How to Use LegalAve

This page contains details about:

Three ways to find information on LegalAve

1. Use the Guided Pathway

The Guided Pathway is a feature that will direct you to the appropriate pages on LegalAve where you can find the information you need. To use the Guided Pathway, click on the “Start Here” button located at the top right side of any page within LegalAve. The button is also located in the centre of the home page. The Guided Pathway is available in several different languages.

Through the Guided Pathway, you will be asked important questions to determine what information you need. As you work through the Guided Pathway, you will notice that each question generally has three options: “Yes,” “No,” or “I’m not sure.” Click on your answer. Depending on the answer you choose, you may be shown some information while you are still in the Guided Pathway, or you may be asked to click on a link that will open an Information Page in a new window or tab. This will happen when it is important that you get more information to help you answer the question, so that you can move on to the next one.

Answering the questions will lead you to one or more Information Pages that deal with your legal topic. On each Information Page, you will find information about the law, the legal processes, common questions, and myths related to the specific topic you chose. The links on these pages will also open in a new window or tab.

If you navigate away from the Guided Pathway page or close the browser tab that has the Guided Pathway, the information will be immediately lost.

Email your Guided Pathway questions and responses

At any point on the Guided Pathway, you can email the questions and your answers to yourself or someone else—even if you have not finished answering all the questions. You will receive an email with a message from LegalAve and a link that will allow you to return to where you stopped in the Guided Pathway.

Be Aware

The law changes often and we update LegalAve whenever necessary to reflect that. As a result, some information may have changed since you last used the Guided Pathway. If this is the case, you may need to start over again to ensure LegalAve guides you to the correct legal information.


2. Type your word(s) into the search bar

 Located at the top right corner, the search bar lets you search LegalAve by entering the information you’re looking for such as: divorce, child support, or family violence. Like the Guided Pathway, the search bar is available no matter which page you are on.


3. Choose a Family Law topic

From the menu bar located at the top of the page, click on “Legal Topics.” This will take you to a page where you can choose one of 5 family law topics:

  1. Starting new family relationships
  2. Issues in ongoing family relationships
  3. Breakdown in family relationships (including separation and divorce)
  4. Family violence
  5. Solving family law problems

You can then browse the list of subtopics and select an Information Page that deals with your legal topic. On each Information Page, you will find information about the law, the legal processes, common questions, and myths related to the specific topic you chose. The links on Information Pages will open in a new window or tab.

You can access these topics from the “Legal Topics” link at the top of any page on the website, and the “Family Law Topics” section of the home page.


If you are a service provider assisting a client, see the For Service Providers page for more search options.


What the icons mean

Family Violence

This is used to identify information that is specific to family violence situations. This icon is used on all Information Pages other than those that focus on issues of family violence.

Provincial Court

This is used to identify things that only apply to, or are only available in, the Provincial Court of Alberta.

Queen's Bench

This is used to identify things that only apply to, or are only available in, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.


This is used to identify a piece of information that is helpful to know.


This is used to identify important related information that the user may have already read about, but that could be overlooked or forgotten.

Be Aware

This is used to warn the user of something unexpected or particularly complicated about the topic being discussed.


Resource warnings

LegalAve links to legal information and resources that are related to Alberta, free, and are easy to read and understand.

Sometimes we link to resources that have good information but need some sort of warning so that our users know what to expect. The resource warnings we use on Information Pages are listed below.

“Outside Alberta” warning

Some resources we link to come from outside Alberta: another province or sometimes another country. We link to these resources because they have good general information, but please remember that some laws mentioned may not apply in Alberta. The only laws that will apply to you are Alberta laws and Canadian federal laws—that is, laws from the Government of Canada.

“Private source” warning

When a resource is labeled as a “private source,” it comes from a for-profit company or organization. We will only link to private sources when the information is free, accurate, and useful. We are not endorsing the company in any way, or recommending that you use their paid services.

“Challenge to read” warning

These resources are research papers or reports. They have important information, but they can be difficult to read.

“Internet Explorer only” warning

Some of the resources we link to can only be viewed in Internet Explorer. You can adjust your browser settings so you can view these resources in Chrome and Firefox.

“Not available online” warning

These resources are books or other materials that are only available in print—not online. For such resources, we will link to a “preview” of the item so you can decide if you want to find a copy near you. We also link directly to library catalogues where you can access the resource, such as The Alberta Library (which includes public and academic libraries across Alberta) and Alberta Law Libraries locations. For more information, see the “Using libraries in your research” section of the Educating Yourself: Legal Research Information Page.