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Protecting and advancing the best interests of the child following a divorce or separation

Most parents have strong feelings about how parenting, child custody and child support should be handled. But they are often misinformed about the law with respect to parenting and support. Those misunderstandings can lead to a lot of frustration and disappointment. That is why we place such a high priority on educating our clients about their rights and responsibilities and, more important, the rights of children under the law as interpreted by our courts.

It's important that you realize that the entire legal system is set up to protect and advance the best interests of the child - not the interests of either parent. We also stress the value of reaching parental and family solutions without going to court. This can be achieved with a "kitchen table" meeting between the parents, round table settlement meetings with parents and their lawyers, mediation, collaboration or dispute resolution by a Judge.

The Court views Child support as the right of the child to receive and therefore child support arrangements need to be approved by the Court. Children are entitled to support regardless of whether or not the parents are married. Child support is determined by looking at the income of both parents and the current parenting arrangements. Issues around child support typically involve retroactive payments of support (when no support or insufficient support was paid for a period of time in the past), income determination (particularly when one or both parents are self-employed and/or own a business), support for an adult child in university or who is disabled (whether living with one, both, or neither parent), and the sharing additional expenses (such as daycare, school fees, tuition, extracurricular activities, medical expenses, dental expenses, etc.).

Negotiation, Mediation and Collaborative Law are available from the lawyers at CK Family Law.

Effective legal services for clients with parenting or child support issues

Achieve agreement without going to court - Recognizing that it is in the interest of the child and the parents to achieve an agreement without going to court, we will do everything possible to achieve that outcome.

Effective advocacy if court is necessary - If you and your partner are unable to come to an agreement and/or are not prepared to consider the alternatives, we will be passionate and committed advocates for you and your children in court.

Education on how Family Law applies to child custody - There are many misunderstandings about Child Custody. For example, a common myth is that only biological parents can be awarded custody by the court. In Family Law, other parties can bring custody and access applications to the court. The court considers many factors when making decisions on custody and access disputes, including:

  • The nature, length and history of the claimants' relationship with the child
  • How the claimants' relationship with the child's parent(s) may impact the child
  • What is in the best interests of the child with respect to his or her psychological, emotional and physical well-being
  • The legislation requirements and other court decisions

Improving your chances of being awarded child custody and/or access - To maximize your chances of being awarded custody, we offer sound advice and ensure that you have completed all the steps that need to be done before you make an application for child custody. We will explain the court's expectations with respect to custody and access responsibilities, which include the welfare of the child, education, medical care and religion.

Photo of a mother holding her child's hand

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Recently Separated?
Wondering what happens now?

If you have recently separated from your spouse, we strongly recommend that you seek out an Edmonton divorce lawyer for a consultation. It is important to get early advice (even before attending mediation if you and your spouse agree to go to mediation) regarding your rights and responsibilities.

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Edmonton Family Law Legal Team

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