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SEPARATING – HOW TO PREPARE

Preparing for separation can save you time, money, and stress later on. Most people live separate in the same house for a few weeks or months until one of them finally leaves the house for a different house. Living separate in the same house can still be considered being separated, but it depends on several factors. The date of separation is important to determine the start of child and spousal support and can be important in dividing up property and finances.


Children

Children need to know that the separation is not their fault, and they need to be sheltered as much as possible from any conflict between the parents. Children need to maintain their routine and surroundings as much as possible to reduce their stress and anxiety. Often it is best if the kids can remain in the house until the separation can be formalized.


Accomodation

You and your spouse will need to decide who will leave the house after the separation. Deciding who will move out depends on who has ready access to a new place to rent. Some people go to stay with parents or friends. If you choose to leave the house, it is difficult to get the court to order the other person to leave the house. Sometimes a person will be ordered to leave the house and the other person may be given exclusive possession of the house. There are many factors that a judge will consider, and Darin Wight can help you know your rights and the best choice to make.


Finances and Property

  • Do not start buying or selling property. This includes cars, atvs, houses. This will make it difficult and more complicated to divide the property later.
  • Gather Income Tax information for the last 3 years.
  • Gather Employment information and paystubs
  • Gather 6 months of bank statements and credit card statements.
  • Get the current statements for all your credit card statements and other debts (mortgage, lines of credit, etc.)
  • Make an inventory of household furniture and other belongings. Recording a video or taking pictures with your cell phone is a good idea.
  • If you are not employed, make sure you have enough money or have access to money to live for at least 6 months. It may take this long to get a court order for financial support.
  • Start saving money for a lawyer or get help from parents or friends. Darin Wight can help you resolve separation issues efficiently and will help reduce the stress you are under to make many long term decisions.


Contact DW Law in Taber, AB for more information.

COST OF SEPARATION AND DIVORCE

The cost of divorce can vary between $1,000 and $50,000. 

However, most people spend approximately $5,000 on their divorce. The cost of divorce or separation depends on:

  • how much fighting over child custody and parenting
  • how much dispute over child support and spousal support
  • how much dispute over dividing property and debt
Costs involved in a divorce are separated into the main stages:
  • lawyer preparing separation or divorce agreement
  • lawyer preparing desk divorce court documents
  • any court applications on child support, spousal support, custody, or parenting, and property division
  • other: any mediation fees
  • any negotiation between lawyers

Darin works efficiently to minimize your cost of the divorce or separation process. He is transparent with his fees and advises you of how you can help with your divorce process to keep your costs down.

HOW TO TERMINATE GUARDIANSHIP OR PARENTAL RIGHTS

Are you wondering how to apply to the court to terminate someone’s guardianship rights?

  • What are guardianship rights?
  • When do you get guardianship rights?
  • What is a guardian?
  • When can a grandparent become a guardian?
  • If a parent no longer has guardianship, do they still have to pay child support? 

The legal answers to these guardianship questions depend on the facts of each situation, but the Family Law Act of Alberta describes what guardianship rights, powers, and responsibilities are, and who can have them. 

The Family Law Act states:

A parent of a child is a guardian of the child if the parent (a) has acknowledged that he or she is a parent of the child, and (b) has demonstrated an intention to assume the responsibility of a guardian in respect of the child within one year from either becoming aware of the pregnancy or becoming aware of the birth of the child, whichever is earlier.

A parent has demonstrated an intention to assume the responsibility of a guardian in respect of a child by 

(a) being married to the other parent at the time of the birth of the child, 

(b) being the adult interdependent partner of the other parent at the time of the birth of the child or becoming the adult interdependent partner of the other parent after the birth of the child, 

(c) entering into an agreement that meets the requirements of the regulations with the other parent to be a guardian of the child, 

(d) marrying the other parent after the birth of the child, 

(e) cohabiting with the other parent for at least 12 consecutive months during which time the child was born, 

(f) with respect to a female parent, carrying the pregnancy to term, 

(g) with respect to a child born as a result of assisted reproduction, being a parent of the child under section 8.1, 

(h) being married to the other parent by a marriage that, within 300 days before the birth of the child, ended by (i) death, (ii) a decree of nullity, or (iii) a judgment of divorce, 

(i) where the other parent is the birth mother of the child, voluntarily providing or offering to provide reasonable direct or indirect financial or other support, other than pursuant to a court order, for the birth mother during or after her pregnancy, 

(j) voluntarily providing or offering to provide reasonable direct or indirect financial or other support, other than pursuant to a court order, for the child, or 

(k) any other circumstance that a court, on application under subsection (6), finds demonstrates the parent’s intention to assume the responsibility of a guardian in respect of the child.


Darin can advise you regarding guardianship rights help you apply the Family Law Act to your situation and help you make a court application regarding guardianship rights.

HOW TO REPRESENT MYSELF IN COURT

Many people don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on a lawyer. They want to do some or all of their court claim on their own. There are some basic steps to filing a civil or family court claim:

  • Prepare the court documents – including your claim, supporting affidavit(s).
  • File the Court documents
  • Serve the filed court documents on the other party
  • Attend the first Court date

There are bad, good, and best ways to prepare the court forms and affidavits. Darin is skilled in knowing how to prepare these forms so that your case will be persuasive in court.The court forms can be found on the Alberta Courts website:

http://www.albertacourts.ab.ca/


Speaking to a judge takes practice and skill to be persuasive and comfortable and to know what to say and how to respond to the questions from the judge. The courtroom terminology can be confusing. It helps to go to court a few times and watch people present their case to the judge or watch the lawyers speak to the judge.

You can only speak to the judge about the evidence that you have filed in your affidavit. You must stand when speaking to the Judge and refer to the Judge as “your honour” “sir” or “Madam” or “My Lord” or “sir” in the Court of Queen’s Bench. If you want to prepare your own court documents, you can hire Darin to attend court and speak to the Judge. Or if you want Darin to prepare your court documents, you can attend Court and speak to the Judge.

Phone Darin to discuss how he can work with you and your budget to make your court claim a success.


Contact DW Law in Taber, AB for more information.

DW Law

Darin Wight, B.A., J.D.

5401 A 50 Ave
Taber, AB

T1G 1V2


Phone (403) 223-3585

Email darin@baldrysugden.com

Hours of Operation

Monday 08:30 AM - 04:30 PM

Tuesday 08:30 AM - 04:30 PM

Wednesday 08:30 AM - 04:30 PM

Thursday 08:30 AM - 04:30 PM

Friday 08:30 AM - 04:30 PM

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