On January 1, 2020, Albertans saw a change to family law legislation: the replacement of the Matrimonial Property Act by the Family Property Act. This change gave rights to some “common-law” couples (referred to as “Adult Interdependent Partners” in Alberta) to share in their partner’s property upon the breakdown of the relationship. This change also allows partners to enter into cohabitation agreements that distribute their property upon breakdown of the relationship and are governed by the legislation rather than the law of contract, a right previously only afforded to married couples through prenuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements.

The second major change to the legislation occurred on March 1, 2021, and consists of amendments made to the Divorce Act which affects families across Canada. The new prtions of the Divorce Act changed  how we deal with custody and access, the “best interests of the child” test, including when there is family violence, and relocating with a child of the marriage. These changes helped to simplify the divorce process in Canada by providing guidelines for lawyers and families going through divorce where the above issues are present.

If you have any questions concerning the change to the Family Property Act, or changes coming to the Divorce Act, please contact Resolve Legal Group’s Client Support Coordinator at 403-229-2365 to make an appointment to speak with one of our knowledgeable lawyers.

By Katie Ayer, Barrister and Solicitor