The purpose of this paper is to identify and review the principles guiding family maintenance and support (FMS) applications in Alberta.

It will take a brief look at the history of FMS legislation and outline the general principles that apply to all applications for FMS in Alberta as extracted from the relevant legislation and case law.

It will discuss the principles in light of various fact situations and analyze how the principles will — or should — be applied: for example, where there is only one FMS claim, where there are competing FMS claims, where there is an adult interdependent partner instead of a spouse and where spouses were separated at the time of the testator’s death. Following each fact situation, a list of cases dealing with similar facts is provided.