Best interests of the pet – not yet

Canadians love their pets; they are often considered members of the family. As a family law lawyer, I am often questioned about the law surrounding pets when a couple separates.

Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, No Longer Optional in Alberta?

Since 2001, the Department of Justice created the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (“SSAGs”) to assist in determining the appropriate amount of spousal support in a relationship breakdown. Unlike the Federal Child Support Guidelines, the SSAGs contained the word advisory and did not have the same binding requirements as the Federal Child Support Guidelines. As, the SSAGs are advisory, following their guidance was not seen as mandatory across Canada. Rather, they provided insight for the Courts when reviewing the amount and duration for spousal support.

Oppression Proceedings for Non-Shareholder Spouses

Alberta has generally been the province with the highest rate of entrepreneurship in Canada as reported by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (‘GEM’). This means that many spouses separating in Alberta are shareholders in corporations (‘shareholder spouse’), whether it be a majority or minority ownership. However, the other spouse in many circumstances is not a shareholder (‘non-shareholder spouse’) and therefore, appears to have no ability to influence the operations of the other’s corporation, its operations or deal with its assets.