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The Overwhelming Family Court System in Calgary

The Overwhelming Family Court System in Calgary

Judges in the family court resolve matter that involves family issues such as parenting arrangement, private guardianship, child protection, divorce, spouse support, and so on. As there are 2 family laws, the Divorce Act and The Family Act in Calgary, the family court system in Calgary, Alberta, is divided into two different courts.

Depending on the type of application and the type of case, the court decides which type of judicial system, the case would fall in. With the court system being called too confusing and overburdened, the family court system might be in the face to change soon.

The Two-Tier Family Court

Calgary family court system is divided into two-part court systems where the type cases are discussed specific, and one court does not take an application from the other court. One tier of the system is the Provincial Court, and the other is the Court of Queen’s Bench. However, the family court is also partially included in the Federal Government Judges.

Provincial Court

The provincial court is located across the province, particularly in 72 locations. The family and youth division of the court is the second-largest division of the provincial court. The court deals with a wide variety of family issues, such as child custody, child welfare, and another family-related criminal case as well.

Although the court deals with young offenders between the ages of 12 to 17 in family criminal cases, the court does not take the application of divorces. The provincial court also takes claims of guardianship, parenting, and contact time issues.

Upon the change of one’s personal situation, a decision or order of the provincial court can be changed by going back to the provincial court. Usually, in the provincial court majority of the people represent themselves, and the judges directly hear the cases from the applicant.

Court of Queen’s Bench

Cases like divorce and other family issues that can’t be resolved in provincial courts are heard in the Court of Queen’s Bench. Although this court deals with more civil matters, anything that the provincial court can’t decide, this court can take those applications.

So, the Court of Queen’s Bench can also be considered as an appeal court. There are more lawyers in this court than the provincial court. As the court does not allow to talk about your evidence, the lawyers are essential in getting the written document to reach the judges of the Court of Queen’s Bench

Key Terms of the Family Court System


The document that you send to the judges of either the provincial court or the Court of Queen’s Bench to request to issue a court order.

Interim application

This is an application by the court that states the court order until the full and final order is passed.


This is a written statement of evidence or proof to offer in front of the judges. The statement of facts is sworn before the commissioner, and anyone falsifying the information can face serious legal penalties.


This lets other people know what the applicant wants to be told and presented in front of the judges. This is a document which states what will be said to judges and what the other party wants the order to be.

Ex parte

This is an exceptional case where one party can make an application without the service to be presented to the judges. This happens in the situation of safety and emergency protection.


The family court system in Calgary is quite complex, and an applicant needs to be sure what type of case he/she is going to send an application for before deciding on any legal approach.

The family law is also quite overwhelming, and people with less financial capability, wanting to deal with these themselves, can be less efficient and fall into the confusing legal matters.

So, it is advised to get assistance from a family lawyer before approaching a family court in Calgary with case applications.

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