How To Open A Franchise in Alberta

How To Open A Franchise in Alberta

How To Open A Franchise in Alberta

Opening a new franchise in Alberta doesn’t need to be an intimidating venture. In fact, we recommend you hire a franchise lawyer who is experienced in opening franchises so they can guide you on all the legalities and nuances that are involved in opening a franchise in Alberta. In addition to having a lawyer give you legal guidance in this process – it’s also important to consider that you are willing and able to adhere to the rigors of entrepreneurship including working long hours, working on weekends and holidays, managing people as well managing finances. Here are a few tips we have put together if you are considering opening a franchise in Alberta. This list is not intended to act as legal guidance – but instead act as a starting point if you are or have considered opening a new franchise in Alberta.

1. Do your research

If you’re up for the rigors of entrepreneurship and have decided that this is a lifestyle you want to pursue – you’ll need to conduct extensive research on a variety of things including provincial and federal franchise laws, finances and costs associated with opening a franchise, employment and business laws and market research to name a few. Do not rush this phase – and reach out to as many experienced people as possible for advice on these items including a franchise lawyer, a franchise consultant, an accountant as well as past and present franchise owners if possible. If you are looking to purchase an existing franchise – some franchise operations conduct franchise discovery days which may be beneficial for you as well.

2. Speak with other franchise owners

Franchise owners are a great source of information for what life is like as a franchise owner. There are different types of franchise owners such as master franchise owners or individual franchise owners. If you are considering opening your own franchise or purchasing an existing franchise – franchise owners are a great source of information on the nuances involved in owning and operating a franchise. We recommend you speak with more than one owner to get a sense of what life as a franchise owner is like.

3. Do due diligence on your location

In addition to customer service – the location of your franchise can be a large determinant on how successful your franchise may or may not be. Do your market research and understand what competition is like in the geographic area you intend to open your franchise in. Conducting a SWAT analysis can also help you understand the various factors you will be faced with when opening your franchise. A marketing professional or franchise consultant may be able to assist with this part of your research phase.

4. Analyze costs

A lot of business owners have a good understanding of what capital costs are required in order to start a new business or franchise. But one thing that’s hard to estimate are operating costs or monthly costs. Speaking with an experienced franchise lawyer or franchise owner can help heighten your understanding of what monthly costs are going to be like for your franchise. It’s very important that you are exhaustive in your efforts to understand costs - so make sure you hire professionals like a franchise lawyer to help make more sense of franchise costs and fees.

5. Hire a franchise lawyer

As mentioned before – hiring a franchise lawyer can help you understand the costs and details of opening and running a franchise. In addition to assisting with legal documents such as franchise agreements, employment agreements, lease agreements and more – a franchise lawyer can point you in the right direction to make sense of your franchise operations for the numerous questions that may arise during your research phase. At Verhaeghe Law Office we have assisted numerous franchise owners franchise, purchase and sell franchises across Alberta. Let us help you with your franchise’s legal needs.

Contact us today by dialing 587-410-2500 and book a consultation to speak with an Edmonton franchise lawyer.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended to act as a general overview on a commonly asked legal topic. It is not intended to act as legal advice, nor does it establish lawyer-client relationship in any way. If you require legal assistance on this topic, we suggest you consult with a family lawyer regarding your unique situation.

Things To Look For When Buying A Franchise in Alberta

Things To Look For When Buying A Franchise in Alberta

Things To Look For When Buying A Franchise in Alberta

There are many benefits to being a franchise owner in Canada – primarily that you get to be your own boss and join approximately 1.14 million small business owners in Canada as an entrepreneur. At Verhaeghe Law Office – our Edmonton franchise lawyers have assisted numerous clients in the buying and selling of franchises across Canada. We recommend consulting with a franchise lawyer who is familiar with franchise laws in Alberta in order to make an informed decision prior to purchasing one. The Canadian Franchise Association is also a fantastic resource for franchise owners if you are in currently in market to buy a franchise.

In an effort to assist interested buyers – we have put together a list of rudimentary questions you may want to find answers for prior to purchasing a franchise. Please note this is not an exhaustive list – and instead is intended to act as a general overview. As we state in all our other online publications – please consult with a franchise lawyer in order to get tailored and specific legal advice if you are considering purchasing a franchise.

Initial Questions To Ask A Franchisor:

  • Who are the main shareholders of the franchisor as well as the officers and directors
  • How experienced are these individuals in franchises?
  • If applicable, are there any other companies or franchises within the franchisor organizational group?
  • How are all these companies related to the franchise group?
  • Have any of the franchisor’s directors, officers or shareholders ever declared bankruptcy in the past?
  • How many years has the franchise been operating for?
  • How many years has the franchise group been selling franchises for?
  • How many franchises are within the franchising group and how many are corporately owned?
  • What is the franchisor’s online reputation like as well as customer service ratings like?
  • What are other franchise owners saying about the franchisor?
  • Are you able to connect with an existing franchise owner to get their opinions and experience firsthand?
  • Does the franchisor have any plans for expansion?
  • How are the franchises monitored by head office?
  • Does the franchisor offer marketing and advertising budgets?
  • Does the franchisor have dedicated vendors for their marketing and advertising efforts or are you able to select your own?
  • What is the failure/turnover rate for franchisees and what are the reasons for failures/turnovers?
  • Will the franchisor regularly provide financial statements?
  • How are the franchises inspected periodically and what do they look for during inspections?
  • What are the franchisor’s future plans for technology, development and introducing new products/services? How will this affect you?
  • Are there any pending litigation matters against the franchisor?
  • What is the corporate culture and vision for the franchisor and are you comfortable with this?
  • How innovative is the franchisor? Ask them to give you examples
  • What is the required initial investment and ongoing investment?
  • What are the fees associated with owning this franchise
  • What additional costs may be incurred?
  • How extensively involved is the franchisor in the franchise operations
  • What is the expected time between start-up and profitability?
  • Is your franchise territory exclusive? If not – is there any territorial protection measure in place?
  • How easy/difficult is it for you to expand your territory?
  • And more

Speak With An Edmonton Franchise Lawyer At Verhaeghe Law Office If You Are Interested In Buying A Franchise

In addition to the above-mentioned questions – there are various other things to consider and investigate prior to buying a franchise. In Alberta – there is legislation that mandates the provision of disclosure documents and they must comply with the franchising disclosure statute. Our franchise lawyers can assist with the confidential and sensitive nature of these types of transactions and have assisted numerous clients with purchasing franchises. Contact us today by dialing 587-410-2500 and book a consultation to speak with an Edmonton franchise lawyer today.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended to act as a general overview on a commonly asked legal topic. It is not intended to act as legal advice, nor does it establish lawyer-client relationship in any way. If you require legal assistance on this topic, we suggest you consult with a family lawyer regarding your unique situation.

Property Division Checklist: What To Consider

Property Division Checklist: What To Consider

Property Division Checklist: What To Consider?

The dissolution of a relationship or marriage doesn’t necessarily need to be ridden with complexities and super-charged emotions. At Verhaeghe Law Office we recommend couples always have a plan for the inevitable. It’s like having a will in place – you prepare for the inevitable to reduce stress and burden on your loved ones after your passing away. Similarly – having a property division agreement in place in the event of a relationship or marriage breakdown can save couples a great deal of grief down the road should the inevitable happen.

Below is a list of things to consider and discuss with your spouse/partner when drafting a property division agreement. It is important for us to note that this list is by no means exhaustive and is only intended to act as a general overview. For more complex property division matters such as high-net worth couples who have significant assets and holdings, we recommend you consult with an Edmonton family lawyer regarding your unique situation. You may contact our law firm for more information on this topic and book a paid consultation with one of our lawyers.

Matrimonial Home & Property

  • Who gets custody of the pets? Remember – pets are considered property too according to laws in Alberta
  • If one spouse or partner gets exclusive possession of your home(s) – who pays for what?
  • If the home/property is to be sold – when is the due date for this?
  • Consider buyout provisions from one partner/spouse to another
  • Date of valuation of the home and what happens if it’s destroyed?
  • Consider conditions that limit occupation of the matrimonial home to one spouse
  • How will the home be sold if you intend to sell it?
  • How will a real estate agent be selected if you intend to sell the home?
  • How will the proceeds and disbursements from the sale of the home will be divided

Financial Assets

  • Division of Canada Pension Plan
  • Division of any other pension plans
  • Life insurance policies with cash surrender values
  • Tax refunds, RRSPs and other investments such as GICs
  • Division of stocks and bonds
  • Division of Trusts
  • Division of profit-sharing plans
  • Bank accounts – both individual and joint accounts

Physical Assets

  • Division of tools and equipment in the house(s)
  • Division of furniture and appliances
  • Division of motor vehicles, trailers, boats and other recreational vehicles
  • Real estate leasehold interests
  • Division of investment properties and other properties such as cottages, cabins, trailers, land, condos, etc.
  • Division of business assets if applicable
  • Division of inherited gifts and assets
  • Jewellery, artwork and other valuables that may have been financially valuated

Debts and Outstanding Payments

  • Who is responsible for paying existing debts and loans?
  • If loans and lines of credits get re-negotiated – who will be responsible for them?

You may also want to consider getting all your assets valuated prior to getting into the property division agreement so you understand the value of your assets. This can be done by hiring an independent third-party expert.

Contact An Edmonton Family Lawyer For Assistance With Property Division Agreements

For more information on additional items to include in a property division agreement – contact our law firm to book a consultation. You can do this by dialing 587-410-2500 and book a consultation to speak with an Edmonton family lawyer by filling out an online request form or chat with one of our live chat representatives to book a time that is convenient for you.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended to act as a general overview on a commonly asked legal topic. It is not intended to act as legal advice, nor does it establish lawyer-client relationship in any way. If you require legal assistance on this topic, we suggest you consult with a family lawyer regarding your unique situation.

Who is considered a Guardian in Alberta family law?

Who is considered a Guardian in Alberta Family law?

Who is considered a Guardian in Alberta Family law?

At Verhaeghe Law Office – we often get asked how Alberta’s laws define guardianship or who is the respectful guardian in child custody disputes. While the guardian of a child has a legal responsibility and right to make decisions on behalf of that child – it’s not always as clear cut as you think especially in child custody or family law disputes.

What is a guardian?

The Family Law Act in Alberta indicates that a child’s biological or legally adoptive parent is by default their guardian if:

  • He/she has acknowledged they are the child or children’s parent;
  • He/she has demonstrated an intent to assume the responsibility of being a guardian for that child or children within one year of finding out about the pregnancy or if the parent did not know about the pregnancy and birth of the child.

Only the parent of a child or children can become a guardian. However, if an adult who is not the child’s biological parent has lived with the child for at least six months - they can certainly make a request (or application) to be legally declared a guardian of the child. If for any reason only one person fits the criteria to be a child’s guardian then no other person will be added to the court order for the application.

How Does A Prospective Guardian Demonstrate Intent For Guardianship?

A prospective guardian can demonstrate they have the intention to resume guardianship of a child or children by demonstrating the following:

  • Being legally married to the parent of the child/children or by marrying the parent after the child is born. In some instances, if you were previously married to the other parent but divorced within 300 days of the child or children being born you may still be eligible for guardianship
  • Being in an adult interdependent relationship with the parent of the child or children when the child or children are born or becoming one after the child or children are born
  • Entering into a binding agreement with the other parent to be a guardian to the child or children
  • Living with the other parent for at least a year during the time the child or children are born
  • Providing financial support voluntarily to the birth mother or to the child or children

For more information on how you can obtain guardianship for a child or children contact our law firm today and speak with a member of our legal team.

Contact our Alberta Family Lawyers Regarding Your Guardianship Legal Issues

If you or a loved one require the assistance of a family lawyer with respect to guardianship issues – contact our law firm today. We can represent families across Alberta on family law matters and have assisted thousands of Albertans on this already. With offices in Athabasca, Whitecourt and Edmonton – we make it a point to be readily available for our clients and keep them informed through the course of their legal case so they’re not left in the dark. This is part of the reason why we have great online reviews – as we make it a priority to provide excellent service to our clients.

Contact us today by dialing 587-410-2500 and book a consultation to speak with an Edmonton family lawyer.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended to act as a general overview on a commonly asked legal topic. It is not intended to act as legal advice, nor does it establish lawyer-client relationship in any way. If you require legal assistance on this topic, we suggest you consult with a family lawyer regarding your unique situation.

What Does it Mean to Drive Distractedly in British Columbia?

What Does it Mean to Drive Distractedly in British Columbia?

What Does it Mean to Drive Distractedly in British Columbia?

Ubiquitous connectivity and the boom of mobile use in Canada means that many provinces have brought new, more restrictive laws regarding the use of mobile devices in vehicles. In British Columbia, the law regarding distracted driving is contained in Part 3.1 of the Motor Vehicle Act. The latter prohibits drivers from using mobile phones and other hand-held devices while operating a car or other vehicle. A recent Supreme Court ruling (made in March, 2019) seemed to clarify this law, by declaring that having a cellphone loose in a vehicle does not amount to distracted driving. However, just this month, a B.C. driver was given a $368 fine for distracted driving, for keeping her cellphone in the cup holder of her vehicle for charging purposes. The question remains: how can the idea of what amounts to distracted driving be refined?

What did the Supreme Court Judges Decide?

In the case brought before the Supreme Court, the driver had her cellphone wedged in the passenger street. She was not using the phone at the time. The judges ruled that simply having a handheld device within sight did not amount to distracted driving. As reported by CBC, the decision deemed driving with a phone – for instance in a cup holder – OK, and that those who receive a fine for simply having their phone in their vehicle should now bring the case before a court. The Vancouver Police Department responded, stating that the case would be used as a guideline for police in future.

Car Features for Mobile Storage

The fact is that most middle- or high-end cars do not have specific places in which to store mobile phones – a fact that arguably should be changed to promote greater safety. Research carried out by Zendrive (on three million drivers who made 570 million trips) has found that the majority of drivers do actually use their phones – nearly every single time they get behind the wheel. In theory, having a phone within visibility (and within reach) can be considered a temptation and potential distraction. However, in the case of the B.C. driver who was fined, it could be argued that the fact his phone was charging is a safe indication of the fact that his phone was not actually in use. Anomalies such as those between the Supreme Court ruling and this case could potentially solve by designating a specific place in a vehicle in which the phone should be kept.

Visibility is Key

According to the B.C. driver (a senior driver with an excellent record), she was stopped in Vancouver by a policeman who declared that the phone had to be completely invisible. The driver’s son subsequently Tweeted (receiving great support and shares from a plethora of users) that his mother had been driving for over 50 years and had never received a fine. There is a happy ending to the story, however. Recently, the fine was cancelled, with police issuing an apology to the driver. Vancouver lawyer, Kyla Lee, stated that the rules had the potential to confuse drivers, with articles in the statue lacking clarity and specificity.

The case of the senior driver who was issued with a fine may have ended justly, but it does indicate a potential for an amendment of the Motor Vehicle Act. Currently, the term ‘use’ in the Act would technically cover charging a phone, since the latter doses involve operating one of its features. For now, thankfully, commonsense has prevailed, and having phones within sight will hopefully not result in further fines.

Written for Verhaeghe Law Office by Cassandra Tilbury

*Please note the content of this blog offers a general overview and does not constitute legal advice as every case is unique from one another. We encourage you to seek legal advice from a wills and estates lawyer for any answers related to wills and estates in Alberta.

Important Considerations to Bear in Mind during a Grey Divorce

Important Considerations to Bear in Mind during a Grey Divorce

Important Considerations to Bear in Mind during a Grey Divorce

The highest rate of divorces in Canada is between couples aged 50 and above, leading to the so-called ‘grey divorce boom’. Factors such as increasing lifespans and later retirement ages may be contributing to the phenomenon, as may the fact that children are leaving home later than in the past. Whatever your reasons, there are important legal matters to keep in mind when considering a divorce later in life. Changing your will is just one of many legal actions you will need to take.

Important Financial Decisions

In Canada, marriage is seen as an equal partnership; this means that the value of properties acquired during the marriage needs to be divided equally upon divorce. This factor will most probably have an effect on your last will and testament so both spouses will have to rewrite their respective wills. Any existing trusts for children will also have to be restructured, as will any gifts or donations dependent on joint property. The longer you have been together and the more property you have amassed during the marriage, the more complicated the process of division can be. Maturity can help keep divorce amicable, which is beneficial to those parties as they go through the sometimes rigorous process of deciding who keeps what. One of the most pressing issues to iron out, for instance, is who gets to reside in the family home (if pertinent). Some of the many financial issues you will have to sort through include pensions, insurance, etc.

Impact on Retirement

The financial impact of divorce may mean that you cannot retire as early as you had been planning. This is because a partner may lose more financially in a divorce than they had planned, and there simply isn’t enough time to make up for what they lost. As pensions are divided and considerations such as spousal support come into play, parties may find that they need to stay in the workforce for longer in order to afford a comfortable retirement. Divorce itself can put a dent in your savings, with contested divorces costing an average of $13,638 nationwide.

Tying Up Key Legal Issues

Common law proves the extent to which failing to tie up all financial and legal matters after a grey divorce, can have serious consequences for loved ones. Often cited is the case of Carrigan v Carrigan Estate, involving the unexpected death of Ron Carrigan when he was just 57. He left an estate worth millions to his wife (from whom he had been separated for over 10 years) and his children. His pension beneficiary was also his first wife, despite the fact he had been living with his new common-law wife for several years. The common-law spouse appealed against the assignment of the pension to Ron’s first wife, and the Ontario Divisional Court awarded her a lump sum of $750,000. Seeking legal advice is crucial, especially when so many complex financial matters and interests are involved. In Carrigan’s case, a will that recognized the interests of his common-law spouse would have significantly reduced legal costs and personal anguish for all parties concerned.

Longer lifespans and differing attitudes to divorce are resulting in a significantly higher grey divorce rate than in the past. Because couples may be close to retirement (or already retired), factors such as pensions, insurance, and common property can make a divorce more complex from a legal standpoint. Working amicably towards a fair solution is important, as is seeking sound legal advice.

Written for Verhaeghe Law Office by Cassandra Tilbury

10 Things to Consider When Preparing Your Will

10 Things to Consider When Preparing Your Will

10 Things to Consider When Preparing Your Will

At Verhaeghe Law – we have helped thousands of Albertans with their last will and testament as well as amend pre-existing wills. For your convenience, we have prepared a list of 10 things you should consider when preparing your will. By no means is this list exhaustive – but it does hit on some important points that you should consider when drafting your will. Hiring an Edmonton wills and estates lawyer will allow you to draft a comprehensive will that includes things outside this basic checklist as well. For more information on drafting a will – contact our law firm today by dialing 587-410-2500.

Here Are 10 Things To Consider When Preparing Your Will

  1. Cancel your previous will: If you are looking to create a new will – the first order of business should be cancelling your previous will. A lawyer can assist with this.
  2. Choose your personal representative: Ensure that you elect someone (in some cases more than one person) to be your personal representative. Before naming them to act as your personal representative – ensure that they have consented and agreed to be your personal representative. Remember that your personal representative will have access to all of your personal representative needs and sensitive information.
  3. Make a summary of all your property and debts: Ensure that you have a consolidated list of all assets, bank accounts, cash, property, debts, loans, RRSPs, pension plans, insurance and insurance policies, securities, annuities, stocks, bonds and anything under your name or anything you are legally entitled to.
  4. Bequests/Gifts: Make a list of who gets what. Put some thought into how everything can be distributed in a way that will minimize estate litigation after your passing. And ensure that these requests are included in the will when your lawyer drafts it on your behalf. The more detailed you are – the less chances for conflict down the road. If you believe there may be disagreements – consider writing out your intentions in the will as to why you selected which beneficiary for your property and belongings.
  5. Funeral preferences: Indicate how you wish your funeral arrangements to take place to minimize stress and grief for your loved ones down the road.
  6. Tax Implications: Your lawyer may recommend consulting with a tax consultant, tax lawyer or accountant to review and consider tax implications from your bequests or estate matters. We recommend this be taken into consideration as well.
  7. Hire a wills and estates lawyer to draft your will: Once you have completed the above steps – contact a wills and estates lawyer to help draft your will. Your lawyer can ensure all your legal requirements are met.
  8. Payment for your personal representative(s): Outline how your personal representative(s) will handle payments out of your estate and what they are entitled to when handling your last wishes.
  9. What to do with your will: Ensure you have certified or notarized copies of your will. You may want to consider giving copies of your will (if you have no plans to change it later on) to your beneficiaries. Keep the original will in a safe place.
  10. Review your will regularly: Sometimes circumstances and relationships may change. We recommend you review your will at least once a quarter to ensure you are comfortable with the provisions and if circumstances do change – consult with your lawyer to make amendments to your will.

If you need legal assistance in preparing your will – contact our Edmonton law firm today and speak directly with an Edmonton wills and estates lawyer. We are conveniently located in the Mayfield Business Centre and have helped clients across Alberta with legal assistance regarding wills and probates.

*Please note the content of this blog offers a general overview and does not constitute legal advice as every case is unique from one another. We encourage you to seek legal advice from a wills and estates lawyer for any answers related to wills and estates in Alberta.

How do I change or appeal a divorce related child custody order?

How Do I Change or Appeal A Divorce Related Child Custody Order?

How Do I Change or Appeal A Divorce Related Child Custody Order

While all court granted orders in Alberta are generally final – there are certain circumstances in which you may appeal a child custody order. When you appeal a child custody order – the courts will review the original decision and in some cases they may reverse or change the order. Having a family lawyer to handle an appeal for a child custody order may help to reverse or change your order.

In the Court of Queen’s Bench – appeals can be filed under the Family Law Act and Child Youth and Family Enhancement Act. There are time limits that you need to be aware of. For example under the Divorce Act – there is an appeal period that is clearly defined which may be relevant towards your case.

Steps To Appeal Your Child Custody Order

While every legal situation is unique – your family lawyer will offer legal guidance on the best way to approach your appeal. Below is a general overview of how the appeals process works in Alberta.

  1. Notice of Appeal: The first step is to prepare a Notice of Appeal. Filing a Notice of Appeal will outline the basis for your appeal. We recommend you hire a lawyer to handle this aspect of your appeal.
  2. Obtain Court Transcripts: Your lawyer will also order original transcripts from court hearings.
  3. Filing the Notice of Appeal and Form: At the Court of Queen’s Bench location closest to you – your lawyer will file copies of your Notice of Appeal, transcript order and payment. Your lawyer will also be familiar with the timelines associated with this process.
  4. Serve your Notice of Appeal:Your lawyer will then serve your Notice of Appeal on the respondent (or other party).
  5. Court Appearances: Your lawyer will accompany you for the initial court appearance. At this time the Queen’s Bench will finalize the appeal hearing date as well as any additional documentation or evidence that will be required at the hearing date.
  6. Appeal Hearing: It is at the appeal hearing that the Queen’s Bench will make a decision regarding your appeal.

How Can A Family Lawyer Assist With Appealing a Child Custody Order?

An experienced family lawyer can assist in a variety of ways with your child custody order and appeals process. Some of the things they can assist with include but are not limited to:

  1. Child custody and access: A lawyer can help appeal where the children will live after separation or divorce as well as who will look after the children and what kind of access each parent will have.
  2. Mobility and Relocation: Amendments to the mobility of children as well as their relocation may be granted in the event one of the parents need to relocate or move elsewhere. Additionally, there may be times that one parent may want to restrict vacationing with children due to risk or other issues. In a situation like this, an appeal or amendment to the child custody order may be granted.
  3. Child support payments and schedules: While both parents have an obligation to financially support their children as well as adhere to the Alberta’s child support guidelines – changing economic or financial situations may allow for a change in the child custody order provided that the proper evidence and documentation is submitted.
  4. Child protection and safety: In the event that a child’s safety is at risk and evidence can be provided to validate this claim – an appeal or amendment to the child custody order may also be granted.

Contact an Edmonton family lawyer today regarding your child custody order or appeal

Are you in need of legal assistance with respect to child custody disputes? If so, contact our law firm and speak with an Edmonton family lawyer. We have assisted thousands of clients across Alberta with legal assistance with respect to child custody disputes. Don’t delay and call our law firm now by dialing 587-410-2500.

*Please note the content of this blog offers a general overview and does not constitute legal advice as every case is unique from one another. We encourage you to seek legal advice from a family lawyer for any answers related to child custody matters in Alberta.

How to Apply For An Express Entry Visa for Alberta

How to Apply For An Express Entry Visa in Alberta

How to Apply For An Express Entry Visa in Alberta

Express Entry candidates in Alberta are selected through Alberta’s Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). The AINP allows the province of Alberta to select a limited number of candidates from Canada’s Express Entry pool.

The AINP favours candidates who have strong ties to Alberta or who can help support the province’s economic development and diversification priorities. The program was created by the Province of Alberta together with the Federal Government of Canada in order to streamline immigration options. There are a variety of different streams available under this program including the Alberta Opportunity Stream, Alberta Express Entry Stream and the Self-Employed Farmer Stream.

How The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program Selects Express Entry Candidates

Foreign applicants are only able to apply for the Alberta Express Entry stream after they have received a Notification of Interest (NOI) letter from the Province of Alberta. These candidates will be notified by AINP via their Express Entry profile after which, they may submit the application for a provincial nomination under the Express Entry stream for Alberta. There are a series of documents you will need to provide to accompany your application as well such as security clearance checks, medical checks, etc. More information on the documents required after you have received your AINP nomination package can be found here.

Candidates may receive a NOI successfully if they:

  • Have an active express entry profile in the federal Express Entry pool;
  • Are interested in immigrating permanently to Alberta;
  • Are working in an occupation that supports Alberta’s economic development and diversification objectives; and
  • Have a minimum Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) score of 300 although this score may change from time to time.

Having a valid job offer in Alberta, being a graduate of an Alberta post-secondary school or having a direct family member already living in Alberta may also enhance an individual’s application. However, it is important to note here that every application is unique and presents different circumstances – therefore it is wise to hire an Edmonton immigration lawyer to assist with the application.

Alberta Express Entry Stream

The Alberta Express Entry Stream allows individuals to apply for permanent residence in Alberta. As mentioned before – in order to be eligible for Express Entry into Alberta – candidates must have received a NOI from the Province first. Applicants cannot directly apply for Alberta Express Entry. Instead, the Alberta Express Entry Stream allows the Province of Alberta to nominate a number of qualified individuals from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry system. Once nominated, the individual may be asked to submit an application for Express Entry.

How Can An Immigration Lawyer Help With An Express Entry Application?

Navigating the legalities surrounding immigration matters can be very complex in Alberta. Having an immigration lawyer assist you with your application ensures that you receive legal guidance on a variety of available options to help reach your immigration goals. Verhaeghe Law is well aware of the stress and bureaucratic red tape that is very evident in our country’s complicated immigration statutes and are happy to help with your express entry application.

If you are in need of legal assistance with respect to an express entry visa application – contact our Edmonton law firm today and speak directly with an Edmonton immigration lawyer. We are conveniently located in the Mayfield Business Centre and have helped thousands of clients with respect to express entry visas. Call us today at 587-410-2500.

*Please note the content of this blog offers a general overview and does not constitute legal advice as every case is unique from one another. We encourage you to seek legal advice from an immigration lawyer for any answers related to immigration matters in Alberta.

How To Adopt A Child in Alberta

How to Adopt A Child in Alberta

How to Adopt A Child in Alberta

In Alberta - almost anyone can apply to adopt a child. However, it’s not an easy process to be approved because there will be a lot of documentation and evidence that will need to be provided to demonstrate why it’s in the child’s best interest for the adoption order to be granted to the applicants. Between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017 – there were approximately 225 granted adoption orders as well as 178 private guardianship orders according to adoption statistics in Alberta. Additionally, there were 54 international adoptions that took place during this same time period.

In Alberta – adoptions can take place through a variety of avenues including:

  1. Government care: Where children who have special needs and are unable to live with their biological parents are placed under permanent care of Children’s Services;
  2. Private adoption: Where you can adopt a child of a relative or spouse as well as through a private direct placement or licensed adoption agency; and/or
  3. International adoption:Where you can adopt a child who lives in another country.

Adopting Stepchildren in Alberta

The legal process involved in adopting stepchildren in Alberta begins with a court application that is governed by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. A family lawyer can assist in this process – especially with the application filing, affidavits, applicable consents and other legal documents that may arise throughout the course of your case. In addition to preparing the filings and work on your behalf – a lawyer will also appear in court on your behalf when necessary. In some situations – the courts will also require consent from the stepchildren or birth parents in order for the adoption to proceed successfully.

At Verhaeghe Law – we have helped many families with adopting their stepchildren. If you are in need of legal assistance with regards to adoption matters, contact our law firm today and speak directly with a member of our legal team.

Documents Required for Adoptions

In most adoptions – the courts will require an extensive list of documentation. Here is a rudimentary list which is by no means exhaustive but gives you insight on the types of documents that may be required for adoption:

  • Intervention record check
  • Security clearance check
  • References
  • Medical documents
  • Financial statements
  • Personal legal documents and more

It is also important to note that adoptions are not free. Administration and registration fees associated with adoption (not including legal fees) can start as low as $10,000. Applicants will also be required to undergo formal training and seminars in preparation for adoption which may also cost extra.

How Edmonton Adoption Lawyers Can Help With Adoptions

At Verhaeghe Law – our Edmonton adoption lawyers can help families with legal assistance in a variety of different adoption matters including but not limited to:

  • Open adoptions
  • Closed adoptions
  • Public adoptions
  • Private adoptions
  • Adoption of children in government care or with special needs
  • Adoption of older children
  • Stepparent adoptions
  • Extended family adoptions
  • Nonrelative adoptions
  • Adoptions by same-sex couples

If you are looking for legal assistance with respect to adopting a child in Alberta – contact our Edmonton law firm today and speak directly with one of our adoption lawyers. We are conveniently located in the Mayfield Business Centre and have provided numerous families with legal assistance regarding their adoption matters.

*Please note the content of this blog offers a general overview and does not constitute legal advice as every case is unique from one another. We encourage you to seek legal advice from a family lawyer for any answers related to adoption matters in Alberta.