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Learn why there is always more than one way to handle a divorce or any other Family Law legal matter

Photo of Edmonton Family Law lawyer James Carr, an attorney at CK Family Law, who helps clients by showing them there is more than one way to file a divorce, draft legal agreements and much more. Since becoming a member of the Law Society of Alberta in 1996, James Carr has focused his practice on helping families with Family Law and Wills and Estates legal matters.

His work on Family Law cases focuses primarily on divorce, legal agreements(prenuptial, postnuptial, cohabitation, separation agreement) child and spousal support and property issues.  While most cases involve some form of dispute, he encourages clients to achieve agreement without going to court. He recommends mediation for couples who have agreed to separate but need the assistance of a family law lawyer and impartial third-party with legal expertise.

He says there are definite advantages to having a mediation done by a lawyer. "If the mediation is done by someone who is not a lawyer, such as a social worker, they may help the parties come to an agreement, but it is often not congruent with the law," James explains. "Experienced family law lawyers have the advantage of understanding all family law issues and can therefore come up with a memorandum of understanding that the lawyers for each party can convert into a legally binding agreement."

When working on Wills and Estates, he emphasizes the importance of planning for all possibilities. "You have to consider everything that might happen," says James. "Life can bring some big twists and turns."

With all legal matters, it is important to keep an open mind, notes James, because "there is often more than one way to achieve a favorable result in a legal matter and that option may be something you have not even considered."

James says he has learned that no two legal cases are exactly the same and success depends on understanding the personal circumstances of the client. "Every client is different and there are no cookie cutter solutions," he notes.

Sit down with James for a consultation and you will quickly appreciate that you are speaking to a lawyer who focuses on what is possible under the law, not necessarily what the client might want to hear. "I'm not doing my job if I tell the client exactly what they want to hear and in the process create unrealistic expectations. My approach is to:

  • put the client's expectations in the context of the legal system
  • explain what is the best possible outcome
  • describe how to achieve the best outcome

Feel free to ask about the legal fees, but remember that the lawyer's fee is not an indicator of effectiveness or any guarantee of success. "You should not be intimidated if you are in a dispute with someone who has deep pockets and an expensive lawyer," says James. "What's most important is that you get personalized experienced representation and that's exactly what you can expect from me."

Best results are achieved when there is a true partnership between the lawyer and client, James explains. "Each person has a role to play in working together toward the final outcome."

Personal history and academic qualifications

James A. Carr is proud to have been born and raised in Edmonton. He completed his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and LLB at the University of Alberta.

Prior to returning to private practice, James was director of the Edmonton Emergency Protection Order program.

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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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