Family FAQs

1. How do I find a mediator?

  • Registered family mediators: Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society at 1-800-232-7214 www.aams.ab.ca
  • Alberta Family Mediation Society at 1-877-233-0143 www.afms.ca
  • Free mediation services (eligibility requirements): Family Justice Services, Mediation Services
  • Private family mediators: yellow pages under “Mediation Services”.

2. Do I have to appear in Court? If a court date has been set, then you or your lawyer should appear in court on that day.  If you are unable to attend court on the date set you should contact the Court Clerks.  Otherwise, if you do not appear, the court could set a new date and not inform you of that date, or the court might proceed and make a decision (and a Court Order) without you providing any information.  In addition, if you are the applicant, the matter could be dismissed.
Source: Alberta Courts

3. How do I cancel or adjourn a matter that I initiate before my first Court date?

If want to cancel, or adjourn, your court date, you simply contact the Clerk’s office at the courthouse where you filed your documents and ask them to take your application “off the list”.  They will probably ask you to make your request in writing by fax or by letter.  You should then call the other party and let them know.
Source: Alberta Courts

4. What do Courts and guardians consider when making decisions for a child?

The Family Law Act requires guardians and the Court to make decisions involving the child in the “best interests of the child”. The Family Law Act includes a non-exhuastive list of factors to be consdiered in deteremining what is in the best interests of the child.
The list of factors to be considered in determining the best interests of the child include:
  • the history of care of the child
  • the child’s views and preferences
  • the benefit to the child in developing relationships with both guardians
  • the nature and strength of existing relationships
  • any history of family violence
  • any civil or criminal proceedings that may be relevant to the child’s safety or well being.
5. How do I register with the Maintenance Enforcement Program?
Click here for details from Alberta Justice on how to register with the Maintenance Enforcement Program.
6. How do I serve a party if I don’t know where he or she lives?
If it is impossible or impractical to serve the respondent personally with court documents, you may ask the court for an Order that will allow you to serve the respondent in a different way.  The court may then grant a Substitutional Service Order.  This defines how you can serve the respondent with the court documents.  Examples of substitutional service are: posting the document on the person’s door; delivery by regular mail or courier; delivery to someone else who know or lives with the person; or advertising in the newspaper.
Source: Family Law Information Centre