Barrister and Solicitor
Her philosophy is simple: inform and empower people to make the best decisions they can about their own family and their own affairs. Provide resources and tools to people so they can more clearly identify and attain their goals. She has found this is particularly helpful and effective in the area of family and child welfare law.
Sonja has extensive training in mediation, interest-based negotiation, litigation, and collaborative law. She is extensively involved in continuing legal education to stay current in the area of family law and child welfare law. This broad background allows Sonja to advise her clients at each step.
Sonja believes that family law is about family, not courtrooms, and it is her preference to assist her clients to settle most matters in the least emotionally damaging way – out-of-court.
However, she recognizes that sometimes litigation is inevitable, and is entirely comfortable as a litigator. Sonja has conducted many trials in Provincial Family Court, in the court of Queen’s Bench, many arbitration hearings, and assisted at numerous Binding Judicial Dispute Resolution meetings. She has appeared at the Alberta Court of Appeal on a number of occasions.
- Divorce Act and Family Law Act Court applications, both in Provincial Family Court, the Court of Queen’s Bench, and the Court of Appeal.
- Separation Agreements;
- Cohabitation Agreements;
- Property Agreements;
- Child Support Claims;
- Spousal Support Claims;
- Enforcement of Parenting Time applications;
- Mobility applications;
- Parenting and Custody applications;
- Guardianship applications;
- Restraining Orders and Emergency Protection Orders;
- Responding to applications made by Children’s Services (Child Welfare) – for Supervision Orders, Temporary Guardianship Orders,
- Permanent Guardianship Orders;
- Representing Foster Parents in guardianship applications or disputes with Children’s Services;
- Representing children in custody applications, and in applications by Children’s Services.
Memberships and Affiliations:
- Law Society of Alberta
- Canadian Bar Association
- Child Welfare and Representation of Children – Co-founder and past co-chair
- Family Law Section – member
- Civil Litigation Section – member
- Law Firm Management and Leadership – member
- Labour and Employment law – member
- Legal Representation of Children and Youth – roster lawyer since 2008
- Legal Aid Alberta Roster Representation Committee Member
- Dispute Resolution Officer, Court of Queen’s Bench
- Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Board of Directors, Alberta Chapter
- Legal Education Society of Alberta, Editor, Practice Manual – Family Law; past instructor and chairperson “Child Welfare Boot Camp”
- Association of Women’s Lawyers
- Association of Collaborative Lawyers, past member
- Roster mediator for Legal Aid Alberta mediation services
- Past Volunteer lecturer / clinics
- Simon’s House Recovery Centre
- Chinook Learning
- YMCA Sheriff King Home
- Youville Recovery Centre
- Calgary Legal Guidance
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