At Calgary Family Law Associates, we handle divorces of all kinds, from a simple uncontested divorce to complicated separations that require additional time and attention to complete.
We understand the stress and frustration our clients are feeling, as divorce can be a difficult experience. Our lawyers have the experience to guide you through the process efficiently and cost-effectively. We will advocate for your interest, but most importantly, we will listen and respond to your needs and provide expert advice.
We will help guide you through every issue that needs resolution before your marriage may formally end. We can help you make decisions about your children, property, support and other matters in whichever way is best suited to your situation, whether through the courts or through alternative dispute resolution.
Formal Process: Statement of Claim for Divorce
Whether you have legal issues to settle or not, you still need to go through a legal process to end your marriage.
In order to obtain a divorce in Alberta, one of the parties must have been a resident of Alberta for at least one year before beginning the divorce action. It does not matter where you were married or whether you are a same-sex or opposite-sex couple, as long as your marriage is valid in Canada. If children are involved, the parties will need to make arrangements for the children so that the Court is satisfied that the children are taken care of.
A formal divorce consists of the following steps:
- The spouse seeking the divorce (called the Plaintiff) files a Statement of Claim for Divorce. If there are property issues in the matter, you may wish to include a Statement of Claim for Division of Family Property. This creates a file at Court in your jurisdiction.
- The claim is personally delivered on the other spouse (called the Defendant), who has 20 days to dispute it, provided they live in Alberta. The other spouse gets two months if s/he live outside Canada and one month if s/he lives within Canada but outside of Alberta.
- If the Defendant does not agree with what the Plaintiff seeks, s/he may need assistance from the Court or through other dispute resolution processes.
- The Plaintiff files a Request for Divorce, along with a number of documents (including the marriage certificate) and a proposed Divorce Judgment.
- A Justice examines the Request and the documents and signs the Divorce Judgment. Copies are mailed to the Plaintiff and the Defendant.
- 31 days after the Divorce Judgment is signed, the spouses can ask for a Certificate of Divorce.
There is also an option of joint filing of the divorce.
We can help you during any stage of the process, whether to deal with specific issues (e.g., parenting, child support, spousal support, or property division) or to complete the divorce for you.
It is also common for many of our clients to complete a separation agreement with or without filing a Statement of Claim for Divorce. The separation agreement can be a cost-effective way to finalize consequences of the marriage breakdown, as it can deal with all of the issues (i.e., parenting, child support, spousal support, and property division).
However, this document does not create a legal divorce. For instance, if you wanted to re-marry, you would still need to complete the steps above in order to obtain a divorce.
Our lawyers are more than happy to assist you with drafting and executing various family law contracts.
Also our lawyers can also provide help with issues that may arise after divorce, such as support and parenting.
Contact Calgary Family Law Associates
Let us help you whether you are proceeding for an uncontested divorce or you need help in settling disputes between you and your partner. Contact us at 587-316-1125, or contact any of the lawyers individually. You can also fill out our online form.