A reality in life is that many marriages end up in divorce. Any breakup will be emotional and some become outright hostile. In these latter cases, a divorce that could have been resolved quickly and cost effectively then becomes expensive, time consuming, emotionally draining and stressful. It doesn't have to be that way!
Another factor to consider is that a breakup or separation doesn't necessarily mean a divorce. Sometimes a separation allows parties to reconsider their situation and try again. The secret here is not to makes things so bad that you reach the point of no return. With many separations, the parties can move ahead paying bills and parenting children by working together. Sometimes a smart move is to get a separation agreement where both parties involved make an agreement on a fair set of rules that details who does what and who pays what. Sometimes you can do this on your own, sometimes you need lawyers. In any event, in many cases these type of agreements often require 'certificates of independent legal advice' to be properly concluded. This means that before signing off, each party meets with a different lawyer who will review the separation agreement, advise them on their legal rights, make various comments and observations, and answer any questions to ensure they know where they stand and what they may be signing.
If moving ahead with a divorce, the Divorce Act provides for three types of grounds that may be relied on. The most common is a one year separation. Secondly there is mental or physical abuse, and last we have adultery. Most people who wish to obtain a quick clean divorce rely on the one year separation, as by the time the final paperwork is ready to be filed, the one year time limit has passed. Also, a one year separation grounds are straightforward, gets the job done, and does so without provoking or pointing a negative finger at the other party.
In the event there are children, one party will probably be required to pay child support. With respect to the amount paid, this is easy. You make so much you pay so much. This is determined by the Federal Child Support Guidelines.
Often there are, or will eventually be what are called Section 7 expenses. These generally relate to extra curricular, or additional child raising costs that would include child related activities such as after school sports or music lessons. They can also relate to medical benefits not covered by benefits such as orthodontics or daycare. Often these costs are shared between the parties on a percentage of income basis.
Sometimes there may even be a need for spousal support. Here every case is different and if spousal support is considered, the parties have to agree on any amount to be paid, and perhaps the duration of such support, otherwise the divorce would be considered to be contested and the parties should get a lawyer.
First, and to be clear, we specialize in 'uncontested' divorces. That means there are no issues relating to the division of matrimonial property, custody and access of children or child or spousal support, and both parties simply want a divorce. If any of these issues exist and cannot be resolved, you will probably need a lawyer.
To obtain a divorce the person filing, called the Plaintiff has to have lived in Alberta at least one year before filing the claim. The claim itself can also be filed in any judicial district in the province. This means that if you live in Grand Prairie or Edmonton we can file your divorce in Lethbridge or Medicine Hat.
The government charges a filing fee of $260.00. This fee not only covers your divorce action, but also allows you to make later applications such as those relating to changing access or updating child support payments without paying another filing fee.
Our costs for assisting you with the preparation of all standard required documentation is $550.00 plus GST for any uncontested divorces without any children of the marriage, and $750.00 plus GST if there are children of the marriage. Under the Divorce Act, children of the marriage are those children under the age of eighteen (18), and also children over eighteen (18) who live at home and are attending school full time, including post secondary education.
Sometimes extra work is required so extra fees are charged. This may relate to document service or obtaining an Order for Substitutional Service, where document service cannot be done as the other party cannot be located and served.
Many people ask how long will it take for me to be divorced? Once a divorce is filed the court has to request clearance. This is a procedure required to ensure that neither party has filed for divorce before anywhere else in Canada, as there cannot be two divorce actions going on at the same time. This process takes about three months, and once done, if the grounds are satisfied (the one year separation date has passed) we can generally have the final paperwork approved shortly after that.
It should be noted that when the court grants a divorce, it does not become effective until thirty one (31) days later, which allows the other party to appeal the judgment.
In short, an uncontested divorce may be obtained in a timely cost effective manner, and if that's what you want, we can help. For a free consultation, give us a call.
Unfortunately many Albertans do not qualify for Legal Aid and cannot afford a lawyer. In those cases, what do they do?
In certain cases there is an option.
The Criminal Code of Canada, and Alberta's Legal Professions Act allows Albertans to be represented by a non-lawyer agent with respect to certain criminal and legal matters. With respect to criminal assistance this is limited to certain summary conviction matters where the potential jeopardy respecting incarceration (jail) is no more than six (6) months.
First, what is a summary conviction matter. Too many Canadians watch American television so are used to the American terms 'felony' and 'misdemeanors'. In Canada we do not use those terms. We use 'indictable' and 'summary'. Basically indictable means serious and summary means less serious. Summary matters here are also differentiated between certain matters having a maximum of six (6) months incarceration and the remainder having a higher limit of eighteen (18) months. These would include charges such as impaired driving, blowing over .08 and breach of probation.
In many criminal offences the Crown Prosecutor (not called the D.A.) has the right to choose how to proceed on what are commonly referred to as dual offences. This means the Crown can elect or choose to go either way. The decision here often relates to the criminal history of the accused.
In any event, if the Crown is proceeding summarily we may be involved with offences that include:
With respect to representation on these matters, the first thing that needs to be done is to obtain disclosure or the police notes and reports relating to the charge or charges. Every Canadian has the right to make full answer and defense and this can only be done by obtaining and reviewing ALL relevant disclosure.
After careful consideration a decision then has to be made about resolution. Where it is agreed a client did commit the offence charged, such as a mischief (property damage) charge, it may be a matter of determining a fair and proper amount of restitution to be paid, then addressing sentencing issues.
In the event a client wishes to accept responsibility for an offence, our job is then to assist to make sure the penalty imposed is the fairest it can be. For example, with proper submissions the Crown and the Court may consider an absolute or conditional discharge where the clients ends up with no criminal record, or a fine imposed may be lower than expected, or probation may be achieved rather than incarceration, or the term of incarceration may be for a shorter term than requested by the Crown.
In certain cases it may also be agreed the client did nothing wrong. In these matters information may be presented to the Crown to see if they agree, and if not, it’s then a matter of pleading not guilty and preparing for trial. Each case is different and the bottom line is that often, it is to an accused person’s benefit to have someone in their corner to assist them in making sure they are treated fairly. Here we have the experience and can help.
With certain other offences we can also use our experience to conduct a file review of your case and provide you with an investigational opinion. These opinions should NOT be considered as legal advice, but may be of valuable assistance to you with respect to knowing where you stand. In certain cases a file review is also helpful if you wish to retain counsel as the file review can be used to update counsel with a summarized overview of your situation.
With respect to costs, again each case is different, and these can be discussed at a free consultation.
Traffic tickets often relate to four issues - fines, suspensions, or risk of suspensions, demerits and increased insurance rates. Traffic convictions can also affect employment.
Managed by former police officers who specialized in traffic enforcement, radar instruction and investigations, we can help!
As with criminal matters, each accused has the right to make full answer and defense, and this means obtaining all relevant disclosure so the case against any client is fully known and understood.
We go to court for you, which saves time off of work, and unless a trial is required, which is rare, you would not have to attend court.
With respect to defending your matter there are various options. The first objective is to have the charge thrown out. If that fails another option is to seek Crown consent to have the charge amended to another charge with no demerits, or fewer demerits. We also look at reducing fines and in the case where a suspension is anticipated or imminent, we look at strategies so you may retain your license.
Costs varies on the seriousness of any charge and there may be an additional fee if travel away from Lethbridge or Medicine Hat is required. Here again we also offer a free consultation so give us a call.
Demerit and Carrier Profile points can negatively affect a transportation based business and the impact and costs can be very high. We at Power Loney understand that and are here to help.
We will use our knowledge to negotiate a fair and reasonable resolution to your individual and business needs. Our knowledge will assist in either reducing your fine, demerits, or points that would affect your Carrier Profile. Some negotiations may even result in having a charge or charges withdrawn, depending on your individual circumstances.
We want to help! Please contact us before acting on your ticket and see what we can do for you! We believe we are the most cost effective option to get the best possible results for your personal and professional driving needs.