Common Questions - Newest

Filter by topic

LegalAve provides general legal information, not legal advice. Learn more here.

View common questions by Random | Alphabetical | Newest

What is the difference between guaranteeing a loan and co-signing for a loan?

When a person “co-signs” a loan for a person who is borrowing money (a “borrower”), it means that they are agreeing to be as responsible for the loan as the borrower is.

When a person “guarantees” a loan for a borrower, it means that they are agreeing to be pay back the loan if the borrower does not pay off the loan as planned.

Both guaranteeing and co-signing involve becoming legally responsible for someone else’s loan if they are not able to pay. The difference is when you can become responsible.

  • If you co-sign for a loan, you agree to be as responsible for the loan as the borrower. This means that the lender can go to you for repayment at the same time as they go to the borrower, or even before going to the borrower.
  • If you guarantee a loan, you agree to pay off the rest of the loan if the borrower is unable or unwilling to. This means that the lender must try to get payment from the borrower before coming to you for payment.
Related Information Pages:
Last Reviewed: November 2016
Can I stay in Canada to deal with my family law issues, even if my status has expired?

No. Being in the middle of family law issues does not mean that you can stay in Canada, or that your status will automatically be renewed. You must always make sure that you have legal status to be in Canada.

Related Information Pages:
Last Reviewed: October 2015
What can I do if the other guardian is not following our parenting agreement?

If you have a court order that describes when you are supposed to have the children, but the other guardian is not following the order, you can apply for something called an enforcement order.

If you only have an agreement, the situation is more complex. You may wish to start by getting a court order that outlines the parenting time, and, since there has already been a problem seeing the children, you can also ask the Court for an enforcement clause.

Last Reviewed: October 2015
What’s the difference between primary sources and secondary sources, and why does it matter for my legal research?

A primary source is a law or legal document itself. Some examples are statutes (also called “acts”), regulations, court decisions, contracts, and Wills.

A secondary source is material that discusses the law itself or how the law has been applied. Some examples are legal encyclopedias, journal articles, and textbooks about the law.

Primary sources are important because they are the basis on which legal issues are settled whether out of court or in court. For example:

  • Legislation (acts and regulations) will often say what must be done in certain circumstances.
  • The terms of a contract say what must be done by the parties and sometimes will say how conflicts will be resolved.
  • Court decisions (also called “case law”) will guide judges on how to make decisions when cases are similar.

Secondary sources can be helpful to see how legal experts make sense of the law. They often describe the law in different ways that can make it easier to understand. Most people start their legal research with secondary sources. This is because:

  • they are easier to understand than primary sources;
  • they give background information on the topic; and
  • they help to identify the primary sources that apply to the topic.
Related Information Pages:
Last Reviewed: March 2016
If we were never married, do we have to use the rules in the Matrimonial Property Act to divide our property?

No. Alberta’s Matrimonial Property Act (MPA) applies only couples who are/were married. As a non-married partner, the rules of the MPA do not apply to the division of your property. As a result, if you want to ask a court to make a decision about dividing your family property after separating, you would have to start a very specific kind court action called a claim for “unjust enrichment.”

However, if you come to an agreement about how to divide your property, you can choose to apply the rules of the MPA, if you wish.

Last Reviewed: October 2015
If the other party isn’t following our agreement, can I go to court?

Yes. Going to court is one option if the other party isn’t following the terms of your agreement. However, it may not be the best or most affordable option. Before going to court, you may want to try a dispute resolution process such as mediation. 

Last Reviewed: October 2015
Can I bring my pet rat with me when I move from Saskatchewan to Alberta?

No. Alberta has a very active program to keep the province free of rats. As a result, no one is allowed to keep any type of rat as a pet in Alberta. Only those with specific permits may keep rats. For example, for scientific research.

Related Information Pages:
Last Reviewed: August 2016