Retiring from the workplace can feel like a precarious leap into the unknown. Part of the cycle of life, it offers the opportunity for great changes, some of which may be less welcome than others. If a new retiree is also divorced and had been paying spousal support while working, he or she should be aware of how Alberta law views the change in financial circumstances which retirement brings.
When Mr. Bumble in Dickens' "Oliver Twist" complained that the law is a bachelor, he could not have been more wrong. The seriousness with which Alberta family law views and treats formal marriage equals the solemn intentions of any couple undertaking vows. When spouses decide to dissolve a legal union, their intentions regarding spousal support and other vital issues come under the same sober legal scrutiny.
When a marriage dissolves, the movement of spouses to different cities, provinces, or even countries can make coordinating support a challenge. Many people in Alberta and across Canada struggle with issues around financial arrangements, especially when there is distance involved. Arranging for and enforcing spousal support can leave people with few options, but there are some steps that can be taken.
For many men and women, a divorce is an emotional time. Although emotions may run high during the process, it is important to remember that spousal support rulings and other applications of divorce law are not based on feelings, positive or negative. Though the laws of Alberta can be subject to interpretation, they are applied based on facts and evidence. Unfortunately, this can lead to situations that may feel unfair to some.
When a couple opts for a litigated divorce, or if one party leaves the other with no choice but to go to court, the results can be difficult to predict. To go to court unprepared, however, is to throw caution to the wind, as one man living east of Alberta found out. He now regrets his decision to represent himself in court, as he struggles to meet his spousal support obligation.
In many marriages, one spouse earns significantly more income than the other. If the amount of that income is in dispute, however, there may be courtroom drama generated when spousal support is being discussed as part of a divorce. This recently occurred during a pre-trial hearing in another province, and the details are pertinent here in Alberta, too.
While celebrity divorce is often in the news and may seem trivial or frivolous compared to everyday separations, it can teach valuable lessons about the process. In the case of noted movie star Drew Barrymore and her husband of four years, a departure from the regular drama-laden celebrity divorce reminds Alberta residents that it is possible to settle a separation amicably. This is particularly true for couples with children, regardless of whether they are living in Calgary or California.