Life is often filled with delicate family dynamics that can devastate a marriage or a common-law relationship and lead to divorce, child custody, and property division battles. It can be very difficult to make life-impacting decisions when filled with stress and an overwhelming sense of grief. However, having a family lawyer on your side during this time is crucial to helping you understand your options and reach a conclusion that is best for you and all parties involved.
Sometimes matters of Family Law around Edmonton and other areas can become linked with Criminal Law matters. When that happens, you will find these matters easier to handle if you contact a lawyer who knows the law with respect to both family and criminal cases. So if you are going through a divorce, need help with other family legal issues, or need help with both family and criminal legal issues, seek counsel from Bob Kassian. He will fight to protect you, help you wade through the turmoil, and make informed decisions affecting your future.
As of January 1, 2020, the new “Family Property Act” came into force in the Province of Alberta. This fundamentally changed the law in relation to property rights and common law parties. Although the Act has now statutorily been recognized as Common Law property rights, this does not make it clear how the Courts may interpret some of the provisions of the new law. So, it is important to consult experienced Counsel as soon as possible in order to protect your property rights, to secure important evidence which may be lost or destroyed and to construct a clear record of events which may fade or be lost due to fading memories through the passage of time. There are also new limitations on commencement and the prosecution of property cases, which may prejudice or ultimately deny or dismiss your claim.
There are substantial advantages to the creation of a cohabitation agreement. When a relationship breaks down, a properly drafted cohabitation agreement helps to reduce conflict, stress, emotional turmoil and legal costs. While most matrimonial laws set our property to be divided 50/50, in most provinces there are provisions for pre-marital assets and exemptions, so you may be partially protected in this regard. In reference to the case of an unmarried Ontario couple, it becomes crucial for common law partners to enter into cohabitation agreements for their own benefit. If you want to be sure that you are fully protected, a cohabitation agreement should really be considered. Call us to learn more about cohabitation agreements and the importance of opting for one.
The Matrimonial Property Act was renamed the Family Property Act as of January 1, 2020. While the previous legislation, the Matrimonial Property Act was imposed only on married couples, this new Act will now also apply to cases of unmarried couples who are ascertained to have been in a relationship of interdependence in the past and to have been separated after January 1, 2020. Previously, no particular legislation in Alberta dealt with the division of assets for unmarried couples. In cases of conflicts, judges would often be left to combine entitlement to property on the basis of common law civil procedure and the application of precedent judgements. The new Family Property Act now codifies the law in relation to common law property.
The new Act is applicable to you if you become a former Adult Interdependent Partner (AIP) after January 1, 2020.
Former AIPs may enter into an agreement on the division of property on their own. However that agreement must comply with the formal demands of the new Act.
To satisfy the enforceability standards of the Family Property Act, it is necessary to engage a skilled legal practitioner to assist in this process in providing legal guidance.