What Legally Defines A Child Of The Marriage In Alberta?

What Legally Defines A Child Of The Marriage In Alberta? 

Adult children can often remain child of the marriage on a legal basis.

A child of the marriage is a child of two spouses or former spouses under the age of majority. It is important to note that there are certain circumstances such as illness, disability or continuing education which may result in a child being unable to withdraw from the charge of their parents and result in them being considered children of the marriage after reaching the ago of majority. In Canada, the ago of majority is 18 or 19 depending on the province in which you reside.

Why Does the Definition of Child of the Marriage Matter?

Being able to accurately outline who is and who is not a child of the marriage is important when it comes to issues such as parenting, custody and child support. Children of the marriage are entitled to child support under the Federal Child Support Guidelines. Child support may be extended beyond the children attaining the age of majority in certain circumstances, including attendance at a post-secondary education institution. Parties may agree that their children will qualify as children of the marriage as defined by the for so long as they are attending post-secondary education on a full-time basis, achieving passing grades and attaining their first degree, diploma, certificate, or other designation.

How to Determine if Your Adult Child is Child of the Marriage?

The issue of determining if your child continues to be labeled a child of the marriage after reaching the age of majority must be determined on a case by case basis. The onus of proving that a child is a child of the marriage falls to the parent who is making a claim for child support. If you are considering making an application for child support, you should ask yourself these questions:

  1. How many children require support;
  2. Are you the biological parent of these children or do you stand in place of a parent;
  3. Are the children over or under the age of majority;
  4. If the children are over the age of majority but unable to support themselves due to illness, disability; and
  5. If the children are over the age of majority are they currently enrolled in post-secondary education and unable to financially support themselves.

When Does Child Support End for Adult Children?

Currently, the court is seeing more and more cases of child support being paid to adult children. Many social factors contribute to this change as children are taking a gap year between high school and post-secondary school, children are taking longer to get post secondary education, mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety are being recognized on a wider scale and many other social economical facts. It is important to note that the courts are taking these changes into consideration to assist adult children but also to ensure that child support is not payable indefinitely.

If you have questions about child support for adult children, connect with us today.

Mediation Can Be a Timely And Cost Effective Resolution Service

Mediation in High Conflict: How To Reach A Resolution

You have the power to reach an agreement or walk away

Upon the breakdown of a marriage, many parties agree that they want to remain amicable and try their best to resolve their issues in a friendly and courteous manner. However, the stress of a divorce can often lead couples to becoming more high conflict than they initially intended. High conflict separations can have a devastating impact on co-parenting, children’s self esteem and finances. It’s important to keep your goals in mind when negotiating your divorce which is why a mediator can be a great solution for finalizing issues such as division of property, parenting time and support.

What About Power Imbalances?

Mediation is a voluntary process meaning both parties must consent every step of the way and there will never be an agreement unless both parties agree to same. This is very important for handling power imbalances as both parties need to work together to reach a resolution, and if they are unable or unwilling to co-operative either party can walk away from the mediation process. Power imbalances can arise from many perspectives including violence, language barriers, financial imbalances, differences in education or simply a lack of information. While often times, mediators can assist to equalize these imbalances, there may be situations that are better handled in a different resolution stream. Often times family violence can make it very difficult to mediate issues as the power imbalance is too great to overcome.

You Constitutes an Agreement Reached At Mediation?

It is extremely important for all parties to understand the mediation process prior to beginning the initial session. This is because mediation can result in agreements between the parties and these agreements can be translated into legally binding documents. However, it is important to note that mediation notes and minutes of settlements are not enforceable or binding on their own. Mediators generally end each session with a summary of the topics that were agreed on and allow the parties to walk away and think on these issues prior to taking steps to making binding documents. As such, if you attend mediation and agree to something you are unsure of after a nights sleep, you should raise these concerns as soon as possible to keep the integrity of the process.

Time and Monetary Investments

Parties can agree to pay for mediation however they want, as long as both of them agree. For example, they may pay for each session 50-50 or one party may pay all the mediators fees upfront and be reimbursed once a final settlement is paid / agreed to. A good rule of thumb is to ensure both parties are invested in the process financially in some capacity. This will ensure there is a wise use of time and commitment to the mediation process.

If you want to learn more about mediation and if this process is right for you, connect with us today.

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