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Phone: (403) 467-6719 Email: info@shinkfamilylaw.com

Professional Calgary Family Lawyer

Family Law Lawyers - Calgary

Shink Family Law is a Calgary law firm that specializes in divorce, custody and access, child support, spousal support and matrimonial property.  If you have questions about any of these areas please feel free to contact us. You will work directly with a lawyer and a legal assistant experienced in these areas. We are located in the Ribtor building close to the Calgary Stampede grounds.  When you work with us you will also have access to lawyers with experience in the areas of commercial and residential real estate, civil litigation, employment law and personal injury.

Divorce

Divorce and separation can be a difficult and emotional time. Discussions around money in the midst of a life-altering event can often be the furthest thing from your mind. Don’t let this altered state of awareness negatively affect your future. We believe that it is important to talk to a professional about what to expect during a divorce, what your rights are and how the law applies to your situation. We have experience helping families through divorce and other family matters, and can be there to help guide you and your loved ones through the process.

How much time will it take to obtain a divorce?

It takes around four months from the time you file all of your divorce documents with the court. This waiting period is based on the amount of divorces being processed  at the time that you file your request and is constantly changing. We can update you on current wait times at the time you file your documents.

How much does a divorce cost?

If you decide to work with a lawyer to file your divorce you should expect to pay the lawyer their hourly rate for all of their work. We can provide you with an estimate of how many hours it should take to meet with you and draft and file your documents. An average cost for an uncontested divorce with no children is $2,000.00. Our lawyer rates vary from $250/hr to $350/hr. Our minimum retainers vary depending on your situation, If you expect to have any initial contested court applications you should budget for a minimum retainer of $3,000.00. Most divorces have  the potential for a problem or delay. Your lawyer will need to meet with you to discuss your situation. In the meeting, we will give you advice on what problems you could face, what it could costs to address them, how these problems could affect your rights and what kind of delays they could cause. If you need to attend contested court applications the guideline we use to estimate these costs are three hours preparation time for every hour spent in court. This does not include the time it takes to draft documents and the cost of filing and serving your documents.

Do I need a lawyer?

Not always. When there are no children we usually advise people to review their assets and liabilities and discuss spousal support with a lawyer before deciding to file their own divorce. There are do your own divorce clinics available from Calgary Legal Guidance. Before agreeing to a divorce we recommend that you understand how much money is at stake, understand any issues related to spousal support and tell your lawyer if there is there a history of verbal or physical abuse, financial abuse or an imbalance of power. We can help you go over these issues either over the phone or during a meeting at out office. Even if you have little or no assets and substantial debt, you may want to retain a lawyer to help you fairly divide the debt. In some cases, the benefit you get from hiring a lawyer to help you divide your debt will outweigh the cost of hiring a lawyer.

Spousal Support

If you are married or in a common-law relationship in Alberta you may be eligible for, or have to pay, spousal support. People frequently ask if they can get spousal support for and how long they can get it for? If you are married you need to look at the Divorce Act, Canada to find out you are entitled to support. Then to understand how long you are entitled to support for and how much support you may be entitled you, you have to look at the ranges for support amounts set out in the spousal support advisory guidelines. If you are in a common-law relationship in Alberta then you need to look at the Adult Interdependent Relationship Act, Alberta. To qualify for support, you need to prove that you qualify as an adult interdependent partner under the act. Usually there is no easy way to determine if you qualify for support, however there are nine factors that the court will consider, no one is more important than the others, and you need to look at them all in the context of your situation. Our lawyers can go over these factors with you and give you an opinion about the strength of your claim.

Child Support

There are federal and provincial guidelines and regulations that set out rules for child support payments. both federal and provincial guidelines are very similar. Because child support can be calculated based on your income it can often be resolved by mediation or arbitration allowing you to avoid costly court applications. It is important to talk to your lawyer about what kind of support you are looking for, and what it will be applied to as there are different rules for basic child support and child support for extraordinary expenses, like child care and medical expenses.

Custody and Access (Guardianship and Parenting)

When a couple is divorcing or separating, one of the most difficult decisions for parents to make is the decision about where the children will live and who will make decisions for them. In Alberta there are two acts that govern parenting of children. The Family Law Act, Alberta, and the Divorce Act, Canada. Our law office can help you understand your rights and the laws that apply to your family. We can help you navigate these issues and reach a fair agreement that works for your family. Sometimes parenting problems cannot be resolved by agreement and if this happens to you we have the experience to help you present your strongest case in court.

Child Welfare

Child welfare is ordinarily dealt with by the Family Court of Alberta and falls under the practice of family law, though it shares some aspects of criminal law and can have a dramatic impact on a parent’s life. This area  requires special care, because it involves children. If you are involved with Calgary and Area Child and Family Services, we can help you understand your situation, what you may be expected to provide to the court and to Child and Family Services, and we can help you understand what recommendations the court is making and why they may be in the best interests of the children. Child welfare matters are always urgent. We recommend that you contact our office as soon as possible so that we can advise you on your timelines what steps you should take.