Legal Representation
(Did you know the laws about Alberta common law couples are completely new as of January 1, 2020?)

Where Do You Start?

For most people, having a family law issue that requires the help of a lawyer is daunting. There is a lot of (wrong) information on the internet. We have all heard horror stories on how long this process can take, the cost, and the conflict.

Who do you choose to help you? Who do you trust?

We suggest that you choose a lawyer based on fit:

  • Do you think alike? Do you believe separation and divorce should be more about family restructuring than a war?
  • Do you want a fair settlement? Lawyers who are settlement focused are typically less expensive (in the long run), and try not to go to court unless it is a last resort. People who want to ‘win’ usually do not understand the total cost – financially and emotionally.
  • Do you have similar values — such as honesty, be a ‘straight shooter’, do the ‘right thing’?

and background:

  • Do you need a lawyer who has had some life experience and is not twenty or thirty something?
  • One that has background in finance, settlement (mediation and arbitration), as well as the law?
  • Someone who has been through separation themselves – and knows what works, what doesn’t and how to protect the children.

Take Action – Get Started

A website can only tell a piece of the story.

Why not come and meet us?

Book an initial no-cost 30 minute consultation at a time that is conventient for you. Bring whatever information you think is relevent such as all court documents, proof of income (especially your spouse), a rough idea of your major assets and debts.

We get it — it the consultation is like a our job interview. Interview us to see if we are good fit to work with you.

Common Family Law Issues

Read more about the common issues of Separation and Divorce

In detail…

There are 4 main issues of Separation and Divorce. Read more by clicking the titles below:

ASSETS AND DEBTS

Types of assets and debts, how to value property, dates to use, what property is exempt from division?

CHILD SUPPORT

The 2 types of child support. How do you determine income? How long does child support last?

SPOUSAL SUPPORT

Spousal support is complicated. Why is there spousal support? What factors are considered?

PARENTING

Why a good parenting plan benefits you.

In detail…

While cost is always a factor. We encourage you to think of value you receive for the money you spend.

Our lawyers charge between $275 and $350 per hour — We will give you checklists and information packages that describe work that you can do so that we do not have to do that work — which helps to keep your costs down.

In Edmonton and across Canada, family law legal representation requries a retainer to be paid. This is money that is prepaid and deposited into a special account. As we perform work we draw on that deposit. At any time, you may ask that we stop work and return any unused deposit. Most lawyers in Edmonton ask for a retainer between $3,000 and $5,000. Our initial retainer is $3,000 (sometimes it is less for simple circumstances). If this is difficult for you, we do ask for a mimum retainer of $1,500 and a commitment to pay three bi-weekly payments of $500.

We are like other law firms in that we will ask you to add additional funds to the retainer when necessary.

If you only need help with some specific items, you can also hire us for certain tasks such as legal advice or review of the work that you have done. This is called ‘limited scope’ work and may have a different fee structue based on the work requried. Regardless, all fees are paid in advance.

Cost

Using a Family Law Lawyer can be expensive.

Not using a Lawyer can be even more expensive.

Legal Aid

If you think you might qualify for legal aid

first give Alberta Legal Aid a call at +1 866-845-3425.

Legal Aid might be able to help you find a lawyer.

Legal Aid can cover costs and you can pay Legal Aid a monthly amount.

In detail…

We do take some legal aid files. But the process requires that you first be approved by Legal Aid first, and then Legal Aid contacts us to see if we can take the file. You do not need to call.

If you want to use Legal Aid — consider using your time to contact them and get approved. As a government agency, you may need a lot of patience as they are understaffed and underfunded.

If you cannot afford a retainer, are low income, but don’t qualify for legal aid, some free resources you might try could be:

  • Student Legal Services ((780) 492-2226) operated by students at the University of Alberta’s Law School or
  • Edmonton Community Legal Centre (780-702-1725). No-Cost meetings are available to chat with a lawyer.