It's a disparaging reputation no divorced parent should have. Frequent flyers refer to parents who, with alarming regularity, petition family law courts to resolve disagreements which, under other circumstances, would not be worth mentioning, much less come before a judge. In Alberta, as elsewhere, family law adjudicates substantive matters related to child custody, guardianship and parenting.
It's become common to read that today's children are more intelligent than those of previous generations. Play-time now includes interacting with computer devices that, according to some studies, accelerate learning even for toddlers. Whether true or not, Alberta children who undergo displacement when their parents divorce are not less immune to the stresses associated with child custody issues.
Prominent linguists have long held that words matter, a belief inherent in law and embedded in the painstaking way in which legal definitions, standards and applications are framed. Alberta family law demonstrates a progressive view of child guardianship in divorce cases by referring to a "parenting order" to cover both child custody and access, among other things. This conveys a more global understanding that equalizes the roles of both parents, without reference to who has physical custody and who has access.
Raising children can be difficult for any family, but challenges can increase when parents are not together. Many Alberta divorcees have conflicts over child custody and support. Research shows that shared parenting where both parents play a significant role can be positive for child development, even if the relationship between the parents is strained.
Extended families have always been an important part of a child's life, but this may be true now more than ever. While conversations about child custody often centre on a mother and father's rights to children, grandparents are increasingly becoming primary caregivers for the next generation of kids in their families. The trend can be seen in communities across Alberta and the rest of Canada.
One of the most common issues people struggle with when a marriage ends is the feeling of unfairness. This is particularly the case if one spouse moves on faster than the other, or one spouse feels that his or her life has been unfairly altered financially or emotionally. Feelings of injustice can be a large obstacle to moving on after a divorce for many people across Alberta.
Many parents will say they'll do "anything" to protect their kids. There's nothing wrong with going above and beyond to safeguard the welfare of one's child, so long as it truly is the child's best interests being protected. One mother, in Alberta's western neighbour, evidently crossed the line in her attempt to win a child custody battle, and the results were not what she had expected.
When going through a divorce, it is important to be well prepared at all times. Especially in a litigated divorce, it is not always possible to see what may be coming next, which makes it imperative to be as ready as is practical. When it comes to child custody decisions, however, it may be difficult to be ready if one does not know what factors a judge will or will not consider. The following are some useful tips about how custody decisions are made in Alberta.
When estranged parents each think they know what's best for their child but cannot agree, the situation can deteriorate quickly. An international child custody dispute recently came to a head in a courtroom east of Alberta. This especially emotional case involves an alleged abduction, claims of sexual abuse and bizarre tales from a young child.
It is a sad reality that divorce sometimes brings out the worst in two people. Though it may be hoped that mutually agreeable arrangements can be made through a collaborative process, there are some cases in which that cannot be accomplished. A clear example comes from one child custody story; even though the parties are well-known celebrities, the events are not without parallel here in Alberta.