Child Custody Lawyers in Edmonton and Alberta

Family Lawyers EdmontonWhen family relationships become difficult or break down, nothing is more important than protecting your connection with your child.

Unfortunately, when your child needs you the most, you are likely overwhelmed by legal issues and the need to make important decisions.

Depending on where you are in the divorce or separation process, you may have concerns about your rights, obligations, and the enforceability of both.

Every family situation is unique, and no matter where you are in the process, we can help.

At Chadi & Company, we understand how difficult it is to make sense of your options and rights during such an emotionally charged time.

Let us help you navigate this complex legal process so that you can focus on the well-being of your children.

We have decades of experience in helping families deal with custody and access issues in Edmonton and across Alberta.

Alberta Child Custody Laws

Most parental arrangement issues arise in the context of married spouses seeking a divorce.

While both federal and provincial laws govern child custody issues in Alberta, the federal Divorce Act is often applied in these circumstances.

Please note, as of March 1, 2021, the language used to refer to these issues has changed, and the terms “custody” and “access” are no longer used.

“Custody” previously referred to the ability of a parent to make decisions for the child. If parents shared this ability, it was known as “joint custody”, whereas if it was allocated to one parent, it was known as “sole custody.”

“Access” previously referred to the right to spend time with the child, including the living arrangements and schedule of the child.

“Decision-making responsibility” has replaced the term custody to refer to the duty of a parent or parents to make important decisions regarding the child. Decision-making responsibility can either be shared between parents (previously known as joint custody) or allocated to one parent (previously sole custody). In most cases, spouses will share decision-making responsibility.

“Parenting time” has replaced the term access to refer to the time a child spends with a spouse.

“Contact” has replaced the term access as it applies to time spent with people other than spouses (for example, grandparents).

Spouses can make a parenting agreement to describe how they will share decision-making ability, the schedule and living arrangements of the child, and who the child may have contact with.

A family law lawyer with experience in child custody and access issues can help you draft this plan to ensure that it reflects your agreement and is enforceable. We can also help you make sure that the terms of the agreement are adhered to, and work to protect your family in the event that your agreement is not followed.

If spouses cannot come to an agreement, a court can issue a parenting order. Parental arrangement disputes are unique to each family’s situation and often occur in emotionally charged circumstances.

Looking for an experienced child custody lawyer in Edmonton?

Call us today at (780) 429-2300 or request a free consultation. Our legal team at Chadi & Company can help you understand your options and navigate the legal process so that you can focus on the best interests of your child moving forward.

Contact Chadi & Company Today

If you need help with a child custody arrangement, the skilled legal team at Chadi & Company can help.

These cases typically arise during one of the most challenging times your family will ever face. Having a knowledgeable and effective advocate to protect your interests can help you focus on what’s most important.

At Chadi & Company, our skilled child custody lawyers understand that protecting your relationship with your child is paramount.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have been served with a court application, you have a limited amount of time to respond. It is important to seek legal advice immediately to understand your options and determine how to proceed. If you do not respond within the given time, the court may make a decision without your input.

If you are unmarried, or married and not seeking a divorce, Alberta’s Family Law Act may allow you to apply for guardianship, parenting time, and contact. An application under this Act may be made if you are married spouses but not yet seeking a divorce, unmarried spouses, parents, or other caregivers.

There is no set age. The court may take the child’s preference into account at any age, although courts typically give less weight to the preference of a child under 12 years old. At any age, the court will weigh the preference of the child alongside many other factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child.

Recent changes to the Divorce Act require that you give notice to your spouse or former spouse if you are changing your place of residence or relocating, even if you are moving without the child. This is true even if your divorce order does not explicitly require it.

If you cannot come to an agreement about the change of residence or relocation, you must obtain a court order allowing the move. There are some exceptions to the notice requirement; a family lawyer can help you understand your rights and obligations and petition the court for an order, if necessary.

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