Disclaimer: The information provided below is intended to be used as a general information resource and should not be taken as legal advice. There are almost always exceptions and contingencies in the law which require an assessment of your specific facts and circumstances. It is recommended that you consult with a lawyer qualified to address your unique needs and situation.

Child Custody, Parenting Time and Support

Custody only refers to a parent’s legal right to be the decision maker for a child, it has no relationship to parenting time. Generally, both parents retain joint custody while parenting time may be equally split or the child may live with one parent as their primary residence.

The courts will always make these decisions based on what is in the best interests of the child. All things being equal, it is generally viewed to be in the best interests of the child to spend equal time with both parents. However, there are a number of factors that go into these decisions based on your unique situation and the needs of your child(ren). It is recommended to consult with a lawyer to review your situation.

Under the Federal Child Support Guidelines, child support is based primarily on the income of both parents, the number of children, and the division of parenting time (i.e. whether the child lives primarily with one parent or both parents equally).

Under Alberta law, any child for which you are deemed to have acted as a parent in raising is afforded the same right to child support as a biological child.

Under Alberta law, you have the right to seek retroactive child support going back to the date you and your ex separated.



Spousal Support & Matrimonial Property

Although there are spousal support guidelines, how much you are entitled to and for how long is very much fact dependent on your specific situation. Factors include the length of your marriage or cohabitation, your earning potential, and the support role you played during your marriage. It is recommended you consult with a lawyer to better understand your position and rights.

Under Alberta law, when married couples separate there is a general presumption of a 50/50 division of all assets acquired during the marriage. This presumption assumes no contractual agreement concerning matrimonial property was entered into prior to or during the marriage.

If you are in a common law relationship, the division of assets will be based on a number of factors as there is currently not a presumption of equal division in Alberta.

Those assets which you acquired before the marriage are generally exempt property from division. However, if an asset appreciates in value during the marriage, that increase in value may be subject to division.