What You Need To Do If Served With a Statement of Claim for Divorce
The Statement of Claim for Divorce is the initiating document for the Divorce Process. This means that the Statement of Claim for Divorce is the legal start to a divorce.If you are served with the statement of claim for divorce documents, there are some definite do’s and don’ts. Receiving personal service of court documents is often a scary experience that people do not understand. The divorce lawyers at Kahane Law Office in Calgary, Alberta can help you through the process. Read more or call 403-225-8810.
How You Are Served with a Claim for Divorce Papers
Divorce Statement of claim documents, in Alberta, must include personal service. This means that someone has to personally hand them to you. That person will later swear an affidavit that they served you. The affidavit includes a photo of you identifying that you actually received service personally. There is very rarely any positive outcome from avoiding service of the divorce statement of claim. Your spouse would then have to apply to the court of an order for substitutional service. This means that they can then serve yo by some other means. Substitutional service is usually done by mailing it to your home, serving someone else in your life, or even serving it via email or Facebook. The court would then usually order costs against you for doing so.
On Service of a Divorce Statement of Claim You Must Do…
The following are the things that you must know to do if you are served with a divorce statement of claim in Calgary or anywhere in Alberta. For example:
Do not ignore the divorce statement of claim
Do NOT ignore the fact you have been served with a any legal document, especially a claim such as this. If you do, you will be simply noted in default. Being noted in default means that you failed to participate and the process. Further, it means that the process continues without your input. Alberta Court orders will be granted without your knowledge and they will be binding upon you. The worst thing you can do is avoid and ignore the process. Ignore a claim will usually mean that your spouse will get what they ask for (if it is appropriate under the law) without the Alberta court hearing your side. The cost of undoing an ignored divorce statement of claim served on you, if even possible, is very high.
Do not panic when you read the divorce statement of claim
A key point to keep in mind when you review the divorce statement of claim document is that it is a “boilerplate” document. This means that this is your ex’s pie in the sky wish list of what they want in the ultimate settlement. Just because your ex requests certain relief from the Courts in Calgary in the divorce statement of claim served on you, nothing guarantees them achieving this by the time you reach a settlement agreement. Simply put, do not let anything contained in the document to upset you too much. If you do nothing else, set up a consultation with one of our divorce lawyers in Calgary to help yo know your rights and obligations.
Specific future deadline dates served on you are critical
Mark down any dates contained in the divorce statement of claim package served on you. A divorce statement of claim will often be accompanied with a financial disclosure request. That document will often have court date on it. Mark this date in your calendar and tell your lawyer about it. All of your financial disclosures are due to their lawyer prior to the court date so start working on gathering the requested financials right away. Do not provide them to your spouse until your lawyer reviews and discusses with you. What is presented and how is critical when you are served with divorce documents. For example, your lawyer will want to work with you on putting together your monthly budget.
Dealing with the lawyer representing your spouse once you have been served with the divorce
Divorce lawyers in Calgary generally do not suggest that you engage in discussions with your spouses lawyer. It is important that they are not ignored. You can contact the other lawyer via e-mail and advise of two things:
- You received the divorce statement of claim and are obtaining legal counsel and you will have your lawyer contact them when you retain one; and
- Request the lawyer not note you in default for failing to file a Statement of Defense or reply within the prescribed timeline set out in the claim served on you. And ask them to confirm they will provide you with reasonable written notice for when they would like a reply.
Start your search for a family law lawyer
The best starting point is to ask your friends and family members about their lawyers and their ex’s lawyers. It is always good to get an actual referral from someone you know.
Choosing a Calgary Law Firm When Served with A Divorce Statement of Claim
Our lawyers understand the emotional and financial strain a divorce causes. We work with you to minimize those aspects to let you focus on what matters most to you. Schedule a family law consultation with a member of our family law team. This allows you to discuss the divorce statement of claim served on you. Please contact our experienced team at Kahane Law Office in Calgary, Alberta. You can reach us toll-free at 1-877-225-8817, or 403-225-8810 locally or email us directly here.