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Divorce is hard. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

A divorce or separation can be an incredibly stressful and overwhelming time in a person’s life. Your divorce or separation can be very different from that of your friend or neighbour down the street. Some couples can resolve their issues at their kitchen table, while others may mediate, and others have to litigate. Which process is right for you depends on the unique issues of your divorce or separation, and the personalities involved. To learn more about Divorce and Separation Agreements, click here.

To be divorced in Alberta, you must satisfy at least one of the following grounds:

  • At the time the divorce is granted, you will have been separated for at least one year;
  • One spouse committed adultery;
  • One spouse was mentally or physically cruel/abusive to the other.

In addition, either you and your spouse must have been ordinarily resident in Alberta for at least one year.

To begin the divorce itself, one party needs to file a Statement of Claim with the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. This person is the Plaintiff. The other person who is served with the Statement of Claim is the Defendant. The Defendant has the option of either filing a Statement of Defence and Counterclaim, meaning they are disputing the content of the Statement of Claim; or they can file a Demand for Notice, meaning that they just want to be provided with copies of further documents filed with the Court, including the final Divorce Judgment.

Generally, the issues that need to be resolved in a divorce or separation are: parenting arrangements for the children, decision making for the children, child support, spousal support, and division of property. Some people will come to a resolution on these issues before commencing the divorce itself; other people will commence the divorce process first and then work to resolve the issues. What works for one couple may not work for another.

Once the above issues are resolved, either party is at liberty to apply for the divorce and finalize the process. To do so, one must file a desk divorce application, including an Affidavit of Applicant and Request for Divorce, along with a proposed Divorce Judgment (and Corollary Relief Order). Once the divorce package has been reviewed and the Divorce Judgment (and Corollary Relief Order) is signed by a Justice, there is a 31-day wait period before you can apply for your Certificate of Divorce.

At Oakley Family Law, we give you the information and guidance you need to help navigate the sometimes confusing legal process of moving on with your life. You will know what is happening with your divorce proceedings, and what you’ll have to do next. Divorce is an ending, but it is also a chance for a new beginning. Contact us online or call us today at 587-943-1394, and let us help you get started with a clean slate.

Help starts with a consultation.

We listen, we understand and we help.