How We Can Help

Family Law Areas of Practice

We provide full services relating to the legal aspects of divorce including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and property division. A divorce can be initiated any time after a married couple has separated.

Whether parents are married or not, we can assist with establishing a parenting plan and the sharing of decision-making for children.

If your children have been abducted from Alberta or Canada, it’s important to take immediate action. We assist with abductions within Canada and internationally. Your options will vary depending on the country to which your children have been abducted and whether or not the Hague Convention applies.

In some family conflicts, the views of the children involved are an important consideration.  A lawyer can be appointed to represent children, and be their voice, in Court. We can represent children in high conflict parenting disputes.

Parents are required to financially support their children according to their income. We can assist you to ensure you are paying or receiving the proper amount of child support (sometimes called “child maintenance”).

After a separation, some partners are entitled to support. We can assist you to ensure that you are paying or receiving the proper amount of partner support (sometimes called “alimony” or “spousal maintenance”).

Marriage creates a joint interest in the property, both assets and debts, of both spouses. When married couples separate, their property must also be divided. We can assist you by providing advice about how the law treats matrimonial property, mediate or negotiate settlement, or bring the matter before the Court.

If separated spouses have already reached an agreement, we can provide independent legal advice before finalizing the agreement.

There are time limits for bringing applications regarding property so it’s best not to delay.

Effective January 1, 2020, the Family Property Act, sets out how common law couples (also called Adult Interdependent Partners) in Alberta divide their property when they separate. We can assist by providing you advice about the law, mediate or negotiate a settlement, or bring the matter before the Court.

If separated spouses have already reached an agreement, we can provide independent legal advice before finalizing the agreement.

There are time limits for bringing applications regarding property so it’s best not to delay.

We can provide advice on what legal steps you can take to protect yourself or your children and provide representation at Court including applications and responses to:

  • EPOs (including EPO oral hearings, also called “viva voce hearings”)
  • Restraining Orders
  • No contact orders
  • Exclusive Possession of the Home Orders

Some couples prefer to make agreements at the start of a relationship about how property and support will be treated if something goes wrong in the relationship. We can assist with prenuptial (before marriage) and cohabitation (before residing together) agreements.

Children’s Services is responsible for ensuring the safety of children in Alberta. If there are reports that a child is need of protection, Children’s Services investigates the concern and will take action which may include apprehending the child. We can help you challenge an apprehension in court. Custody of an apprehended child must be decided by the court within 42 days, so we recommend that you obtain legal advice immediately if an apprehension occurs.

If Children’s Services is involved with your family, we can help you respond to applications for a Supervision Order, Temporary Guardianship Order, or Permanent Guardianship Order.

If you would like to provide care to the child of a family member or friend who has been or is at risk of being apprehended, we can assist you in applying for Private Guardianship of the child. For example, we can assist a grandparent to obtain guardianship of his or her grandchild.

Some adults are unable to make decisions for themselves. We can assist those who are applying to be someone else’s guardian or those who are opposed to being the subject of an Adult Guardianship Order.

An adoption requires an application to the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta. Adoptive parents enjoy the same rights, responsibilities and obligations to the adopted child as if the child was born to them. We can assist with step-parent adoption, including adopting the child of a same-sex partner.

We are able to assist intended parents and sperm donors with contracts regarding assisted reproduction.  It’s best to enter into a contract before any donation occurs.

If you disagree with a decision made by the court, you may be able to obtain a different decision by appealing to a higher level of court. However, appeals are not meant to be a second try to argue the same thing in the hope of receiving a different outcome. Appeals are likely to succeed in the limited circumstances where the Judge hearing the original matter made a mistake in determining the facts or applying the law. We can help you determine if an appeal is a good option for you.

Our lawyers are Commissioners of Oaths and Notaries Public. We can assist if you are required to sign a document under oath, can witness the signing of documents, and can provide notarized true copies of an original document

Wills and Estates Areas of Practice

Whether your estate is complex or straightforward, we will help you draft and execute a will and estate plan that clearly states your wishes so that there are no disputes or misunderstandings among your loved one after you have passed. We will work with your other tax planning, financial, and accounting advisors to ensure that your estate is distributed in a tax-efficient and effective way.

As a young individual, young couple, or young family, you have started building a future and wealth. If you have property and assets and/or children, you need a will that clearly states how your assets will be distributed upon death and, most importantly, who you would like to care for your children. Younger individuals, couples, and families require careful estate planning. However, their estate planning needs generally are not yet too complex, and they are often pressed for time and energy when it comes to their estate planning. We will work with you to execute a comprehensive, straightforward estate plan that aims to remove the time, stress, and decision fatigue from the equation.

If you lose capacity to make personal decisions for yourself, you need an trusted agent to do so for you. A Personal Directive document allows you to choose and appoint at least one agent to make personal decisions for you. Your Personal Directive will outline the kinds of decisions your agent can make for you and how you would like decisions made. Personal decisions include, but are not limited to, decisions regarding your medical care and treatment, where you live, with whom you associate, and which activities you participate in.

If you lose capacity to make financial decisions for yourself, you need a trusted attorney to do so for you. An Enduring Power of Attorney document allows you to choose and appoint at least one attorney to make financial decisions for you. Your Enduring Power of Attorney will outline the kinds of decisions your attorney can make for you and how you would like these decisions made. Financial decisions include, but are not limited to, decisions regarding tax planning, retaining professional advisors on your behalf (such as accountants or financial advisors), and providing for any dependants you may have, such as dependent children. This document does not give your attorney the ability to make changes to your will.

Though not all estates require a grant of probate or administration, most of them do. A grant of probate is issued by a court upon proving the validity of a deceased’s will. If the deceased person has passed away with a will, the Personal Representative (formerly known as the “Executor”) appointed in the will must apply for a grant of probate. If the deceased person has died without a will, then someone must apply for a grant of administration to become appointed the Personal Representative of the estate as well as to prove the validity of the will. The application process is not always straightforward, and the role of a Personal Representative comes with various duties and responsibilities. Many Personal Representatives retain lawyers to help guide them through the application process, as well as the administration and distribution process, to ensure the estate distribution process proceeds properly and correctly.

Estate disputes arise in many different circumstances. Disputes may arise when someone would like to contest the validity or interpretation of a deceased person’s will, or when someone (like a child, spouse, or common law partner) have been left out of the deceased’s will when they should have been provided for. Estate disputes also arise when someone contests or questions the ability or willingness of the Personal Representative (formerly known as the Executor) to properly administer the deceased person’s estate.

Your will comes into effect upon your passing. A trust comes into effect the day it is created. Trusts are valuable tools to that enable you to provide for someone who cannot provide for themselves. They can also be used effectively for estate and tax planning purposes. Trusts are created through legal documents establishing a settlor (the one who is giving property to another); a beneficiary (the one for whose benefit the trust is established); and a trustee (the one with control and maintenance of the trust). A settlor can also be the trustee of the same trust.

Methods of Resolving Disputes

We provide consultations at an hourly rate.

We provide mediation of all family law matters. If we mediate a matter, we are neutral and cannot represent either party individually.

Most people are able to come to an agreement about how to settle their family law disputes. We can assist in negotiating a positive outcome.

We have experience at all three levels of Alberta Courts.

We accept certificates from Legal Aid Alberta on a case by case basis.

Some people are able to represent themselves in a family law dispute but need assistance on only one or two elements of their matter. For example, a person may wish to represent themselves in court but need lawyer assistance to prepare or review their court documents. Or, a person may feel confident preparing their own documents but want a lawyer to attend a court hearing on their behalf. Limited scope retainers (sometimes called “unbundled services” or “legal coaching”) allow us to carve out those limited elements from a whole matter and assist with specific tasks. More information is available at:

If you are facing divorce or separation and you are worried about how court proceedings might affect your children, your finances, or your privacy, the Collaborative Family Law process might be right for you.

Collaborative family law is a process where each person hires a specially trained, registered Collaborative Family Lawyer and other Collaborative professionals as needed.  All parties work together to find a cooperative, non-adversarial manner to achieve a lasting, mutually agreeable settlement. Each party commits not to attend court.  It works because it’s different for every family: you guide the process.

All our lawyers are accepting new Collaborative Family Law clients. Please contact Latitude Family Law to find out more.

To learn more about the process, please click on the following links:

Collaborative Divorce Edmonton has provided a helpful document outlining the Collaborative Divorce process:

Collaborative Divorce Alberta Association:

contact us

Phone:  780.784.0628

Fax: 780.784.0629