Family Law

Family Law

MHR Law’s Family Law Group strives to provide exceptional representation with compassion and understanding. We provide services in all areas of Family Law.

Separation & Divorce

Separation is a term that is generally used to describe the event of a marriage or a common law relationship breaking down.

Divorce is a legal term that can encompass many issues (child custody and access, child support, spousal support, and matrimonial property), but at its core refers to the legal process of making two married people single people.

Child Support

Parents of children are required to financially support their children. The amount of support that is payable is determined by the parenting arrangement and the incomes of the parents. The Federal Child Support Guidelines determine child support for married couples and the Alberta Child Support Guidelines determine child support for unmarried couples.


There are two main components to child support:

  • Section 3 Child Support: this is most often paid on a monthly basis to assist with the day to day costs in raising a child.
  • Section 7 Child Support: this component of child support is for costs beyond the day to days costs of raising a child. These costs are presumptively shared pro-rata between the parents of the children based on each parents’ income.

Child Custody and Parenting

The term “child custody” or “guardianship” are terms that are used to determine which parents of a child have decision making authority in regard to that child. The terms “joint custody” or “joint guardianship” are used for parents that share in decision making; whereas the term “sole custody” or “sole guardianship” are used when only one parent has decision making authority.
“Access” or “parenting” are terms that are used to describe the parenting regime that is used. If one parent has the children more than 60% of the time such parent would be the “primary parent.” If both parents have the children more than 40% of the time the parents would be “shared parents.”

Matrimonial Property

Matrimonial Property is a term used to describe the property (and the division of such property) that is acquired during a marriage. The Matrimonial Property Act governs the division of matrimonial property in Alberta.

Spousal Support

Spousal support is a factor that must be examined when a relationship terminates. Spousal support can be paid on a monthly basis, a lump sum basis, or waived. The key factors that determine spousal support rights and obligations are the length of the relationship, the roles of the people involved in the relationship, and the incomes of the people involved in the relationship.

Common Law Separations

Common law separations occur when two people who are not married separate from each other. Like married couples, common law couples need to deal with: parenting, child support, partner support, and division of property.


Adoptions are the legal process of adopting a minor child into a new family. A formal adoption is done through the Courts.

Prenuptial or Cohabitation Agreements

Prenuptial and Cohabitation Agreements are written agreements where two persons who are either getting married (Prenuptial) or going to live together (Cohabitation) desire to determine before their marriage or relationship begins to define how assets and debts would be divided if they were to separate in the future.

It is important to note that such agreements can be executed after the marriage or relationship has commenced.