious cases there may be things like pre-trial conferences, mediation, examination for discoveries, cross-examinations and more required and these are some of the things a lawyer will assist with. If you need to file a dependant’s relief claim or challenge one – contact our Edmonton estate litigation lawyers today for immediate assistance.

Contact an Edmonton Estate Litigation Lawyer from Alberta for Legal Assistance

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office today for legal assistance with respect to dependant relief claims. This is not a type of legal claim that you want to tackle yourself with no legal experience as they can be quite complex. Additionally, there may be representation required on your behalf in court so having an Edmonton estate litigation lawyer on your side when filing this claim can help ensure that it’s filed property and in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure.

You can book a consultation with our legal team today by filling out our online contact form, live chatting with one of our live chat agents or by calling our law firm at 587-410-2500. We look forward to helping you with your claim.

Disclaimer: Please note this is only intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and not intended to act as specific legal advice for your specific situation. For more legal advice please contact a lawyer.

What is Estate Planning in Alberta

What is Estate Planning in Alberta

What is Estate Planning in Alberta

In short form – estate planning refers to how your assets and money will be distributed and debts/financial obligations will be managed after you pass away away. For most individuals, estate planning can be challenging given that you have to think about succession planning after you pass away. And the larger and more complex one’s estate is – the more challenging this task may seem. However, having an estate plan in place sooner than later can save your loved ones a lot of money and grief down the road should any conflicts arise on how the estate gets settled.

Estate planning can include a variety of things such as:

  • Who gets what after you pass away
  • Complex will planning
  • Lawyer and financial representative referrals
  • Providing for beneficiaries
  • Charitable planning
  • Setting up trusts and inter vivos trusts
  • Minimizing probate fees
  • Cottage succession planning
  • Investment property succession planning
  • The distribution or re-investment of your investments including RRSPs, RESPs and other types of financial investments
  • Family law and special needs planning
  • Life insurance policies and retirement planning
  • Incapacity planning and personal care planning
  • Financial incapacity planning
  • Personal care planning
  • And more

Estate Planning Checklist in Alberta

In an earlier blog post - we discussed the importance of having an estate planning checklist and things to consider when estate planning in Alberta. Our Edmonton wills and estates lawyers always emphasize that having an estate plan not only minimizes room for conflict down the road - but also alleviates certain burdens from your loved ones during their time of grief. For example - you will want to consider things like how unsheltered assets will get spent, how to take advantage of RRSP contributions, how property gets transferred (including joint property), how funeral arrangements will take place and get paid for and life insurance policies. Before putting your estate plan in place and consulting with a lawyer - read our blog titled Estate Planning Checklist.

High Value Estate Planning in Alberta

In some cases where the estate is rather large and complex and/or if cross border assets are involved - it is imperative that you consult with an Edmonton estate planning lawyer to ensure that those assets and funds are distributed according to your last wishes appropriately. It is also important to have a proper estate plan in place to minimize the risk of conflict amongst your loved ones or beneficiaries after you pass on especially in high value estates.

Contact Our Edmonton Estate Planning Lawyers Today

If you require legal assistance from an Edmonton estate planning lawyer - contact our law firm today to book a consultation with a member of our legal team. You can book a consultation by live chatting with one of our online agents, filling out an online contact form or by dialing 587-410-2500 now. We look forward to hearing from you and are ready to assist with all your estate planning needs today.

Disclaimer: This article is in now ay intended to act as legal advice and is instead intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic. For specific legal advice pertaining to your case - contact an estate planning lawyer.

How Can An Edmonton Family Lawyer Help Me With My Divorce

How Can an Edmonton Family Lawyer Help Me With My Divorce?

How Can an Edmonton Family Lawyer Help Me With My Divorce?

One of the most frequently asked questions our clients ask us is “how can a family lawyer help me with my divorce”. Hiring a lawyer to handle your divorce proceedings can be valuable in many ways. Here are some ways that an Edmonton family lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office can assist with your divorce law and family law proceedings.

  1. Ensure that filing deadlines and procedures are met and followed

Divorce and family law proceedings in Alberta can be complex when multiple interests are involved, high valued assets involved or if there's a high possibility for conflict. Hiring a divorce lawyer to assist with the process not only ensures that filing deadlines are met and procedures are followed according to the law - but can also ensure that required agreements, forms and other administrative tasks are handled in compliance with the laws as they pertain to your unique situation. There is generally no such thing as a straightforward divorce because in most cases there is more than one party with their individual interests at stake. This is one of the reasons we recommend you hire a family lawyer.

  1. Put your best interests as a number one priority

It always helps when you have someone representing your best interests - especially in emotionally surcharged situations. Having a lawyer to represent your best interests in divorce proceedings may help ensure your assets and interests are protected. We have seen numerous situations where clients get bullied by their soon to be ex spouses and opposing counsel. This is another reason why hiring a family lawyer to help represent your best interests can be crucial to getting the resolve you are looking for.

  1. Aim to expeditiously resolve legal disputes

At Verhaeghe Law Office - we make it another priority to resolve high conflict family law situations and divorces as quick as possible. We have two reasons for this. Firstly, it is more cost effective to resolve divorce and family law proceedings as quick as possible, so you're not left with hefty legal bills. Secondly, it reduces any emotional burdens and stress on all parties. The sooner we reach an amicable resolution - the better for everyone including your children (if there are children involved).

  1. Provide multiple legal solutions for you to consider

At Verhaeghe Law Office we also make it a point to provide you with multiple legal solutions for you to consider as it pertains to your unique situation. While we take pride in providing thorough legal advice to our clients - we also make them a part of the decision-making process when it comes to selecting the best legal course of action for them.

  1. Provide representation in court if necessary

In some cases, it is impossible to settle out of court or through alternative dispute resolution methods. In a situation like this - we provide representation at all levels in court for our clients and handle all correspondence, agreements, administrative tasks and proceedings required for court representation. If your divorce proceedings are unable to settle out of court - we recommend you hire a family lawyer sooner than later.

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office's Edmonton Family Lawyers Now For Legal Assistance With Your Divorce Law Matters

You can contact our law firm by either dialing 587-410-2500, emailing us at office@freedomlaw.ca or booking a consultation request online. We have three offices conveniently located in Edmonton, Athabasca and Whitecourt - making it a priority of ours to ensure easier access to justice for Albertans living in the area. We are proud to assist clients across Alberta with their family law matters so get in touch with us today to book a consultation.

Disclaimer: Please note this article is intended to act as a general overview on a family law topic and does not represent legal advice in any way. For specific legal advice please contact a family lawyer for guidance on your specific situation.

5 Divorce Resources for Albertans If You’re Looking To Get A Divorce

5 Divorce Resources for Albertans If You’re Looking To Get A Divorce

5 Divorce Resources for Albertans If You’re Looking To Get A Divorce

At Verhaeghe Law Office – our Edmonton divorce lawyers have been assisting clients for decades with their family law and divorce law matters. We often get asked by our clients if there are any online resources available regarding divorces in Alberta. We thought it would be a great time to outline our top 5 online divorce resources as a valuable starting point if you are contemplating getting a divorce. For more specific legal advice regarding your family law or divorce law matter – please contact our law firm to book a consultation with one of our Edmonton family or divorce lawyers.

In the meanwhile – please find below our top 5 divorce resources for Albertans.

The Divorce Act

Divorce proceedings are generally governed under the Divorce Act. This Act outlines corollary relief as well as child support orders, spousal support orders, custody orders, variation, recission or suspension of orders, provisional orders and more. The Canadian Constitution allows the Federal Government exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the laws of both marriages and divorces. With more specific questions to your divorce – we recommend you consult with a divorce lawyer.

Alberta Court Divorce Forms

All forms required to process divorce proceedings can be found online on the Alberta Courts website. Here you will find forms such as Affidavits, Judgements, Statements of Claim and more. You can find forms here related to uncontested divorces (with or without children), joint divorces (with or without children), defendant’s divorce forms, miscellaneous divorce forms, child support forms and request for certificate of divorce and more. We recommend you consult with a lawyer for legal assistance in processing these forms.

Law Central Alberta

Law Central Alberta’s website also provides a plethora of divorce resources under the auspices of the Centre for Public Legal Education of Alberta. You can browse popular legal topics as they pertain to divorce, separation, child custody and access, child and spousal support, counselling services, abuse and violence and more popular topics on divorce and family law matters.

Parenting After Separation

The Province of Alberta also offers a course for parents or guardians who are separating or getting a divorce. Course topics include building relationships, how separation affects both parents and children, communication skills, legal issues, alternative dispute resolution options as well as parenting plans. You can register for the course at Resolution Services Learning Centre and attend the course online.

Alberta Child Support Guidelines

The Government of Canada’s Justice Laws Website also outlines how federal child support tables work for the Province of Alberta. This website is a good starting point to see how child support payments are calculated however we recommend you consult with a family lawyer if you require legal assistance with respect to child support calculations.

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office For a Consultation With an Edmonton Divorce Lawyer

Contact our law firm today by emailing us at office@freedomlaw.ca or fill out an online consultation form to book a consultation. You may also call us by dialing 587-410-2500 to book your consultation and a member of our team will respond to your inquiry within one business day. For your convenience we have offices in Edmonton, Whitecourt and Athabasca to ensure easier access to our lawyers and we are proud to assist Albertans with their legal needs.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to act as a general overview on divorce law topics. We recommend you consult with an Edmonton divorce lawyer regarding your specific divorce law questions.

How Does The International Adoption Process Work In Alberta?

How Does The International Adoption Process Work In Alberta?

How Does The International Adoption Process Work In Alberta?

In the last two years – the Province of Alberta has approved 70 international adoptions (also referred to as intercountry adoptions). Adoption of children in different countries outside of Canada are handled by Children’s Services and are typically processed with the involvement of licensed adoption agencies and coordinators. Additionally, there can be complex immigration legal matters as well as family law matters that get taken into consideration when processing an international adoption and this is something a lawyer can assist with. If you live in Alberta and are looking for legal assistance in processing an international adoption – contact our law firm today for legal assistance.

Additionally, it is important to note here that international adoptions have generally two separate processes. The first is the adoption process itself and the second being the immigration and/or citizenship process.

What does an international adoption process look like in Alberta?

If you are looking to adopt internationally – there are provincial and territorial laws which differ from province to province. More information on international adoptions and requirements for Albertans can be found here. Your provincial adoption central authority will advise if you need to contact a licensed adoption agency, provide guidance on laws regarding adoption from the country you are looking to adopt from as well as explain the requirements of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions. In order to adopt a child from abroad you must meet the legal requirements of Alberta as well as requirements from the adoption authority where the child currently resides. The Federal Government only oversees the Immigration and Citizenship process for an adopted child and this is something a lawyer can assist with as well.

How Can Alberta Adoption Services Help?

While an adoption lawyer can assist with satisfying the legal requirements of processing an international adoption – Alberta Adoption Services can assist in a variety of different ways. For example they will review all the necessary applications, conduct a Home Study Report on prospective parents as well as review and approve the parents for adoption, review information on children available for adoption, in some cases work with foreign jurisdictions and the Federal Government/immigration officials to assist with the processing of the adoption and more. Whereas a lawyer can assist with legal processes and offer legal guidance.

What are the Costs Involved in International Adoptions?

Most international adoptions take anywhere from three to four years to complete and can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000 Canadian dollars. Some of these expenses include but are not limited to translation costs, courier fees, parental training, completion of a Home Study Report, preparation legal documents, immigration fees, child’s medical examinations, agency fees in child’s country of origin, travel and accommodations, adoption finalization and Post Placement Reports on a schedule that is outlined by the child’s country of origin.

Contact A Lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office for Legal Assistance on International Adoptions

For more information on how our lawyers can assist with international adoptions – contact our law firm today for a consultation with an Edmonton family lawyer. With offices in Edmonton, Whitecourt and Athabasca – we make it easy for residents of the Greater Edmonton Area to get in touch with us. Call 587-410-2500 to set up your consultation now or fill out an online consultation request and a member of our legal team will be in touch within one business day.

Disclaimer: This article is only intended to act as a general overview on international adoptions and not intended to act as specific legal advice. For specific legal advice please contact our law firm for a consultation with a family lawyer on international adoptions.