Calgary Family Lawyers Advising on Parenting Matters
Following a separation or divorce, parties may disagree on parenting issues. It is crucial that parents put the needs and interests of their children at the forefront of any issue conflict. However, a relationship breakdown often brings emotions and tension to the surface, making it more difficult to reach an agreement and make concessions.
At DBB Law, our knowledgeable team of family lawyers works closely with clients to understand their unique circumstances and needs and those of their children. We ensure clients understand the laws applicable to their situation and have the necessary information to make informed decisions regarding parenting issues. While we take decisive action to protect our clients’ rights, we explore all possible alternative dispute resolution options to reduce conflict throughout the process.
Decision-making responsibility, formerly known as custody, relates to the ability of a parent to make major decisions regarding a child’s upbringing (including their education, health care, and religious/spiritual guidance). When sole decision-making responsibility is granted to one parent, the child primarily resides with that parent, and the parent does not need to consult with the other parent before making a decision. In instances of joint decision-making responsibility, both parents must communicate and agree on certain decisions affecting the child’s care and well-being.
Parenting time, formerly known as access, refers to the time a child spends in a parent’s care. Parenting time can vary concerning dates and times, the length of time, and whether a parent’s contact with their child requires supervision. The child’s best interests are always paramount. As a result, parenting time can be limited, supervised, or revoked entirely if it is found not in the child’s best interests. In Alberta, if it is in their best interests, a child generally has a right to have parenting time with both parents. A parent may be granted parenting time even if the other parent has sole decision-making responsibility.
DBB Law provides modern, robust legal solutions to resolve disputes involving parenting time and decision-making responsibility, including variations of existing court orders post-separation or divorce.
The Benefits of Parenting Agreements
The family lawyers at DBB Law prioritize creating a relationship with each client and understanding the issues at the heart of each parenting dispute. Our team prides itself on breaking down each issue and providing comprehensive and fulsome advice regarding options and potential outcomes.
We support clients’ families as they move forward by helping them create a parenting plan. Parenting plans can address various issues affecting decision-making responsibility, parenting time, child support, and spousal support. These plans are vital for avoiding uncertainty and reducing conflict but may need to evolve as the child grows. They can also form the basis for an enforceable consent court order.
A non-parent may become the legal caregiver for a child by obtaining an order of guardianship. To be eligible for an order of guardianship, the applicant must be a parent who is not a guardian or an adult who has had care and control over a child for at least six (6) months. Some adults are automatically guardians by virtue of their relationship to the child and/or their parent.
A child’s legal guardian is responsible for every aspect of a child’s well-being and upbringing, including significant decisions regarding the child’s care. DBB Law provides compassionate, trusted legal services to guardians and parties on either side of guardianship applications.
Parentage & Maintenance
In Alberta, the term “parent” is defined by the provincial Family Law Act. A child’s parents are, by default, their birth mother and biological father. However, a person is considered a child’s legal parent if they have adopted the child or the child was conceived through assisted reproduction. Under the Family Law Act, “assisted reproduction” is defined as a method of conceiving other than sexual intercourse.
Understanding the identity of a child’s legal parent(s) is critical for identifying the individuals responsible for child support/maintenance. Cases involving assisted reproduction can further complicate matters as a child’s default “parents” can vary by the type of reproductive method used.
The family law group at DBB Law has extensive knowledge of the laws involving parentage in Alberta. We provide compassionate support to parents dealing with fertility and parentage concerns and offer strategies to support the best interests of their children.
Separation and divorce can be highly emotional, particularly where children are involved. The experienced team at DBB Law helps clients navigate challenging parenting disputes and ensure their children’s needs are met. We empower clients and their families to move forward by providing personalized, robust legal solutions. Based in the heart of downtown Calgary, DBB Law has provided innovative, top-tier family law advice to Albertans for over 40 years. To speak with a member of our team, please call 403-265-7777 or contact us online.