The end of a marriage can be painfully exhausting, not to mention scary. If you’re not familiar with the legal system of Alberta, filing for a divorce could be overwhelming, too.
However, it doesn’t have to be. Find out what goes into the divorce process in Edmonton.
Review Grounds for Divorce
Before you file for divorce, first you need to review whether you are eligible to apply for one. If you had your wedding outside of Alberta, you could only file for a divorce in Edmonton if you or your partner have lived in Alberta for 1 year.
Next, you have to check if you’re qualified according to the three legally accepted grounds for divorce which are separation, adultery, and cruelty. If you are using the separation clause, make sure you and your spouse have been living separately for one year.
If you have children, you will also need to take the Parenting after Separation course. You can register for that at the Resolution Services Learning Centre.
Get a Separation Agreement
The next step is to get a separation agreement which captures all the decisions you and your spouse have agreed to whether the agreement came with consent or through a court order.
While you can apply for a divorce before a signed separation agreement is prepared, it doesn’t commonly happen unless there are no assets or children.
If you and your spouse have property assets and children, your separation agreement will address your division of assets, spousal support, child support and parenting. If you’re having trouble with this, you can consult with a family lawyer.
For a smoother divorce process, we suggest making sure all of your property and custody agreements are organized.
File a Statement of Claim for Divorce
The divorce procedure doesn’t fully start until you have a document called “Statement of Claim for Divorce.” If you’re the one who wishes to start the divorce action, you will be the Plaintiff and your spouse will hence be the Defendant.
If you haven’t dealt with the division of property in the separation agreement yet, you can also file a similar document to deal with that in conjunction with the divorce. The document is called “Statement of Claim for Divorce and Division of Matrimonial Property”.
Sign the Divorce Judgement
Upon the filing of Plaintiff, Defendant has 20 days (up to 40 days depending on where they are located at the time) to respond to the divorce claim. If they don’t file a dispute, the divorce proceedings can proceed to the other forms.
If the Defendant fails to respond within the appropriate time period, the Plaintiff may have to file a Sworn Affidavit of Service, Noting in Default, Request for Divorce, Affidavit of Applicant as well as a proposed Divorce Judgement.
Once all forms are filed, the Clerk will give the divorce file to a Justice to look at. An undisputed divorce won’t need a court hearing.
Once the Justice finds the documents and evidence presented to be satisfactory, they will sign the Divorce Judgement which will be returned to the Clerk and then mailed to the divorcing parties.
Request a Certificate of Divorce
The Divorce Judgement becomes final thirty-one days after the Divorce Judgement has been signed. After that, you and your ex-spouse can request a Certificate of Divorce from the courthouse.
Once you have this document, you are finally divorced.
Navigating divorce procedures could be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re planning to get a divorce in Edmonton, you can trust the best divorce lawyers in Edmonton to make the process easier and smoother for you.
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