Alberta Divorce Made Simple, Easy And Cheap
When some couples realize that their marriage no longer works for them, they just want a simple divorce. They want a legal end to their marriage. Alberta divorce law sets a procedure for such a simple divorce. It is relatively quick, easy and inexpensive. Read more below, and know that the divorce lawyers at Kahane Law Office in Calgary, Alberta are here to help put a legal, amicable end to marriages that are just not working.
Requirements For A Simple Divorce In Alberta
We understand that leaving a family arrangement is a significant and challenging decision for people. When navigating your family’s transition to the new norm, you are often dealing with complex and sensitive issues. However, if you and your spouse have reached an agreement on issues surrounding children and support, you may apply for an uncontested divorce, also known as a desk divorce. The key requirement for a simple divorce always includes no contested issues between the parties. These are easy to complete divorces and do not require court appearances.
What Is A Desk Divorce?
A desk divorce application is available to married couples who have reached a settlement on issues related to children and support as well as met the ground for divorce. No need for parties to appear in Court exist. Rather, the application to end the marriage gets submitted to the appropriate court clerks at the court house. A judge then reviews it at his or her desk. Once reviewed and confirmed, a judge grants a Divorce Judgement without oral evidence.
What Must My Spouse Do?
In an uncontested divorce, once your spouse receives a copy of the Statement of Claim for divorce, he/she may file a Demand of Notice to be notified of the progress of the proceedings. This mean your spouse is not disputing the claim, but merely seeking to be informed of the claim’s progress. In the event Demand of Notice has been filed, the spouse must sign on the proposed draft of the Divorce Judgement with a commissioner-of-oath.
Conversely, your spouse may choose to not take any action. In this instance, the divorce action will continue without his or her involvement.
Breakdown of the Marriage
In order to get end a marriage in Alberta, pursuant to the Divorce Act, RSC, 1984 c 3 (2nd Supp)), a married couple must demonstrate a breakdown of their marriage. You prove this by a party swearing that the parties lived separate and apart for one year. Usually, this involves each individual living in separate residences. However, accept that parties live separate and apart when, due to financial reasons, they still live together but sleep in separate bedrooms and maintain separate lives. Both the physical separation and the intent to separate must exist to establish that they are living separate and apart.
The ability to start the process before the one-year of living separate and apart completes exists. However, granting the order for a divorce only occurs once the one year of separation ends.
Apart from one year of separation, evidenced of one spouse committing adultery or treating spouse with physical or mental cruelty demonstrates a breakdown of the marriage.
Uncontested Divorce: Right For You?
If there are children of the marriage or either party is seeking spousal support, a desk divorce application is available only if the parties have reached a settlement on the issues. For example, these issues include (i) custody (ii) access or parenting arrangement (iii) child support and (iv) spousal support. The agreement on these issues may be in a separate written agreement. Alternatively, it becomes part of the Divorce Judgement and Corollary Relief Order (without oral evidence). Should you and your spouse fail to agree on these legal issues, the simple divorce process may not be right for you. If disputed legal issues arise, you should consult a family law lawyer to discuss avenues for resolution such as mediation. Further, if immediate issues require attention, including child support and parenting time, you often need to commence court proceedings.
If parties have not agreed on how to divide their matrimonial property, the courts may grant a simple divorce. However, please note that once granted, a limitation period of two years starts ticking for matrimonial property division claim. Prior to finalization of a divorce, it is recommended to consult a family law lawyer especially if there are outstanding issues regarding property division.
Alberta Residency Requirement
To obtain a divorce in Alberta, you or your spouse must be a resident of Alberta. Either one of you must have lived in Alberta for the past year. Further, you must continue living in Alberta until we file the Statement of Claim for Divorce. If unable to meet the residency requirement, you must commence your divorce proceedings in a different jurisdiction.
Marriage Certificate & Photo of Spouse
To commence the proceedings to legal end a marriage, we require an original marriage certificate. If married within Canada, the province in where married issues the certificate. If married outside of Canada, then a copy of marriage certificate showing the name of witnesses and the name and title of person who officiated the marriage is helpful. Further, we also require a photo of your spouse. We only represent you, not him or her.
Before applying for any divorce, we strongly encourage our clients to enter into a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a binding contract that sets out the parties’ agreed to terms. For example, this includes more than custody, parenting arrangements, and financial support. In addition, it includes division of matrimonial assets and debts. Only one of the parties’ lawyers drafts the separation agreement. Next, the other party obtains independent legal advice before signing it.
The significance of a separation agreement is two-fold. Firstly, written agreements stop a party from changing their mind during the one year of living separate and apart. Secondly, any issues not set out in the uncontested divorce, including division of matrimonial property, transfer of title, payment of equalization amount etc. may be finalized in the separation agreement.
Will A Judge Grant My Simple Divorce?
The judge must ensure your application satisfies all the requirements set out in the Divorce Act. Specifically, pursuant to the Act, the Court must ensure the adequate care of children by way of child support and custody arrangements. In determining proper support, the Court refers to the Federal Child Support Guidelines (the “Guidelines”). If your separation agreement complies with the Guidelines, agreement approval is likely and is incorporated in your Divorce Judgment. Note that allowances for changes to final Orders of the Divorce Judgment relating to custody, child support and access exist.
Uncontested Divorce Flat Rate Fees
Applying for an uncontested divorce need not be costly as we charge flat rate fees. However, if children are involved, or if unusual circumstances exist, such as the inability to locate your spouse, additional court applications result in additional costs.
Help with your Uncontested Divorce
Our Family Law Group at Kahane Law Office brings a wealth of experience to assist you with triumphing over complex family events and breaking through to positive new outcomes. Our lawyers offer strategic, progressive and discreet legal counsel to support you in finding empowering solutions. By understanding your situation and clearly setting out your options, we assist you in making informed decisions. This allows you to protect your personal, financial and business interests. To schedule a consultation with a one of our lawyers, call us directly in Calgary at 403-225-8810 (toll-free at 1-877-225-8817), or email us directly here.