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HOW TO SCHEDULE YOUR FINGERPRINT APPOINTMENT

Booking an Appointment

We have two digital fingerprinting machines and a minimum of 3 staff members (most times) that can assist with:

  • ink fingerprinting
  • digital fingerprinting
  • 48-hour name check

That means we can often accommodate:

  • Walk-ins
  • Same day service

We are open Monday to Friday (8 am to 5 pm) and Saturday (9 am to 4 pm).

Questions?

Please call 403-229-2774 if you require emergency booking and your time slot is not available. Feel free to call us if you have questions.

What to Expect

When you book an appointment, we will send you confirmation by text to the cell phone and/or email provided by you. For fingerprint clients, please check your confirmation for answers to commonly asked questions such as

  • fees;
  • processing times;
  • required identification; and
  • documentation that you must bring to your appointment.

Vulnerable Sector Search

Do you need a vulnerable sector search? If yes, DO NOT book an appointment here. You must go to the Calgary Police for this service.  For vulnerable sector searches, call the City of Calgary at 3-1-1 to set up an appointment to get a Vulnerable Sector Search with the Calgary Police.  Otherwise, please click the link below.

CLICK HERE TO
Schedule Fingerprinting Appointment

 

Free Separation & Divorce Resources

Simple Steps to Getting a Legal Separation Agreement in Alberta

Learn simple steps to getting a Legal Separation Agreement the friendly and affordable way.  Go to the right of this blog and opt-in for your free guide now.  This free guide includes:

  • tips and strategies for keeping it friendly;
  • answers to commonly asked questions; and
  • links of free resources (some of the free resources are also listed below…check the free guide for more!).

Property Workbook

When you download your free guide as described above, you’ll automatically be given a free workbook that will help you begin the process of collecting all of your financial documents.

Parenting after Separation Seminar

You and your spouse may want to take the free 3-hour Online Parenting After Separation Seminar. The facilitators help parents understand how to minimize the impact of separation on children, and offer general information (rights and responsibilities) about custody, access and child support. This seminar is mandatory if you have dependent children under the age of 16 and are filing for a divorce.  An exemption can be obtained in limited circumstances.

Click the link to attend your free online seminar: http://pas.albertacourts.ab.ca/

Family Law Information Centre (operated by Family Justice Services)

The Family Law Information Centre at the Court House can confirm child support calculations and standard of living tests—all for free, which take into account the incomes of both parties after payment of government source deductions, payment/receipt of spousal support and payment/receipt of child support.  Standard of living tests are only applied in certain circumstances.

We also provide you with a copy of these calculations that you can take to your lawyer, along with your Separation Agreement (if we draft if for you) for review and advice.

You can also find the following free online lookups:

• Federal Child Support Guideline Calculator Short Link: http://bit.ly/1mYulLT
• MySupportCalculator.ca for child and spousal support calculations. Short Link: http://mysupportcalculator.ca

Child Tax Credits and GST Credits

Curious as to how much child tax credits will increase or decrease as a result of separation. Or, how much in GST credits you might qualify for? Though this is not likely to affect the division of things, if you find out that your child tax credits will increase a hundred or two, it might reduce your stress a little. Check here for free online calculators:

Canada Revenue Agency CCTC and GST Benefits Calculator

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/benefits-calculator/

Benefits may increase for the primary caregiver or decrease for the payor of child support.

What’s Next?

Not sure what to do next?  Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.  Calgary:  403-229-2774   Elsewhere in Alberta:  1-800-320-2477.

 

ADVERSARIAL LEGAL SERVICES VS. COLLABORATION

It’s tough dealing with the end of a relationship, even if the decision to separate is mutual. It does not need to be aggravated by an adversarial system that increases conflict and financial strain.

By design, the system is adversarial—two advocates represent the best interests of their clients before an impartial judge whose job is to then determine the truth.
Though archaic, the adversarial system is necessary when parties won’t cooperate, can’t agree, or if one or both parties can’t be trusted.

I personally know a number of lawyers who refuse to take on contested Divorces. So, it’s not just consumers of legal services who dislike the adversarial system.

Trend Towards Collaboration

Fortunately, the trend towards uncontested Divorces is increasing. In 2010/2011, Statistics Canada reported that 80 percent of all Divorces were uncontested. Though the Separation Agreement that preceded it may have been contested, the fact that such a large percentage of Divorces are uncontested is promising.

A few of the reasons contributing to the trend towards collaborative Separation Agreements and Uncontested Divorces include:

  • fewer dependencies due to a larger number of women entering the workforce;
  • the right of fathers to share in parenting has been accepted;
  • as women’s lives are no longer defined by their children (since more are working), the idea of sharing parenting time with the father is more acceptable;
  • more educated consumers, thanks to the internet; and
  • Federal Child Support Guidelines which take out the subjectivity of child support calculations

Download Your Free Guide

Look to the right.  Please opt-in and obtain your free Guide.

The purpose of this Guide is to help you reduce the burden of usual legal practices that are adversarial, inefficient, complicated and costly—yet still provide you with the benefit and protection from receiving independent legal advice from your lawyer, if a lawyer is needed in your particular case. By educating you as to how the collaborative Separation and Divorce process can work, you avoid finding yourself in an adversarial system or reduce (maybe eliminate) unnecessary conflict.

Proceeding through the adversarial system can eliminate any chance of reconciliation; damage relationships involving children, common friends and social activities; and aggravate the financial consequences of separation and divorce even further. At one time both parties shared the cost of one household. Upon Separation the parties now have to support two households. Lifestyles will decline. Spending thousands of dollars on legal fees will make this worse. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it might also be on your children (though some have told me that it sometimes can be easier on children when parties separate and there is less fighting).

 

 

FREE STUFF

Not sure where to start?  Download your free guide below. If you have any questions, please call for your free consultation.


Free Divorce Guide and Workbook

 

Includes:

  • Checklists of Things You Need to Gather.
  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Links to Free Resources Including the Online Parenting After Separation Seminar, Child Support Calculation, Spousal Support Calculations and More.

Free Record Suspension Guide

 

Learn About:

  • The Parole Board’s Discretionary Power to Deny Your Application.
  • Money & Time Saving Strategies.
  • “Good News” for people convicted prior to March 13, 2012.

 

Hot Topics Including:

  • Types of Convictions that will Get You Banned From the USA and What to do About It!
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      Some of What You’ll Discover in the Save Your Marriage Video

      • The Top 5 Mistakes people make when a crisis arises.
      • The “real” secrets to a healthy, stable, loving marriage.
      • How to assess the stage of your crisis (there are 8).
      • How to address any stage of a crisis and turn it around.
      • What to do, what to say, and what to avoid in order to save your marriage!
      • Why “hard work” on the relationship isn’t always the answer.
      • How marriage counseling can be dangerous to your marriage’s future.
      • Why “low mood therapy” is destined for failure and how “high mood relating” makes the difference. How to move beyond emotions and take action!
      • How to find the North Star of your relationship, and why it matters.
      • Why true intimacy is a lot closer than you think–and how to get there!
      • What “the TIE Elements of Communication” are, and how they can transform your communication.
      • How to change the momentum of a relationship, sometimes instantaneously
      • What the Practices of Marriage are, and how they can transform your relationship.
      • Why arguing is a waste of time — and the amazingly simple secret to get around it.
      • How to become a team, even if you feel like opposites.
      • Why power is so destructive to relationships and how to change it.
      • How to deal with problems involving sex or money.
      • Why anger and resentment are so dangerous, and what to do about it , regardless of whether you or your spouse is angry or resentful
      • How to make paradigm shifts (literally, quantum leaps!) in the relationship.
      • Much, much more about how to transform your relationship.
      • How to begin saving your marriage beginning in less than an hour, maybe in less than 10 minutes!
      • In short, how to have the marriage of your dreams .

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      Trying to cross the border with a criminal record without knowledge of your admissibility can be risky. Make sure you are not caught unaware and learn what you need to do to enter the United States legally.

      Just a few of the topics covered:

      • What is the worst that can happen to me if I attempt to enter the USA with a criminal record?
      • Does my criminal record ban me from entering the USA forever?
      • Can I get a US Waiver for serious convictions like drug trafficking?
      • How long does it take to get a USA Waiver?

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      “We believe in forgiveness,
      We believe in you.
      Deborah Ward. We believe in you.

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      Are Trump Policies preventing U.S. Waiver Holders from entering to the United States?

      So far, we have not had any clients with U.S. Waivers of Inadmissibility call us because U.S. border guards are not permitting them to use their U.S. Waivers as a result of the Trump Travel Bans.

      Here is why I think the Trump Travel Bans will not affect Canadian Travelers with USA Waivers simply due to criminal inadmissibility.

      A process is already in place to deal with people with criminal records—that is the USA Waiver of Inadmissibility. The USA Travel Ban is in place to check people who are illegals or who may be involved in terrorist activities. Their focus is mainly on people from terrorist producing countries.  Canada is not a terrorist producing country.

      The difficulty, however, is that Canada has a reputation for not vetting its refugees and other immigrants well enough.  So, the United States perceives Canada to be a threat because they believe we are becoming a haven for terrorists who get their Canadian citizenship then enter the United States under their Canadian passport.  Therefore, at this time, Canadians are not having trouble entering the United States because of their criminal record if they are in possession of a U.S. Waiver AT THIS TIME.  However, Canadians who were born in terrorist producing countries are always at greater risk of scrutiny.

      The U.S. government at any time can set a policy making travel to the United States increasingly difficulty. In my opinion, this is a risk if the Canadian government continues to support an open door policy.  This is not a judgment call by me about what is right or wrong in terms of Canadian policy—just my view of the U.S. opinion on this matter.

      I’ll give you two examples of clients who were refused the ability to use their U.S. Waivers for legal entry to the United States. Their refusal was NOT due to Trump Travel bans, but due to pre-existing travel bans in the United States.

      One client, since the granting of his Waiver, has been linked to a local gang.  A second client, also since the granting of his Waiver, was refused with no reasons given.  Several attempts at disclosure for reasons for refusal have gone unanswered.  At this time, it is speculated that though he is a Canadian with a U.S. Waiver, he has since been linked to a terrorist group.

      In these particular cases, these clients have only two options:

      1. Prove that the allegations are false (at great time and expense), if that is the case; or
      2. Resign to the fact that they may never be able to travel to the U.S. again or take a flight that passes over USA airspace.

      Why can a U.S. Border Guard deny you entry even though you are in possession of a valid U.S. Waiver of Inadmissibility? Top reasons include:

      • They do not believe your reasons for entering the U.S. are genuine. Example:  You are going to visit a new girlfriend with a one-way ticket and they suspect you are going down to live permanently without authorization.
      • It appears you are not going for a proper purpose. Example:  You state you are going for pleasure but it appears you are going to work without the proper work authorization.
      • You have new convictions thereby making your U.S. Waiver invalid.
      • You do not appear to have enough money to support your travels.
      • You appear ill and it has been determined you are medically inadmissible.
      • As above, it is believed you are linked to a terrorist group or organized crime group.

      For a free consultation on criminal inadmissibility and U.S. Waivers, please contact us

      The top 4 reasons you may be denied entry to the USA are:

      #1.  You have a criminal record (or you admit to having committed a crime) that makes you inadmissible to the United States.  Common excludable offences include crimes of violence where harm was intended, drug offences and crimes of dishonesty.  There are exceptions.

       

      #2.  You admit to using a banned substance as an adult that is not medically prescribed. Border Guards have been ‘cracking-down’ on this to send a message to Canada that they don’t approve of our pending changes in marijuana laws.  The crack-down also increases their list of excludable people who must now apply for U.S. Waivers for legal entry to Canada.

      #3.  You do not have the proper travel documents.  Canadians must travel with a Canadian Passport or enhanced Drivers’ License. People with criminal records may be required to travel with a U.S. Waiver (which normally takes upwards of a year to be granted for most applicants and longer for more serious applications).

      Non-Canadians will also need to travel with a Passport and depending on the country they are travelling from may need to apply for a travel visa in advance of travel.  Visa Waiver Program.

      #4.  You are sick.  You could be denied entry to the USA due to medical reasons.  You may need to talk to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for advance permission to travel.  This might be remedied if you have a medical letter from your doctor indicating you are not at risk and/or you have proof of sufficient medical insurance to cover any costs that may arise while in the United States.

      For a free consultation on criminal inadmissibility, please contact us.

      Download and View:
      Simple Steps to Getting a Legal Separation Agreement in Alberta + Free Workbook

      Here’s your download link! If you have Adobe Acrobat or another PDF Viewer installed clicking this link will open the guide directly into your browser. To save a copy to your hard-drive, right click on the link and choose Save as…

      If for whatever reason you do not have a PDF reader available, use can use the embedded on this page, however you will need a PDF reader to be able to print it properly.  If for whatever reason you require assistance, please give our office a call:

      403-229-2774 In Calgary 1-800-320-2477 Toll Free

      Download Simple Steps to Getting a Legal Separation Agreement in Alberta Guide
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      403-229-2774 In Calgary 1-800-320-2477 Toll Free

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      FREE REPORT REVEALS…

      Simple Steps to Getting a
      Legal Separation Agreement &
      Divorce in Alberta

      …The Friendly Affordable Way

      Just a few of the topics covered:

      • Simple tips to reducing conflict.
      • Checklists.
      • Answers to frequently asked questions.
      • Links to child support and spousal support calculator.

      THE ULTIMATE RECORD SUSPENSION
      SUCCESS STRATEGIES GUIDE

      Put the past in the past and reclaim your future!

      Tired of having your criminal record interfere with your life? Download your free guide and learn the secrets you’ll need to put the past in the past.

      Just a few of the topics covered:

      • What is the real cost of a criminal record?
      • Are Pardons & Record Suspensions being scrapped forever?
      • Can the Parole Board deny my Record Suspension at their discretion even if I meet eligibility requirements?
      • What can I do to improve my chances of success?
      • What are the benefits and limitations of receiving a Record Suspension?

       

      “We believe in forgiveness,
      We believe in you.
      Deborah Ward. We believe in you.






      CRIMINAL RECORD?  You may be BANNED from entering the United States!   (TIP:  GETTING BANNED IS THE LEAST OF YOUR WORRIES!)

      Trying to cross the border with a criminal record without knowledge of your admissibility can be risky. Make sure you are not caught unaware and learn what you need to do to enter the United States legally.

      Just a few of the topics covered:

      • What is the worst that can happen to me if I attempt to enter the USA with a criminal record?
      • Does my criminal record ban me from entering the USA forever?
      • Can I get a US Waiver for serious convictions like drug trafficking?
      • How long does it take to get a USA Waiver?

      Collaborative Strategy

      Strategies for a Friendly and Affordable Separation and/or Divorce

      RECOMMENDATIONS

      1. Learn about the law.
      2. Collect and summarize relevant information using my FREE WORKBOOK.
      3. Identify Agreements and disagreements BUT do NOT dwell on disagreements…just identify them! It’s amazing how many of these disagreements simply disappear as individuals work through this collaborative process.
      4. Choose your service provider(s). If you live in Alberta, call me (Debbie Ward) at 1-800-320-2477 (or 403-229-2774 in Calgary) for a FREE CONSULTATION.
      5. Proceed with your Separation Agreement, Divorce and/or other required service.
      6. Consult with a lawyer for legal advice (if applicable).
      7. Resolve disagreements.
      8. Finalize your Separation Agreement, Divorce and/or other required service.

      #1. Do NOT fight about disagreements until the first 7 steps have been completed.

      These Instructions help you focus on the process (facts), not the problems (disputes/reasons for marriage breakdown). Focus on the process and be seen as more credible and taken more seriously by your lawyer. You will be well organized and prepared. You will reduce the amount of time spent with a lawyer. You will understand and be in control of your Separation and/or Divorce. You will reduce conflict. You will save hundreds, and possibly thousands of dollars. More importantly, you will gain peace of mind and lessen the impact of marriage breakdown, Separation and Divorce on you, your spouse and your children.

      Does it make sense to dwell on disagreements when all of the facts have not been gathered and summarized into a meaningful format, when you may not fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities, and prior to you and your spouse receiving independent legal advice? It is okay to identify disagreements at the beginning of the process, just do NOT dwell on them until you’ve completed Step #1 to Step #7. For most of my clients, if they put their trust in the collaborative process…the disagreements often simply disappear. 

      #2. Until you have a fully executed Separation Agreement all Agreements are subject to change.

      If you are at all uncomfortable negotiating any kind of Agreement with your spouse, please keep in mind that any Agreement negotiated with your spouse will be reviewed with a lawyer before it is signed. If on that advice you decide you want changes, the Agreement can then be re-negotiated.

      No one can be bound by an Agreement until there has been full disclosure, full appreciation for what is being negotiated (which is usually not apparent until a full Agreement has been drafted and a networth statement for each party created), and independent legal advice received.

      #3. Recognize that I do NOT represent the bests interests of either party.

      I often tell each spouse that I do not represent the best interests of either or both parties. My interest is simply to help the parties with the drafting of an Agreement—which is why they must each take the Agreement to their respective lawyers for review, advice and signing. It is for their protection AND it is for my protection. First, each lawyer will represent their best interests. Secondly, neither party can say that they relied on me in any way for legal advice. I type the Agreement under your direction. I don’t give legal advice. You rely on your lawyers for legal advice. I then incorporate any changes either of you wish, if any, based upon the advice of your lawyers.

      We gather the facts (what you acquired in terms of property, assets and debts and how you propose to divide everything); document how you want custody, access and child support worded; and, indicate whether or not there will be spousal support. We discuss the possibility of exemptions. We discuss general procedures to divide property, assets and debts equally (though there may be exceptions were it is not necessary or appropriate to divide equally).

      Keep in mind that:

      • The parties can agree to deviate from an equal division—they need to consider the law but also have the right to consider situations where it might be appropriate or fair not to follow the letter of the law—to consider circumstances in the relationship which would make it fair to divide in some other manner.
      • Perhaps it has always been the desire of both parties to keep some or all assets acquired solely as separate and not to be divided in the event of Separation or Divorce.

      We also discuss situations where parties can negotiate trades—such as a waiver of spousal support and/or child support in consideration of an unequal division of matrimonial property. Any negotiated Agreement, whether equal or not, will be reviewed with each of your lawyers. We discuss the fact that I am relying on the parties to provide complete, full and honest disclosure, that the parties may wish to pursue a more formal evaluation and disclosure process with their lawyers. We also discuss the fact that my services are completely inappropriate in situations where one or both spouses are hiding or disposing of assets and/or income, when the parties have complex situation or when the parties are unable or unwilling to cooperate in a friendly non-adversarial manner.

      #4. Advanced Planning

      Lawyers are great at giving advice. But, there are steps that may save time and money that can be made even before you go to a lawyer.

      Parenting after Separation Seminar

      If your disputes are over children, you and your spouse may want to attend the free 6-hour Parenting After Separation Seminar. The facilitators help parents understand how to minimize the impact of Separation on children, and offer general information (rights and responsibilities) about custody, access and child support. If you would like to attend this free seminar, please select the link below for a list of Cities (and telephone numbers) in Alberta that have an in-class seminar:

      Parenting After Separation Seminar

      Alternatively, you may complete the course online by going to this link: pas.albertacourts.ab.ca

      Published Books

      There are several very good books that will help you with the process of Separation and Divorce found in your public library or local bookstore. Make sure that Divorce literature applies to Canada, property division applies to the laws of the Province you live in, and the publication date is recent.

      Financial Advisor

      Before taking the Agreement to a lawyer for advice and signing, you can each take the Agreement to a Financial Advisor (i.e. Investment Advisor, Chartered Accountant or Divorce Financial Analyst) to determine any financial consequences involving the proposed division (such as capital gains taxes, disposition costs and balancing of risks).

      A financial advisor may be extremely important in the following situations:

      • Transferring rental properties to a spouse may trigger capital gains taxes or losses;
      • Either party may have significant capital gains and losses on investments that have not yet been declared.

      You can both review your documentation with your financial advisor to ensure disclosure is accurate with respect to any financial accounts the financial planner is aware of. You can also ask if there are any financial considerations that you both ought to consider.

      Some lawyers have a financial background and would be appropriate to advise on this. If there are complex financial issues, your lawyer will advise as to whether you should see a financial advisor.

      Family Law Information Centre (operated by Family Justice Services)

      The Family Law Information Centre at the Court House can confirm child support calculations and standard of living tests—all for free, which take into account the incomes of both parties after payment of government source deductions, payment/receipt of spousal support and payment/receipt of child support. Standard of living tests are only applied in certain circumstances.

      We also provide you with a copy of these calculations that you can take to your lawyer, along with your Separation Agreement (if we draft if for you) for review and advice.

      You can also find the following free online lookups:

      Banker / Creditor

      You can each take the Agreement to your banker or creditor to ensure that one spouse will qualify to assume a debt if that is the Agreement (assumptions of mortgages are not automatic as they once were—the party keeping the matrimonial home may have to re-qualify unless both spouses agree to remain on the mortgage jointly until one spouse qualifies on their own, obtains a co-signer, or until a set date in the future).

      Normally, I would draft the Agreement for both parties. They would then take it to their bank to ensure that the bank will cooperate with the parties’ wishes regarding re-financing. We would then make any relevant changes to the Agreement based upon the bank’s agreement, prior to the parties’ meeting with their lawyers.

      Financial TIPS on sale of matrimonial home:

      • If you and your spouse intend to sell the matrimonial home and purchase new properties (i.e. one for each), be sure to negotiate with the bank to have them waive the mortgage penalties upon the sale of the matrimonial home. Often, they’ll cooperate. HOWEVER, be also sure that you get the lowest possible interest rate.
      • You may not realize that when banks happily agree to waive your interest, it is because you did not negotiate the interest rate. Sometimes you SAVE by taking the penalty for a lower interest rate, especially if you think interest rates will go up in the future.
      • If you are selling at one low interest rate and are being offered a higher rate for the purchase of a new home (ie. mortgage rates have gone up since signing your last mortgage), there should be no mortgage penalty. Why would there be a penalty when you are signing on at a higher mortgage rate? If the bank still wants to give you a penalty, then I would suggest you consider looking elsewhere for a mortgage.
      • Negotiate negotiate negotiate with your Realtor! If one Realtor is used for the sale of your matrimonial home and purchase of two separate homes, you should be getting a very good deal on Real Estate Commissions.

      Monthly Budget

      Preparing and following a monthly budget is always important. However, I normally don’t expect people to prepare a budget and then say to their spouse “this is what I need, so this is what I want”. Normally, property is divided fairly and an appropriate amount of child support and spousal support is paid. Then, you learn to live within your means. You don’t usually get more money simply because you want it or pay less because you feel you can’t afford to pay it.

      Normally, you get what you are entitled to (or pay what you are required to pay) then learn to live within your means.

      This is not legal advice, just my view of things. I mention this because some lawyers spend a lot of time having the couples prepare monthly budgets and I have yet to fully appreciate the value of this timely and expensive exercise, unless:

      • A spouse might negotiate extra money upfront (and less later) in order to afford and keep the matrimonial home while the children are still in school.
      • A monthly budget will help someone figure out if they can afford to keep the matrimonial home— but usually determining whether that person qualifies for a mortgage answers the same question.
      • A monthly budget will help the parties figure out who pays what until such time as everything has been divided.

      Child Tax Credits and GST Credits

      Curious as to how much child tax credits will increase or how much in GST credits you might qualify for? Though this is not likely to affect the division of things, if you find out that your child tax credits will increase a hundred or two, it might reduce your stress a little. Check here for free online calculators:

      Canada Revenue Agency CCTC and GST Benefits Calculator

      Division of Property, Assets and Debts

      In the sidebar of this blog fill in the form to receive your free Divorce & Property Workbook.