Common Law Separation in Alberta: Considerations to Make
When couples in Alberta consider separating, there are a number of considerations to make. Common law separation in Alberta is different from a divorce, and it is important to understand the legal implications of such a separation. This article will discuss the legal considerations to make during a common law separation in Alberta.
What Does "Common Law" Mean?
The first thing to understand about common law separation in Alberta is the definition of “common law”. In Alberta, common law is defined as a couple that has lived together for at least three years and has children together, or for couples that have lived together for at least one year without children. It is important to note that common law separation is not the same as a divorce.
What Happens During Common Law Separation?
When a couple separates, they need to consider the division of their property and assets. In Alberta, common law partners are entitled to the same division of property rights as a married couple. This means that both parties are entitled to an equal share of the assets and debts that were acquired during the common law relationship. If the parties cannot agree on the division of their assets and debts, they can apply to the court for a division of property order.
Another legal issue to consider during a common law separation in Alberta is the issue of spousal support. Common law partners in Alberta are entitled to spousal support, just like married couples. This means that one partner may be obligated to provide financial support to the other partner for a certain period of time. The amount of support that is owed depends on a number of factors, such as the length of the relationship, the contributions of each partner, and the current financial situation of the parties.
Finally, the couples need to consider the issue of child support. If the couple has children, then the partner with primary care of the children is entitled to receive child support from the other partner. The amount of child support that is owed depends on a number of factors, such as the income of both parents, the needs of the children, and the current financial situation of the parties.
How to Handle Common Law Separation in Alberta
When a couple decides to separate, it is important for them to handle the situation in a respectful and amicable manner. This is especially important when the couple has children, as the children should be protected from any conflict between their parents.
It is recommended that the couple meets with a family lawyer to discuss their rights and obligations, and to develop a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a legal document that outlines the division of assets and debts, and the payment of spousal and child support. A separation agreement can be a helpful tool in avoiding a lengthy and expensive court process.
The couple should also consider seeking out professional counseling or therapy to help them navigate the emotional aspects of the separation. This can be especially beneficial when the couple has children, as it can help them to develop a plan for co-parenting after the separation.
In conclusion, common law separations in Alberta should be thoroughly considered as it is a complex process that can potentially have significant implications for both parties. As such, it is important to understand the financial and legal implications of a common law separation, including the division of property, debt, parental rights, and spousal support. Additionally, it is important to seek legal advice to ensure that all rights and obligations are properly followed. While a common law separation can be an emotionally difficult process, understanding the legal considerations and taking the necessary steps can help to protect both parties throughout the process.
If you are looking for a Medicine Hat lawyer to help with your separation, contact Hamilton Cahoon. Our expertise encompasses family law, civil litigation, personal injury, real estate & other legal matters. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.