Family Law Legislation and Resources

Note: Information on this page may not be current. Refer to the COVID-19 Court Information page for Court procedures under the pandemic.

A number of different statutes and regulations govern family law and child protection cases in Alberta.  What follows are links to the most relevant legislation, as well as useful and informative resources that are available online, organized per area of law:

Child Support

The Family Law Act covers establishing parentage, guardianship of children, contact between a non-parent or non-guardian and a child, and child and spousal/adult interdependent partner support obligations for former spouses/parents who were never married or are not seeking a divorce.

The Alberta Child Support Guidelines provide guidelines for how child support obligations, of non-married parents, are determined in Alberta.

The Child Support Recalculation Program Regulation sets out the procedure for a payor or recipient to apply to register a child support order with the child support recalculation program.

The Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act covers the registration and enforcement of child and spousal support orders made outside of Alberta, as well as the variation of such orders.

Other links that can help you:

Spousal Support

The Family Law Act covers establishing parentage, guardianship of children, contact between a non-parent or non-guardian and a child, and child and spousal/adult interdependent partner support obligations for former spouses/parents who were never married or are not seeking a divorce.

The Adult Interdependent Relationships Act defines when a relationship between two cohabiting individuals will be an adult interdependent partner relationship.

The Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act covers the registration and enforcement of child and spousal support orders made outside of Alberta, as well as the variation of such orders.

Other links that can help you:

Parenting Arrangements

The Family Law Act covers establishing parentage, guardianship of children, contact between a non-parent or non-guardian and a child, and child and spousal/adult interdependent partner support obligations for former spouses/parents who were never married or are not seeking a divorce.

Other links that can help you:

Child Protection

The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, covers child protection interventions and proceedings, as well as adoption applications.

Other links that can help you:

Private Guardianship

The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, covers child protection interventions and proceedings, as well as adoption applications.

The Family Law Act covers establishing parentage, guardianship of children, contact between a non-parent or non-guardian and a child, and child and spousal/adult interdependent partner support obligations for former spouses/parents who were never married or are not seeking a divorce.

Other links that can help you:

Relevant Drug and Protection Related Legislation

Drug activity is increasing throughout our province and innocent children are being found in places where drugs are being sold or produced, such as methamphetamine labs and indoor marijuana grow operations.

The Drug-Endangered Children Act addresses the Government of Alberta’s commitment to protecting children from the dangers of exposure to illegal drug manufacturing, indoor cannabis grow operations, trafficking and other forms of illegal drug activity.  The Act makes it clear that children exposed to an adult’s involvement in serious drug activity, such as manufacturing and trafficking, are victims of abuse and need protection.

The Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Act provides parents and guardians the ability to apply to the Court for an order to protect a child that is abusing alcohol or drugs. The order authorizes the apprehension, by a guardian or police officer, and the confinement in a protective safe house, of a child whose use of alcohol and/or drugs has or may cause significant psychological or social harm to the child, or physical harm to the child or others.

The Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act addresses the Government of Alberta’s commitment to protecting children engaged in prostitution. The Act makes it clear that children involved in prostitution are victims of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation and require protection.

The Protection Against Family Violence Act aims to protect all family members from family violence including children and seniors. The Act provides options to a person who has experienced violence in a family situation including the option of obtaining from a court a restraining order, a peace bond, an emergency protection order, a Queen’s Bench protection order, and a warrant permitting entry.

Court Forms and Procedures Regulations and Resources

Finding Help

Mediation / Dispute Resolution Processes

Various dispute resolution programs and processes help parents reach agreements with respect to their family law and child protection issues, so that they do not have to go to court.  These include:

Intake and Court Counsellor Services

Family court counsellors help people without a lawyer with preparing for court, accessing the court system and resolving parenting disputes. 

This service is for parties who have a dependent child and a family law issue related to that child. The Family Court Counsellor will talk to you about the effects of separation on children, explore your options, make referrals to services and programs and help you prepare a court application. 

A Family Court Counsellor is a professional staff member within Family Court Assistance who provides service, assistance and on-going assessment to all parties, which may include information about court procedure, referrals, court form preparation assistance, facilitating interim or longer term agreements and court presentation such as helping to present the facts to the judge in Provincial Court. 

Educational Services

Various educational seminars, with respect to family law matters, are administered by Family Court Assistance.

High Conflict/Assessment Services

When families are not able to work together to resolve issues, the following programs can help them and the courts to reach a solution:

Legal Assistance and Advice

Family Court Assistance can help you find a lawyer who can give you legal advice or represent you in family law matters or child protection proceedings.