Edmonton Divorce Lawyers
Going through a divorce can be a high-stress situation for many individuals. A divorce can be very complicated or straightforward depending on the specific factors of the couple.
Contact our team of Edmonton divorce lawyers at Bhardwaj+Co to assist you in your matter. Divorce is complicated, messy, and emotional – having an experienced professional on your side can help you feel less alone while reducing stress and anxiety about the process. Together we can guide you through the process effectively and efficiently. As a divorce lawyer, our team has a wide range of experience from amicable uncontested divorces to high-conflict contested divorces which require litigation.
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Divorce Lawyers FAQs
What Are Grounds For Seeking Divorce In Canada?
In Canada, the grounds for seeking a divorce are
- The parties are now separated and have been separated for at least one (1) year at the determination of the divorce proceeding
- The individual seeking a divorce claims that the other has since the celebration of the marriage, committed adultery
- The individual seeking a divorce claims the other has since the celebration of the marriage, treated the Plaintiff with physical or mental cruelty of such kind as to render intolerable the continued cohabitation of the spouses.
The most common ground for seeking and filing for divorce is #1. Therefore, in Canada, you do not need to provide any proof or reason as to why you want to separate and divorce.
How Does The Process Work?
When filing for a Divorce, one of the spouses will need to initiate the process (The “Applicant”) by drafting and filing a Statement of Claim for Divorce. If your divorce also deals with the issues of any family property then a Statement of Claim for Divorce and Division of Family Property needs to be filed. It is important that you seek legal advice from a divorce lawyer to assist you in preparing your Statement of Claim.
The Statement of Claim will also set out your requests for child support, parenting and custody if you have children and spousal support. At the end of the Statement of Claim it asks for the “Remedy Sought in the Divorce” with many options available, such as a “divorce judgement”, “custody”, “access or parenting arrangements”, and “retroactive child support”. It is important that you know what you are entitled to seek when filing your Statement of Claim for Divorce.
How Long Does the Divorce Process Take?
The total amount of time required for a divorce is a difficult question to answer, because it is highly dependent on the unique complexities of each case, whether or not the divorce is contested, and if the spouses are in high conflict. At a minimum, the individuals involved will need to be separated for at least one (1) year, and after filing all the necessary paperwork they must also wait for a divorce judgment to be made. If the divorce proceedings move to litigation, it may take several years until all matters are resolved.
Are there any circumstances where a justice would reject an application for divorce?
Yes, in some cases there may be legal issues that prevent you and your spouse from successfully applying for a divorce. Such instances include intentionally misleading the court or if it is undetermined how any children under 18 will be supported following the divorce process.
An example of how someone may intentionally mislead the court is by misrepresenting the amount of time that has passed since the separation. In order to be eligible for a divorce, the parties must have been separated for a minimum of one (1) year.
In order to move forward with the divorce process, the justice must also be satisfied that all necessary planning and arrangements have been made in regard to financially supporting the children.
Failure to resolve either of these issues prior to court proceedings will result in a rejected application.
Will I Have To Go To Court?
Not all divorce proceedings require going to court. However, some high conflict contested divorces due require litigation.
Why Should I Work With A Divorce Lawyer?
Getting legal advice from a divorce lawyer will assist you in requesting the maximum of your entitlements and protecting your rights along the way.
I was married outside of Edmonton, Alberta - Can I still apply for a divorce here?
You may be eligible for a divorce in Alberta, regardless of where you and your spouse initially got married, provided that you meet the ordinarily resident requirement and have the proper documentation to prove that your marriage is valid.
Anyone seeking a divorce in Alberta, must have been a resident of Alberta for a minimum of one (1) year prior to filing an application for divorce.
Married In Province Other Than Alberta
For individuals married in Canada, but outside of Alberta, the marital certificate issued by that provincial government will be sufficient evidence of a valid marriage.
Married Outside of Canada
For individuals that were married outside of Canada, a marriage certificate and an affidavit proving the marriage was valid will be required.
What are the different types of divorce?
There are three main types of divorce in Canada, including Joint Divorce, Uncontested Divorce, and Contested Divorce.
A joint divorce is when both parties file their application for divorce together. One spouse does not serve the other with divorce papers, and there is no defendant in the proceedings. While on the surface this may be viewed as the easiest and most economical type of divorce, if there are major issues or disagreements between the parties, a joint divorce may not be possible.
An uncontested divorce is initiated by a spouse that files a Statement of Claim for Divorce and then serves it to the other party. If the spouse that was served does not take any legal action, or if they file a Demand of Notice, the divorce is considered uncontested and may proceed without legal conflict. A demand of notice is a legal document stating that the individual does not contest the divorce; however, they request that all filed documents be served to them as well.
After an individual has been served with the Statement of Claim for Divorce, if they disagree with what their spouse has requested from the court, they may file a Statement of Defence or a Counterclaim for Divorce.
What is a Separation Agreement?
For individuals that are seeking a joint or uncontested divorce, a Separation Agreement is an alternative that would not require the parties to go to court. It is a document that specifies the terms for living apart while also taking care of their joint responsibilities. Common items that are covered in a Separation Agreement include:
- Child custody, visitation rights, health insurance, and support payments
- Spousal support payments
- Division of important assets
- Allocation of household items
- Each party’s responsibility for remaining debts
Due to the far-reaching ramifications of these documents, and because they affect both parties, they should always be written by a skilled family lawyer or divorce lawyer. Once the document has been drafted, it should then be reviewed by another lawyer to ensure that both parties are protected.
How Are Marital Assets Divided in an Alberta Divorce?
Any assets that are considered to be Marital Property or Matrimonial Property will be divided and distributed evenly to each spouse. Examples of matrimonial property include:
- Matrimonial home and recreational property
- Financial instruments such as stocks and bonds
- Bank account balances
- Most forms of land or real estate
Other types of property may be exempt from division, such as any assets obtained before the start of the marriage, as well as certain gifts or inheritance given by a third party. It is important to note, however, that if any of the exempt property appreciated in value during the marriage that too may be subject to division.
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