Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Sonja Lusignan (Professional Corporation), has been practicing Family Law exclusively since 2005. Her office is at Calgary Family Law Associates, an association of independent lawyers, in Calgary’s Beltline. Sonja Lusignan has a Bachelor of Education (University of Calgary) and a Juris Doctor (University of Alberta). Sonja practices exclusively in the area of Family and Child Protection law. She was called to the Alberta bar in 2005.
Sonja’s experience in both Collaborative and Traditional Negotiation as well as Litigation / Arbitration and Mediation allows her to give her clients the best chance at finding the optimal approach for them. With advanced training in Collaborative Practice and a strong belief that family law is about family, not courtrooms, Sonja aims to settle most matters in the least emotionally damaging way – out of Court. However, she recognizes that sometimes mediation / negotiation is not appropriate, suitable, or fruitful, and is entirely comfortable as a litigator.
When going through a divorce, child custody can be a daunting process as it involves the most important people in your life – your children. In most cases both parents will have legal rights to their children, but there is often a dispute as to how those rights and custody should be allocated. When awarding custody, the court weighs the best interests of the children and in most cases gives broad discretion to create orders specifically tailored to each family.
Sonja understands the sensitive and complex nature of child custody litigation. We also know that many parents have to fight vigorously for their children as one parent may use time with the children as a weapon to hurt the other parent. Divorce and custody battles are often an emotional roller coaster, but you can rest assured that your voice will be heard, that we will advocate for you and your children, that we will try and take away much of the stress and worry, and that we will work to achieve the success you’re looking for in the courtroom.
Sonja focuses part of her practice on the representation of children and youth, foster parents, biological parents, grandparents, and other family members in Child Welfare cases.
The parent-child relationship is one of the most fundamental relationships of human life. The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that the rights at stake in child protection proceedings are “unquestionably of the highest order”; and that “few state actions can have a more profound effect on the lives of both parent and child.”
The Province of Alberta, through its delegates, Alberta Child and Family Services, has considerable ability to intervene in the lives of families through the framework of the Child, Youth, and Family Enhancement Act. Such intervention may include the forced removal of children from the care of their parents, and placement of these apprehended children within the foster care system.
Given the very serious nature of child protection proceedings and the fundamental rights at stake, it is important that parents have representation and legal advice regarding such cases.
A legal process that treats individuals with respect and dignity, and ensures procedural and substantive fairness is in the best interests of children, as it allows courts to render fair, just and accurate decisions. Children, our most precious resource, deserve no less.
Sonja is Experienced with:
- Divorce Act and Family Law Act and Child, Youth, and Family Enhancement Act Court applications, both in Provincial Family Court, the Court of Queen’s Bench, and the Court of Appeal.
- Separation Agreements;
- Cohabitation Agreements;
- Property Agreements;
- Child Support Claims;
- Spousal Support Claims;
- Enforcement of Parenting Time applications;
- Mobility applications;
- Parenting and Custody applications;
- Guardianship applications;
- Restraining Orders and Emergency Protection Orders;
- Responding to applications made by Children’s Services (Child Welfare) – for Supervision Orders, Temporary Guardianship Orders,
- Permanent Guardianship Orders;
- Representing Foster Parents in guardianship applications or disputes with Children’s Services;
- Representing children in applications by Children’s Services.
Professional Associations, Memberships, Activities
- Law Society of Alberta
- Canadian Bar Association – Family Subsection; Child Welfare and Representation of Children Subsection (cofounder and past chairperson); Civil Litigation Subsection
- Instructor – Chinook Learning Sessions – Calgary Board of Education
- Editor – Legal Education Society of Alberta Practice Manual for Family Law– 2017 –
- Child Welfare Chapter; 2020 – Child Welfare Chapter, and Trial Chapter
- Board Member – Association and Family Law and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)
- Chairperson, Legal Education Society of Alberta – Child Welfare Boot Camp – 2010 and 2014
- Invited Speaker at 2013 Child Legal Representative Conference in Jasper, Alberta
- Calgary Association of Women Lawyers
- Roster lawyer for Legal Representation of Children and Youth (LRCY)
- Legal Education Society of Alberta, Child Welfare Boot Camp, Chairperson, 2010
- Legal Education Society of Alberta, Child Welfare Boot Camp, Chairperson, 2014
- University of Alberta, Faculty of Law, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- University of Calgary Bachelor of Education