Edmonton Family Lawyer

Deciding where your children will reside, who will get to see them, and who will make the crucial decisions about their upbringing are some of the most significant and challenging choices you will be required to make following a divorce or separation. At Chahal Law, our goal is to assist you in making these decisions in a helpful, productive manner where you place the requirements of your children first.

Although you have ceased to be a couple, you are still parents, and it is almost always best to work as a team. However, in some cases, this is just not possible. That's when we can represent your best interests in court. We will guarantee that your rights are respected and that your children's well-being remains the priority.

What's in the best interests of the children?

The legal system utilizes distinctive terms in defining parenting obligations for children, contingent on whether you are common law, or married. Regardless, the issues to be settled are usually the same. They are as follows:

  • Where the children will live: The children might live with you, the other parent, or share their time between each.
  • Who gets to see the children: Even if you don't reside with your children, you still have the right to see each other. Relatives, such as grandparents, may also desire to have access or contact.
  • Who is responsible for making decisions: This will include decisions about the children's religious upbringing, education, and health. Guardianship or custody may be shared.
  • Who provides support for the children: Support is decided by accounting for each parents' income and who the children live with.

There will very likely be further matters to discuss. For instance, one parent may desire to move far away, or travel abroad with the children. Decisions will also need to be made about the role stepparents will play, particularly with unmarried stepparents, or new partners of the divorcing parents. Occasionally, we also have clients who wish to cease the parental rights of the other parent, or their own. Some even want to discuss concerns about paternity. No matter your questions or concerns during this challenging time, Chahal Law is here to help.


At Chahal Law, we deal with divorces of all varieties; from the most straightforward, uncontested split that can take a just a few months to process, to the genuinely thorny separations that can take a longer time to complete. We understand the stress and irritation that most of our clients are feeling, as even the most uncomplicated divorce comes with incredible frustration. We have the experience to escort you through the process competently and cost-effectively.

We will take the worry out of the situation and help with any obstacles that may arise. Our team is incredibly receptive and accessible at all times. We assist you in settling every problem that needs resolution throughout the litigation process. Our experts can guide you in making decisions about your children, support, property and other complications in whatever manner is best suited to your situation -- whether through alternative dispute resolution or ultimately in the courts.

There is a formal, legal process in place to end your marriage. Perhaps you have issues to settle, or maybe not. Either way, you'll need to go through a legal process to formally end your marriage. To get a divorce in Alberta, at least one of the parties will have to have been a resident of Alberta for a minimum of a year before commencing the divorce action. It will not matter where you were married as long as your marriage is, in fact, valid in Canada.

An official divorce consists of these steps:

  • The individual pursuing the divorce -- known as the Plaintiff -- files the Claim for Divorce.
  • The claim is directly delivered to the other person -- known as the Defendant -- who will then have 20 days to dispute it, providing they live in Alberta.
  • The Plaintiff must file a Request for Divorce, alongside a number of ancillary documents (with the marriage certificate) and a proposed Divorce Judgment.
  • A Justice considers the Request and the documents and will then sign the Divorce Judgment.
  • Copies are later mailed to the Defendant and Plaintiff.
  • 31 days following the Divorce Judgment being signed, the spouses can request a Certificate of Divorce.

We can help you throughout all stages of this challenging process, whether it's to deal with one or two issues, or to assist with the divorce from start to finish.

Child Support

Child enforcement or support is usually not complex. Canadian Child Support Guidelines stipulate the amount that has to be paid for child support based on which province the children live in, the income of the parent who will be paying, and the number of children who will be receiving assistance. In some situations, the parent may ask to have their child support lowered; however, it is difficult to prove undue hardship, which is where your lawyer comes in.

Spousal Support

Maintenance or alimony, often known as spousal support, isn't decided in the same manner as child support. A person that requests spousal support must show their entitlement to spousal support by proving that they have been disadvantaged by the ending of the marriage and that their former spouse has the resources to pay spousal support. This is where the lawyers at Chahal Law can help you put together the strongest possible case for the courts.

Separation Agreements

Separation Agreements are a pact by spouses -- either common law or married -- on how to deal with all the issues that result from the collapse of their marriage, such as custody and child support, access of children, division of property, spousal support, etc. Many people favour this option to court. With the assistance of the legal team at Chahal Law, the parties can discuss their obligations and rights and come up with terms that each will be happy with.

Matrimonial Property

A standard issue in divorce proceedings is the splitting of family property. This matter is overseen by the Matrimonial Property Act, rather than the Divorce Act. Every province has its own legislation governing the separation of family property. This can become an extremely contentious issue and is often a sore spot for our clients. We assist you in getting what is rightfully yours when it comes to matrimonial property.

Common Law Relationships

Unmarried couples are usually treated similarly to married couples concerning child support, child custody, access, and spousal support. The fundamental difference is that common law partners do not have a legal entitlement to the equalization of their property. Should your common law partnership not work out, Chahal Law will be there to guide you through the challenging process of separation.

Prenuptial Agreements

In some cases, two people will draw up a contract prior to marriage, laying out rules for their marriage, and what will happen if there is a marriage breakdown. In Canada, prenuptial agreements are typically referred to as marriage contracts or domestic contracts. If two people who are cohabitating get married at a later point, their cohabitation agreement then becomes a domestic contract. If this relationship should come to an end, Chahal Law will be there to answer the tough questions that need answering and to lead you through the tough times.