Frequently Asked Questions


What is the most important issue that the courts consider when making decisions affecting children in regards to custody and child support?

The best interests of the child is the only consideration in proceedings affecting children – not the parents’ wants, wishes or convenience, but the needs, means, conditions and circumstances of the child concerned.

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I have an obligation to pay child/spousal support under a court order, but my income has recently dropped and the amount I have to pay is no longer appropriate based on my new level of income. How do I change my support payments?

To vary a court order for support payments, it is important you have evidence of your reduced income, usually in the form of paystubs or a Record of Employment in the case of job loss. The order can then be varied by consent if both the payor and the creditor agree, or by the court based on evidence of your reduced income.

If the Order contains a clause for the variation of support under the Support Recalculation Program and you are not self-employed, then providing your updated income information to the recalculation program will be the most cost-effective method. Unfortunately, the recalculation program is not available if income is earned through a corporation or more complicated means.

In any case, if you require a variation of support payments, the lawyers at Wheat Law Office are prepared to assist you.

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Why should I put the business agreements I make in writing?

A written contract is the best way to eliminate uncertainty and ambiguity, both at the time of entering into the agreement and later when the parties may have forgotten the particulars

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I started a new business or I am thinking of starting a new business. Should I incorporate?

Not always, although there may be a specific reason to incorporate. Some examples are tax-planning strategies, liability issues or WCB coverage. Please contact our office for more information in this regard and for an all-inclusive quote for this service.

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What happens after a summons for collection of a debt has been served?

Alberta Provincial Court can be used for claims up to $50,000. You can access all the necessary forms at the Alberta Provincial Courts website.

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What happens in the case of disputes between tenant and landlord?

Please go to the Service Alberta website for information about disputes between landlords and tenants.

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I have signed a Real Estate Purchase Contract with my realtor to sell my house or purchase a house. What do I do now?

Telephone our office and speak to a conveyancing assistant who will provide you with a quote for the legal costs for the sale or purchase. If you choose Wheat Law Office, inform both your realtor and your loans officer.

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I am selling or purchasing my house privately and do not have a realtor. Do I need a written Offer to Purchase?

Yes, any agreement for the sale or purchase of real property must be in writing and signed by the seller and the purchaser to be a binding contract. Telephone our office and speak to a conveyancing assistant and we will prepare an Offer to Purchase for you once you have negotiated all of the sale and purchase terms such as purchase price, closing date, and the date that the financing or other conditions are to be removed.

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If I write out my own will, is it valid?

Holograph or hand-written wills are valid in Alberta, but it is extremely dangerous to rely on such a will. A homemade will may have serious omissions, contain costly deficiencies, or result in unintended consequences. The cost of estate litigation far outweighs the cost of retaining a lawyer to draft your will.

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Do I need any estate planning documents other than my will?

Usually, an enduring power of attorney and a personal directive are signed when a will is signed. The primary function of those two documents is to appoint someone to make decisions for you in the event that you become unable to do so prior to your death. . The enduring power of attorney appoints someone to make your financial decision and the power of personal directive appoints someone to make your personal decisions.

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