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Knowledgeable Family Lawyers in Medicine Hat

When it comes to child custody/parenting, his or her best interest should always be the first priority. Child custody/parenting is one of the most crucial issues in the case of a divorce or separation. While it is ideal for both parties to have input with reaching a parenting agreement, mediation and Court litigation may be necessary. With over 25 years of experience, Rath Law Office offers expertise to come to be well versed in the Courtroom - sound advice to protect the best interests of the child and addressing the concerns of the parents.

Who is a Guardian and Some Factors to Be Considered

Custody cases are not always fought between the parents of a child. Anyone who has acted as a parent can apply for guardianship or custody for the child’s best interests. Joint custody is an option to consider as well.

In order to decide who gets custody, a Judge/Justice usually consider the following factors:

The child’s previous caregiver
Relationship between the caregiver and the child
Plans for the child’s future if granted custody

In some cases, the Judge/Justice can order a home study to gather more information about the child and the individuals seeking custody. It is important to note that the Judge/Justice will hear the wishes of children if they are old and mature enough to express the same.

Child Support Law in Alberta

When a child is involved in separation, there are support obligations of one or both parents/guardians.

Child Support Payments

The amount of child support to be received is dependent on Federal Child Support Guidelines and other factors such as:

Province where the parents reside
The income of each parent
Number of children requiring child support

In addition to basic child support, other expenses may be considered for Section 7 such as:

Medical bills
Sports & recreation
Extracurricular activities

Mutual agreements are always ideal in comparison to going to Court. If you have any questions about parenting/child custody and access, please contact us.

Section 7 Expenses

According to the Federal Child Support Guidelines, Section 7 Expenses include the following:

  1. Child care expenses incurred as a result of the custodial parent’s employment, illness, disability or education or training for employment.
  2. That portion of the medical and dental insurance premiums attributable to the child.
  3. Health-related expenses that exceed insurance reimbursement by at least $100 annually, including orthodontic treatment, professional counselling provided by a psychologist, social worker, psychiatrist or any other person, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and prescription drugs, hearing aids, glasses and contact lenses.
  4. Extraordinary expenses for a primary or secondary school education or for any other educational programs that meet the child’s particular needs.
  5. Expenses for post-secondary education.
  6. Extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities.


The Family Law Act provides that, except where otherwise limited by law, including a parenting order, a guardian may exercise the following powers:

  1. To make day-to-day decisions affecting the child, including having the day-to-day care and control of the child and supervising the child’s health.
  2. To decide the child’s place of residence and to change the child’s place of residence.
  3. To make decisions about the child’s education, including the nature, extent and place of education and any participation in extracurricular school activities.
  4. To make the decision regarding the child’s cultural, linguistic, religious and spiritual upbringing and heritage.
  5. To decide with whom is the child to live, and with whom is the child to associate.
  6. To decide whether the child should work and if so, the nature and extent of the work, for whom the work is to be done and related matters.
  7. To consent to medical, dental and other health-related treatment for the child.
  8. To grant or refuse consent where consent of a parent or guardian is required by law in  any application, approval, action, proceeding or other matter.
  9. To receive and respond to any notice a parent or guardian is entitled or required by law to receive.
  10. Subject to Minor’s Property Act and the Public Trustee Act, to commence, defend, compromise or settle, any legal proceedings related to the child and to compromise or settle any proceedings taken against the child. 
  11. To appoint a person to act on behalf of the guardian in any emergency situation or where the guardian is temporarily absent because of illness or any other reason.
  12. To receive from third parties health, education or other information that may significantly affect the child.
  13. To exercise any other powers reasonably necessary to carry out the powers of guardianship.

Require Legal Advice?

Schedule a consultation with Rath Law Office.

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