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How do I get a divorce in Alberta?

In Alberta, getting a divorce means following the laws that govern how that divorce will take place. This isn't to make it more difficult for you, but some things are nonnegotiable for the government of Canada in general.

The first issue that pops up is, if your divorce is contested, with only a judge will preside over the hearing; no jury can be called in. This makes sense because it would be very difficult for a jury to come together every time someone wanted a divorce. Plus, if you and your spouse work things out before you go before the judge, the divorce can be relatively easy. In other words, working with a divorce lawyer early on and hammering out the different issues can be a positive thing.

The second rule you have to follow, if you want an easy divorce, is that you both must agree that there was a breakdown in the marriage and you face irreconcilable issues. The divorce can be finalized as long as you both agree to this in front of the judge. Either of you can file but both of you have to agree to this.

The breakdown is established if you have lived apart for at least one year directly preceding the determination that a divorce is imminent. If the spouse who is filed against you committed adultery and it can be proven, the divorce can be granted in this case. If the person who filed against you was mentally or physically abusive, this can be grounds for a divorce as well.

Unfortunately, if these two last issues pop up, chances are the divorce may get messy. That is why you need a competent and respected law firm to assist you.

Source: Divorce Act of Canada, "Divorce," accessed Oct. 12, 2015

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