Below we will provide some basic information about child support, custody and access. We can provide more comprehensive legal information if you call us. You can contact us any time 24/7 for a free consultation.

Child Support

If one parent has the child(ren) for 60% of the time or more, the other parent must pay child support based on the tabled amount for Alberta according to their income and the number of children according to the child support guidelines.

If the parents share parenting time 50/50, each parent pays the tabled amount to the other parent.  Effectively, this means the higher income earner pays the lower income earner the difference between the two tabled amounts.

Special and extraordinary expenses: Basic child support payments are expected to cover all basic expenses of the child(ren) including food, clothing, and transportation for example.  Special and extraordinary expenses are payments for things that are peculiar to your child(ren) including

  • Medical and dental expenses like eyewear and braces for example;
  • Extra-curricular expenses like sports or music for example; and
  • Any other special needs that your child may have

Child Custody and Access (Parenting)

Child Custody and Access, more formally referred to in the legal world as “parenting,” is often the most contentious topic in family law. The Best Interest of the Child(ren) is the primary consideration when courts and lawyers in Alberta (and across Canada) are determining the appropriate parenting arrangement.  

Status Quo: Status Quo refers to the legal principle that the current child custody and access arrangement that is in place will many times be the best arrangement for a child because continuing with what the child is used to is not disruptive to the child whereas changing what the child has become comfortable with will many times not be in the best interest of the child.  The status quo is not always in the best interest of a child and if one party can demonstrate that the best interests of a child would be better met with a new arrangement, they can therefore convince a judge or an opposing party to order or agree to a new child custody and access schedule or more broadly, a different parenting plan entirely.

Our lawyers can advocate a parenting plan or a child custody and access agreement for you regardless of where you reside in Alberta

A parenting plan can address more issues than just the custody and access schedule. If parents so desire, a parenting plan can include details about other aspects of parenting a child. For example, a parenting plan can detail the extra-curricular activities that a child participates in or the foods that they eat.

Custody and access plans address the parenting schedule as well as determining whether one parent or both parents are responsible for making important decisions for the child(ren).

A parenting plan or custody and access agreement can be negotiated as a stand-alone agreement or as part of a separation agreement.  We have talented lawyers that are available to help you understand how to best approach negotiating an agreement that is best for you and your child(ren).

Our approach involves the following steps.

Step one: Free Consultation – At AB Separation we provide a free consultation to help you understand the law pertaining to your parenting issues.  We then help you understand the factors that courts consider when determining issues like the Best Interests of the Child(ren). We then help you understand how your facts support a potential argument for the parenting agreement that you are seeking. After this consultation you will be better able to decide whether you want to have one of our lawyers draft a proposal to your child’s other parent.

Step two: Drafting a proposal – Our lawyers are selected in part, because they are talented at drafting parenting proposals.  We draft a proposal that includes the caselaw and legislation to justify our position regarding the parenting plan or custody and access agreement that we believe is appropriate. We demonstrate to the other parent that considering the law and the particular circumstances of your matter, our proposal is appropriate.

Step three: Serving and negotiating – After your parenting agreement is drafted, we hire a process server to formally serve the other party. We then negotiate with the party by explaining to the opposing party that we can avoid the costs that flow from a contested hearing if we reach an agreement. Further, because in family court, the losing party must pay a portion of the winning party’s fees, and we demonstrate that we will be the winning party, it is in the opposing party’s best interest to reach an agreement.

Step four: File the agreement with the court – The fourth and final step to resolving your parenting issue is filing it with the court. Once this happens it becomes enforceable with the court.
Contact us today to further understand the law surrounding parenting in Alberta or to begin the process of having a lawyer advocate for a parenting arrangement that helps you meet the best interests of your child(ren).