How Does Adult Interdependent Relationships Differ From Marriage?

What is an Adult Interdependent Relationship?

What is an Adult Interdependent Relationship?

It’s important to note that “spouses” in common law marriages in Alberta are referred to as “adult interdependent partners.” A common law marriage is defined by when a couple has lived together for three or more years or has a child and live together. In Alberta, a formal document called the Adult Interdependent Partner Agreement is completed to indicate that both individuals are each other’s partners.

One of the misunderstandings in regards to common law marriages is that when a breakup occurs, all assets are evenly divvied up. Unless a cohabitation agreement was signed, the division of property would not be split 50/50. In simple terms, property usually stays with the person who paid for it, but if a partner contributed to the other person’s property, they might have rights to it. Common law marriages are not covered under the Matrimonial Property Act, but individuals can still lay claim to the property through other means called the Unjust Enrichment Claim.

Unjust Enrichment Claim

The plaintiff in these claims must prove three steps to show there is unjust enrichment:

  1. A benefit or enrichment on the defendant
  2. The plaintiff suffers a loss or is put into a financial disadvantage
  3. There is no juristic or legal reason to justify the financial gain

It’s the responsibility of the plaintiff to show no juristic reason is recognized. If met, then the obligation falls to the defendant to show that there is a just reason as to why they should retain the benefit. From there, the Court considers both the reasonable expectations of the parties and public considerations. The Court will award monetary damages or constructive trust based on those considerations. A monetary award may be calculated based upon the value received, or if the property were a joint venture, they would award a share of the assets based on the proportionate contribution by the plaintiff.

What About The Children?

This is the most emotional and challenging portion of any breakup; what about the kids? In adult interdependent relationships, the mother is considered the sole guardian of the child if the father does not acknowledge or demonstrate an intention to take on the responsibilities of a guardian. “Parenting time” means more than visiting rights, and only guardians can have parenting time. A guardian has the right to be involved in the supervision, care, and control of the child and any major decision-making regarding the child. Parenting time is resolved by a written agreement or by Court Order.

Spousal Support

An interdependent partner can apply for spousal support, and the child is entitled to financial support. As with marriage laws, both mother and father are expected to financially support the child until they reach age 18. If the child is still in school or dependent in any other way, child support is required.

The laws between marriage and adult interdependent relationships can be confusing. Allow us to help guide you through. For more information, please contact Verhaeghe Law Office at 587-410-2500

What Happens If You’ve Delayed In Bringing a Court Claim?

What Happens If You’ve Delayed In Bringing a Court Claim?

Generally speaking, any party that wants to initiate a court action must do it within a couple of years when he/she first becomes aware of the existence of the claim. This period is called the limitation period and there are many considerations that define when a limitation period commences for a particular claim. Many times you may be dealing with a problem with your landlord or a neighbour or your workplace. Sometimes the issue is so small and at a nascent stage that many individuals wait quite some time before they decide to take legal recourse to initiate action and seek a remedy. At such times, a court may or may not grant you the permission to bring in a claim. For instance, in the case of Presley v Van Dusen, 2019 ONCA 66, the Ontario Court of Appeal recently confirmed that for the limitation period to commence, one of the key considerations that must be asked is whether or not a legal proceeding is really an appropriate means to seek to remedy the injury, loss, or damage?

It is quite common for people to suffer an issue long before they opt for the legal route. Typically, in this Presley v Van Dusen case, the claim for a defective septic system was filed in August 2015, although the homeowners had already started noticing problems with the septic tank in the spring of 2011 itself. In this particular case, the Small Claims Court judge dismissed the claims stating that the claim was started too late after the problem was first noticed. Even after an appeal against this dismissal was made in the Divisional Court, the homeowners did not get the solicited remedy as this court too agreed with the decision of the Small Claims Court judge. Unfortunately, neither courts acknowledged that it was only after trying for a long time to get the problem fixed, the homeowners realized that a legal proceeding was the only way left to address their issue.

From the Court of Appeal’s point of view, one important aspect of this case was that the septic installer kept providing ongoing guidance and feedback to the homeowners for solving the problem. Moreover, he also promised that he would be returning to the home to fix the issue and due to this manifestation of intent, the homeowners probably did not take the legal recourse sooner.

The Court of Appeal found that the homeowners did not know that filing a claim would be an appropriate means of seeking a remedy till they were convinced that the septic installer was not intending to follow through on his promises.

In conclusion, the law respecting limitation periods needs to be applied in a way as to deter needless litigation. However, having said that it is extremely important to regard the timing of the issue when it comes to filing a claim. Typically, a two year limitation period needs to be taken into consideration. If you are thinking about filing a claim and are not sure whether it is too late for filing one or are interested to know your legal alternatives, talk to a qualified and experienced lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office. Their team of best civil lawyers in Edmonton can provide sound legal advice on any civil, immigration and or for defence in any court-related matter.

Filing for Joint Divorce in Alberta, CA

Joint Divorce: An Amicable Solution

Joint Divorce: An Amicable Solution

Divorce in Alberta, CA, can take three forms. It can be contested, uncontested, or joint divorce. The three types of divorce are different, but all effectively end a marriage. Most couples are unaware of the option of joint divorce, the least acrimonious of the three. At Verhaeghe Law Office, we encourage you to be aware of all of your options for ending your time with your spouse. For legal guidance throughout the divorce process, call one of our expert lawyers at
587-410-2500.

Grounds for Divorce

Under the federal Divorce Act, a divorce will only be granted on the grounds that there has been a breakdown of the marriage, meaning the spouses have lived separate and apart for at least one year before beginning divorce proceedings, one spouse has committed adultery, or one spouse has treated the other with physical or mental cruelty.

Three Types of Divorce

Contested Divorce

In a contested divorce, the spouses disagree on some or all aspects of the divorce. The dispute may include the actual divorce, division of assets, custody, or support. In a contested divorce, both parties must retain lawyers and file the appropriate documentation to the court. This type of divorce generally takes longer than the others due to court proceedings. Both parties are encouraged to settle prior to trial, but if a settlement is not reached, a judge will make decisions on the issues in dispute and grant the divorce. The divorce is final 31 days after it is granted.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is one in which the spouses agree on the issues associated with the divorce. There is no formal filing for an uncontested divorce, rather one party files for divorce and the other does not Answer within the allotted 30 days after being served. Failure to file an Answer makes the divorce uncontested. The applicant then files an Affidavit of Service, swearing that the other party was served with the appropriate divorce application forms, an Affidavit for Divorce, and any other materials associated with the proceedings. A judge will grant the divorce, which will be final in 31 days.

Joint Divorce

A joint divorce is the most amicable form of divorce. To use a joint divorce process, at least one of the parties must have been a resident of the Province of Alberta for one year prior to filing the Joint Statement of Claim for Divorce, and the basis for the divorce is only the breakdown of the marriage by living separately for one year. Cruelty or infidelity cannot be used as grounds for a joint divorce even if both parties agree on all matters regarding the separation. In joint divorce, neither spouse is suing the other for divorce. Both parties apply for a divorce together and sign the Notice of Family Claim. The spouses cooperate and work together during the process of the division of assets, custody, access, and other matters. This is the case in which the divorce process is the fastest and both parties are equally empowered in decisions.

Filing for Divorce

Divorce is an emotional process for all parties. Even in joint divorce circumstances, it is important to have legal representation to ensure the division of marital assets, child custody arrangements, access to the children, support, and all other items are fair and equitable. The lawyers at Verhaeghe Law Office are experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of family law, including divorce. Call 587-410-2500 to set up a consultation today.

Effective Strategies For Purchasing A Business

Effective Strategies For Purchasing A Business

For an existing owner selling a business, their main concern is how they can maximize the sale price for their business.

On the other side, when buying a business, the main concern is how you can ensure that you will generate as much or even more profit in the future if you buy this business.

You need to advise the seller on useful and meaningful disclosure. The buyer needs to know that all liabilities and advantages have been assessed and disclosed to feel confident about the purchase.

Verhaeghe Law Office has served a wide assortment of clients with support and advice about multiple issues involved in the sale and purchase of businesses, including:

● Drafting a share purchase or asset agreement
● Verifying the data for the estimation of a fair purchase price
● Writing warranties and representations that are to be made by the seller
● Drafting payments of the seller
● Drafting non-solicitation and non-compete articles for departing owners
● Conducting agreements between the buyer and the seller
● Drafting sufficient financing for the sum of the purchase price
Exceeding Client Expectations
In addition to determining whether the purchase price is reasonable, we draw on our expertise to look at the due diligence information submitted by the seller. We help our clients answer questions such as:

● What are the limitations that the buyer will have when trying higher profits in the future?
● Which permits are required?
● Who are the central employees, and will they remain after the conclusion of the transaction?
● What intellectual property does the seller have, and can the buyer use it?
● Do we own or have a licence to use their software?
● What about enhancements and upgrades to software and software code? Are there trademarks, patents, or other corporate know-how that we will need to obtain?

Careful due diligence is necessary when acquiring a business. Our lawyers combine their understanding of our different practice areas to help our clients. We negotiate the terms in a purchase agreement to protect our client's investment.
Effective Completion Of Transactions
Purchasers of businesses want to close their transaction as soon as possible, and on the best terms. Our knowledge of business, regulatory, and tax issues combined with our litigation experience gives our clients the information they need to acquire a business without fault.

We can efficiently meet the concerns and needs of our clients when purchasing a business. Our lawyers move matters economically and accurately throughout the sales process. We also save labour and time through our team of law clerks and paralegals and to complete the appropriate tasks accordingly.

If you are in the midst of selling or buying a business, contact the legal team at Verhaeghe Law Office. Our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers based in Edmonton will make sure the acquisition or sale of your company meets all legal requirements.

Divorce From a Man’s Perspective

Divorce from a Man's Perspective

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution

Divorce is a difficult life event for all parties involved. More men in recent years have been pushing for equal rights when it comes to child custody and other aspects of a divorce. Both men and women face repercussions during and after a divorce, but they can minimize the damage they do to their lifestyle, children’s lives, and assets. This traumatic event often clouds judgment, causing individuals to react emotionally and not always use facts to back their side. This is the second part of the two-part series exploring the women’s and men’s perspective on divorce. If you’re considering a divorce, call Verhaeghe Law Office at 587-410-2500 for a consultation to ensure your understanding of the divorce process.

Don’t Use Children As Leverage

A judge will grant custody to the parent who nurtures and fosters a positive relationship between the child and the other parent. In the end, the judge will rule in the child’s, not the parents’, best interest. Using your child to harm your former spouse’s feelings or to further your financial goals will be looked down upon and will be used against you.

Neglecting Family Duties

Being in divorce proceedings isn’t a ticket to not continue supporting your family. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. This is a time to ensure all of your finances are in order and that everybody is taken care of financially and emotionally. If you’re the breadwinner in your family, your financial responsibilities don’t end after filing. Meaning, you still need to help pay for utilities and mortgage for the marital home and keep up insurance coverages before the divorce is final. Cutting off support will do you no favors in the judge’s eyes.

Hiding Your Assets

Any attempt to hide assets will result in expensive litigation that could put you on the hook for your former wife’s lawyers’ fees as well. Being open and transparent about your finances evokes trust and that you’re willing to work through the issues. Hiding them has the complete opposite effect.

Don’t Be Indecisive

If you’ve been served divorce papers, this is a serious matter that you can’t just shrug off. Many studies have shown that most men don’t emotionally respond in the same way as women. Men will bottle it up, but again, this is the exact opposite of what you should do. Failing to act can have devastating consequences. Your wife and her lawyer are building a case and whether you’re ready or not, proceedings will take place. We can help prepare you for the road ahead.

You Have An Opportunity

Don’t believe the myth that as a man you will have less leverage over your wife in any part of the divorce process. Your best advantage during a divorce, a division of property, spousal support, and child custody is to hire an experienced family court lawyer. We have worked in many cases that have given men what they have needed to move on in their lives. Our team understands that the entire divorce process from beginning to end is challenging, but hiring Verhaeghe Law Office and showing you have the best interest of your family in mind will assist in getting the closure you crave.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?


What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution

In Alberta – the acronym ADR stands for Alternative, Appropriate, or Adaptive Dispute Resolution. While this acronym is used differently depending on who you’re speaking to within the ADR community – in family law the term ADR generally stands for alternative dispute resolution as they pertain to family law and divorce law proceedings. Alternative dispute resolution is most often used as an alternative to expensive litigation as it is a less costly venture and considered an expedited approach to dispute resolution.

Alternative dispute resolution processes include but are not limited to mediation, negotiation, facilitation, arbitration, restorative practices and consensus decision making where both parties come to an agreement on family law resolutions. Alternative dispute resolution is also a way of ensuring a collaborative, respectful and considerate approach to both parties involved when it comes to resolving their legal issues.

What are the benefits of alternative dispute resolution?

There are many benefits to alternative dispute resolution when it comes to family law and divorce proceedings. For example

  • Alternative dispute resolution cost less to resolve legal issues than litigation or traditional court routes
  • Alternative dispute resolution can result in a speedier resolve to contentious issues
  • They offer various options for your family law or divorce issues which gives participants more control in choosing their outcomes
  • They are private and confidential
  • They aim to preserve relationships but at the same time allow participants to learn better ways to prevent or solve problems in the future
  • Gives all participants chances on being heard and voicing their concerns and opinions

How does alternative dispute resolution work?

In Alberta, as well as other provinces across Canada – alternative dispute resolution has historically been an effective way of negotiating and settling family law disagreements. The process involves having lawyers work with both parties in a relationship. The lawyers work under a common objective that both parties reach common ground on all or most issues and that the resolutions work best for both parties involved. There is also an emphasis to resolve differences between both parties expeditiously – making it a very cost-efficient alternative to a long winded and drawn our divorce proceeding. There is an increasing trend of divorcing couples seeking out-of-court dispute resolution with regards to family law and child welfare matters – which is less taxing on the courts. While Alberta does not yet mandate alternative dispute resolution – this type of dispute resolution is not recommended where domestic abuse exists.

Why Choose Verhaeghe Law Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution

At Verhaeghe Law Office, we can offer alternative dispute resolution services to our clients as an option. Our team can make both registered mediators and registered collaborative family law lawyers available to you in order to offer effective alternative dispute resolution services. Through alternative dispute resolution – our lawyers work to ensure that you and your spouse come to a speedier resolve with respect to your divorce proceedings without breaking either of your bank accounts.

Our Edmonton family and divorce lawyers are highly experienced in family law matters and routinely represent clients through alternative dispute resolution processes. We can offer this service no matter how seamless or complex your divorce proceedings may be.

Our Edmonton divorce lawyers take pride in the fact that we can resolve your family law disputes in a timely and cost-effective matter as we have done for many other clients in the past. Contact us for a consultation today by calling 587-410-2500 and speak directly with an Edmonton divorce lawyer regarding your family law matter.

*Please note the content in this blog does not constitute legal advice as every case is unique from one another. We encourage you to seek legal advice for answers to your divorce and family law questions.

When Does Influence Become Paid Manipulation?

When Does Influence Become Paid Manipulation?

When Does Influence Become Paid Manipulation?

Between constant notifications and scrolling through various feeds during downtime, it’s not shocking that social media plays a strong, active role in most of our lives.

More and more businesses are noticing this, too. You might see advertisements in between pictures of your friends and family. While many people can ignore those pesky ads, what’s harder to ignore is when your favorite celebrity, blogger, or social media personality is subtly endorsing products in their posts. Are they talking about a certain clothing designer, shoes or food-related products? If they are, then they are considered an “influencer.”

A Deeper Look Into What an Influencer Is

By definition, an influencer is an online personality who shares opinions and advice about various types of products and services. These individuals could have a large advertising following, or “audience,” but some might have a small following. Influencer marketing isn’t just about giveaways or promotions―it can be as subtle as tagging the clothing brand the influencer may be wearing in the post.

Why is Influencer Marketing a Bad Thing?

The products they advertise can be misleading in any way shape or form. It also begs the question of, “Is this person posting about this product because they actually like it or because they’re being paid to advertise it?” You follow these people because you admire or aspire to be them in some shape or form. Their ingenuity can create a lack of trust.

Does this form of advertising on social media fall under the same legal regulation as other forms of advertising? It sure does. Under the Competition Act , any influencer must acknowledge they have a relationship with the advertiser, which indicates an exchange of materials and not necessarily money. Not communicating the relationship the influencer has with the advertiser prevents people from discerning what’s authentic and what is paid for, commonly referred to as misleading, or deceptive, marketing.

To avoid expensive legal actions, here are ways influencers can legally promote a brand and what consumers can look out for.

1. Visual disclosures

2. Acknowledgement of connections in each individual post

3. Disclosure is attached to post, so it stays when post is shared

4. Word and image content is appropriate

5. Reviews must be from actual experience

Remember, influencers don’t need to be celebrities. They can have 200 followers, or two million. What’s important to remember is when there is a promotion for an exchange of goods, there needs to be a disclosure.

At Verhaeghe Law Office, our lawyers specialize in corporate and commercial law, and we like to keep our clients well-versed in the legalities of relevant issues.

As a consumer, the next time you’re scrolling through and see your favorite blogger promoting their favorite skin serum, look to see if there is any indication for a paid advertisement. Does their post say #ad, #sponsored, or in partnership? If not, now you know why that can be a breach of trust and lead to legal issues down the road.

To learn more about the legal services we offer, please contact us by calling (587) 410-2500 today.

Trials & Tribulations of Legalized Cannabis

Legalized Cannabis FAQ

Legalized Cannabis FAQ

Do you know all of the facts about legal marijuana ownership, sale, use, and products? Make sure you are sticking to the letter of the law. The legal experts at Verhaeghe Law Blog have put together some frequently asked questions to help you comply if you choose to consume marijuana.

Are the cannabis laws the same throughout the country?

Each province or territory sets their own rules for the sale, possession, cultivation, and areas of use of cannabis. It is your responsibility to know the laws within your province.

Does it matter where I buy marijuana?

Again, this is governed by each province. For example, Ontario only allows sales through its government-operated online store, while in Alberta it is legal to purchase from private-licensed stores or online.

How much weed am I allowed to have with me?

You are allowed to have up to 30g of dried cannabis with you in what is considered a “public space.” This includes on your person, in your vehicle, or as a maximum amount you can purchase and carry with you. Amounts in excess of 30g can result in arrest and a prison sentence.

Is it okay to bake cannabis into cookies?

Yes. You may consume your marijuana in edibles in any way you like but keep it away from children. Providing cannabis in any form to minors is illegal.

I have some marijuana and my friend wants to buy some from me. Is that okay?

No, it is not. You must have a license to sell marijuana. Without a license, you are subject to large fines and up to 14 years in prison.

Can I grow my own cannabis plants?

This question is not as simple as it seems. Canada’s guidelines allow you to grow up to four plants in a household. These plants should not be more than one meter tall and need to be grown out of public view. However, these guidelines are not accepted in all provinces and some landlords will not allow tenants to grow the plants in their properties. More importantly, if your plant is in a public space when it is budding or flowering, you could receive stiff fines and prison time.

What are the rules regarding CBD oils?

Kyla Ford, daughter of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, recently promoted CBD oils on her Instagram feed. Unfortunately, the body builder’s photos and discount codes are for products that are illegal under the federal Cannabis Act. Any product for sale that is derived from cannabis must be from plants grown under a federal license and processed by a licensed provider. If the oil or CBD product is not approved and licensed, it is considered illegal. Ford has removed all of the CBD oil posts from her popular social media account.

CBD oils are legally available for medical patients from licensed producers.

Time Will Tell

As recreational marijuana cultivation, production, distribution, and sales grow, so will more issues surrounding legal matters. If you need to consult with a lawyer about your rights in regards to cannabis, call Verhaeghe Law Office at 587-410-2500.

Harsher Penalties In Effect For Driving Impaired

Harsher Penalties In Effect For Driving Impaired

Harsher Penalties

Driving impaired is never a good idea. Alberta recently updated the sanctions for alcohol and drug-impaired driving offences to align with the latest federal laws. These provisions were put into effect to update the laws after cannabis was legalized throughout the country. Today’s federal levels include 80 milligrams or more (mg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres (ml) of blood for alcohol. For cannabis (THC), between 2 nanograms (ng) and 5 ng is considered a less serious offence, while the more serious crime is to have 5 ng of THC or more per ml of blood. When alcohol and cannabis are found in tandem, 50mg or more of alcohol per 100ml blood and 2.5 ng or more of THC per ml of blood is prohibited to operate a motor vehicle.

What Are The New Laws?

Under Bill C-46, police no longer need to have any reasonable grounds to suspect impairment before demanding a sobriety test. Refusing the test can result in criminal charges. On top of that, if you drank within the past two hours after you’ve stopped driving, but your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over .08, you could get arrested, even though that’s not the intent of the law.

The Bolus Drinking Defence

The harsher laws were designed to help crack down on individuals who consume large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time and then trying to drive home before the alcohol is absorbed. This is called the bolus defence. It’s a defence that is no longer valid under the new laws, but it was one that raised doubt enough that it worked in the past. The Bolus Drinking Defence is defined by The Department of Justice as, “a defence for an individual to raise reasonable doubt that their BAC was over 80 mg at the time of driving by adducing evidence of consumption that is compatible with both the BAC at the time of testing and with a BAC of 80 or less at the time of driving.”

Are The New Laws Working?

Some in the law community have pointed out some of the potential flaws in these new laws. According to a news story from CBC, the law might be a solution to a problem that rarely exists and could punish deeply impact individuals who have done nothing wrong. The Department of Justice notes that in 2017, there were more than 69,000 impaired driving incidents and 3,500 drug-impaired driving incidents. Even with those staggering numbers, some people believe that these laws infringe on their basic rights and leave much of the details and potential evidence up for interpretation.

If you’ve been charged with drunk or impaired driving, give our team at Verhaeghe Law Office a call at 587-410-2500. We can help you.

The Legal Paradigm

The Legal Paradigm

Legal Paradigm

Most of us watch television. You’ve probably seen at least one episode of the Law and Order franchise. Law and Order is a popular television show that is police procedural for the first half-hour and the legal process for the second. Granted, it uses the US Court System, but as far as the overall process, just how close is this to real life? Let’s see…

Myths in TV Police Procedure and Law

People go directly to a full-blown trial.

On television, the accused appears to be arrested and questioned one day and involved in a full-blown trial the next. The process in real life is quite different. If you are accused of a crime, you may be arrested. You have a right to a lawyer and should call one as soon as possible. After your arrest, you may be held in custody up to 24 hours. At that point, you will either be released or taken to court for a bail hearing. That hearing will determine whether you will be remanded to pre-trial custody in a provincial correctional centre or released with a bail payment. When all of this is done, if you are going to trial, your case will be placed on a court calendar for a preliminary hearing and/or trial.

If it can work in a half-hour it must be a fast process.

Based on average statistics, from your first appearance to final court decision will take approximately 112 days.

The accused will take the stand.

If you are on trail, it is your right to remain silent, and you should base your decision about whether to take the stand on the advice of your lawyer. Remember, the prosecutor must prove that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The guilty party will undoubtedly either break into tears or have an angry outburst.

Hopefully, if you are accused, your lawyer will prepare you for what to expect during the trial. It is in your best interests to be calm.

Testimony is always straight to the point.

On TV, testimony has to be interesting and provide information for the audience to guess how it will affect the jury’s decision. In real life, testimony can be very long and not nearly as concise as you see on Law and Order. Each side will have many witnesses and a lot of evidence. There is no hard-and-fast rule or formula for what each witness will be asked or how long they will be on the stand.

The courtroom will be full of spectators.

In most cases, unless it is a very high-profile case, the courtroom will not be full. The public is invited to come and watch proceedings in the Provincial Court. On rare occasions, a judge may order that a hearing is closed to the public, usually to protect the privacy of children or others.

Police hang out in courtrooms to find out how their cases play out.

Police are generally seen in the courtroom if they take the stand to present testimony. Lingering in the courtroom like your favorite cop on Law and Order doesn’t happen often. Once they present their testimony, the police are generally back on the job!

Life doesn’t mirror the police procedural/legal drama paradigm. If you are accused of a crime, it is your right to call a lawyer. Call Verhaeghe Law Office. We’ll take you through the rest of the procedure… and there won’t be any theme music.