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Online Divorce in Alberta

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Nowadays, every sixth couple in Canada divorces. These disturbing statistics were published in December 2018, in one of the most popular Canadian social newspapers. In Alberta, the situation is not far better. Every single day more than 100 couples living in Alberta go to the court to claim for divorce or legal separation. Therefore, we should provide you with the latest information about the main features of the divorce process in Alberta.

In Alberta, the divorce process is not so complicated as it is said. In general, there are different types of the divorce proceedings, such as the divorce itself, the legal separation, the annulment of the marriage and others. All these types are essential for the individual cases. The Superior Court regulates all the issues, schedules the court hearings and appoints the mediation process. In Alberta, you may not employ the attorney to act on your behalf, you can represent yourself in the court and not pay extra money for the assistance. Such a divorce is also called a DIY (Do It Yourself) one. The other way that can formidably simplify your life is an Online Divorce that helps you with the preparation of the documents without a lawyer. Both you and your spouse should consider the principal items, such as your children, property, debts, assets and financial possibilities. If both you and your spouse agree on all the disputable questions, the divorce process will be smoother and faster, if it is not your case you have to wait more and hire a lawyer to help you.

The first paper that you will prepare is a Statement of Claim for Divorce. You should file with it to the Court of Queen’s Bench. After signing this document, the divorce will legally start. Later we will give you the full kit of the documents that you may need in the court. The other rather significant moment of your divorce proceedings is to meet all the residency requirements of Alberta. If you don’t fulfill any of them, the court may deny your Statement of Claim for Divorce. The rules are valid for everybody and cannot be broken.

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Alberta divorce details

DivorceFiller does not provide legal advice and using this site is not intended to be a substitute for hiring a licensed family law attorney in your state.

DivorceFiller charges for access to our divorce questionnaire organizer, instructions and last will and testament. DivorceFiller does not sell blank legal forms.

Uncontested vs Contested Divorce in Alberta

The No-Fault or Uncontested Divorce in Alberta is one of the most common types of divorce. It means that the spouses have no complaints to each other, and mutually want to terminate the marriage. If the couple has an Uncontested case, they may even do without a trial. The court typically analyzes all the conditions of the divorce, estimate the ready documents and finally give the Certificate of the Divorce. The Contested case is much more complicated. The Uncontested divorces are regularly faster and consume less stress and a lower fee. Firstly, during the Contested divorce, the spouses are required to have a mediation period regarding all the tricky issues of such a separation. Then, they should wait a short period, stipulated only by the court, etc.

An Uncontested divorce is an easier way of the marriage termination, and it's worth to review it more in details.

Uncontested Divorce in Alberta

An Uncontested divorce has the same grounds as a Contested one. So that even a divorce based on the fault grounds may be considered as uncontested if none of the parties contests the pointed ground.

  • The grounds for divorce in Alberta are:
  • The cruelty towards one of the spouses
  • The abandonment of one of the spouses
  • The imprisonment of one of the spouses
  • the fact of adultery
  • The divorce after a period of legal separation
  • The divorce after a  final judgment of legal separation

These and other grounds are essential for the court to specify the final decision. However, in Uncontested divorce, neither spouse needs to prove your innocence or to blame the other spouse for anything. They can do it outside the courtroom, or their case is a Contested one.

When the divorce process starts, one party is a Plaintiff, and the other is a Defendant. The Plaintiff has to serve the Defendant with all the papers for the separation. After that, the Defendant has 15 days of the waiting period to file with the court too. If the Defendant does not live in Alberta right now, such a period can be increased to 40 days. In general, an Uncontested divorce has some harsh moments, but without quarrels between the spouses, it may save some time for the beginning of a new life.

Residency Requirements to file for divorce in Alberta

In comparison with other provinces of Canada, in Alberta, there are not thousands of different residency requirements. The most important rule is that either party has to live in Alberta for at least one year to start there a divorce process. Unless the couple fit this requirement, they should go to another province to get a legal divorce. According to the Divorce Act of Alberta: “Jurisdiction in Divorce proceedings (1) A Court in a province has jurisdiction to hear and determine a Divorce proceeding if either spouse has been ordinarily resident in the province for at least one year immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding.”

How to file for an Uncontested Divorce in Alberta?

First of all, one of the spouses should fill out the Petition for the divorce process, named as Statement of Claim for Divorce. After that, he/she should serve their spouse with the needed documents and forms for the divorce case. After the Defendant gets all the required documents, he/she has 20 days for the filling. He/she has one month if he/she is not in the province, and two months if he/she is not currently in Canada. The next step will be to receive the papers from the spouse and file them with the court. In the waiting period, the judge typically grants the couple the Certificate of Divorce if there are no additional difficulties. So, the hardest thing in the whole process is to get the ready documents fast and with no mistakes.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Alberta

A DIY divorce is considered to be the most practical due to its cheaper cost. There is no need to wait for the lawyer or the Sheriff, the person can commit all the divorce activities by themselves. But there are some drawbacks of such a step:

  • each province has its residency requirements
  • it can be hard for the person without a legal background to fulfill all the deals without the legal assistance
  • without the mediation period, the spouses can face several troubles with the agreement, so they still need to go to the courtroom
  • without the legal body, they cannot divide the property equitably due to the subjective opinion

These cons of a DIY divorce make it a bit risky, but if doing everything right, there is a chance to save a fortune. So, it’s an entirely personal decision.

How much does an Uncontested Divorce cost in Alberta?

According to the latest researches, the average price for the divorce procedure in Alberta is about $2000. This price usually includes all the additional charges and all the expense allowance, but without the attorney help. Depending on the case specificity, the fee can vary greatly.

How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Alberta?

An uncontested divorce in Alberta may take approximately six months, surely, if everything is well with the documents, etc. The Contested divorce proceeding may continue almost a year or more, according to Alberta legislation. Anyway, every divorce case is unique, and it is hardly possible to predict a total time or money which a divorce can take.

Papers and Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in Alberta

In Alberta, there are a lot of different divorce forms which are connected with many possible details of different divorce cases. The spouses should check what the papers are necessary for their particular circumstances. Here the forms which likely may be needed:

  • Affidavit of Applicant Form FL-23
  • Affidavit of Service of Statement of Claim for Divorce (No Children) Form 49
  • Divorce Instructions - Uncontested Divorce – Without children N/A
  • Divorce Judgment (without oral evidence) Form FL-25
  • Divorce Judgment (without oral evidence) Form FL-25
  • Noting in Default Form 14
  • Print and fill Divorce Judgment (with space for extra clauses) N/A
  • Request for Divorce (without oral evidence) Form FL-21
  • Statement of Claim for Divorce Form FL-01
  • Affidavit of Applicant Form FL-23
  • Affidavit of Service - Divorce  N/A
  • Child Support Data Sheet - For Self-Represented Parties N/A
  • Divorce Instructions - Uncontested Divorce – With children N/A
  • Divorce Judgment and Corollary Relief Order (without oral evidence) Form FL-26
  • Notice of Mandatory Seminar N/A
  • Noting in Default Form 14
  • Print and fill Divorce Judgment (with space for extra clauses) N/A
  • Request for Divorce (without oral evidence) Form FL-21
  • Statement of Claim for Divorce Form FL-01

How to serve your spouse in Alberta

In Alberta, the Plaintiff can serve the Defendant with the full kit of the papers, and within 20 days the Defendant needs to answer the Petition for the divorce process. The Plaintiff can serve the other spouse by him/herself or hire the Sheriff to deliver the forms. Service by mail is possible too. The sooner the documents are sent, the sooner it would be possible to get the Certificate of Divorce.

Online Divorce in Alberta

Online divorce offers a unique possibility not to waste a huge amount of money on the attorney help or the attorney’s preparation of the documents. Either person can visit the site, log in, and order all the necessary forms online. In 1-2 days the prepared divorce paperwork in PDF-format is available to download. With no hidden prices and no unrelated charges - this option is really comfortable.

Rules for child support in Alberta

According to the Alberta legislation, both spouses should do their best to provide the child/children with everything needed. The divorce and the following child custody and visitation process play an enormous role in the children behavior and future abilities in general. In Alberta, all the issues, according to the child custody are solved under both the federal Divorce Act and the Alberta Family Law Act. There are two main parts of the child custody:

  • Joint Custody
  • Sole Custody

Joint Custody is gaining popularity in Alberta. Both parents have a common desire to take care of the child and act for the convenience of the child. Sole Custody happens when only one spouse is eager to support the child financially, spend time with him/her, visit, etc.

Before the final judgment in the court, both spouses sign a special contract or a Settlement of Child Custody and there they write all the schedules of visitation, sums of money on a child, etc. During the mediation process, the spouses try to find the best solution for the termination of the marriage without hurting the children. The Court stipulates establishes all the hearings and the sum of the financial child support.

Rules for spousal support in Alberta

The court of Alberta regulates the spousal support or the alimony similarly as the child custody. If either spouse wants to ask for the spousal support in Alberta, they need to apply for a Divorce Act or the Family Law Act which are responsible for such an issue. When the court makes a decision regarding the spousal support, it usually considers such facts as:

  • The term of the marriage
  • The liabilities of both spouses during the marriage process
  • The monthly income of both spouses
  • The tax rate of the province where each spouse lives

All these and other circumstances influencing the amount of spousal support. In Alberta the spouse occupation also takes place. For instance, when the parents have a newborn baby and only one parent is working, another spouse, caring for the baby should surely take spousal support.

Division of property in Alberta

In Alberta, the property division proceeding regarding the legislation. There are two main parts of the joint property: marital and personal. The marital property is divided equally between both spouses, but the personal property can’t be divided because it refers to one of the spouses. The following issues about the marital property are here:

  • The term  of the marriage
  • The financial state of both spouses
  • The tax rate of the spouses
  • The current financial abilities

According to all the factors put down, the court makes a decision about the share of each spouse of the marital property.

Divorce Mediation in Alberta

The mediation is a process, that assists the spouses with all the questions about the divorce, they can’t solve. The third party (typically, a lawyer or a mediator) appoints the mediation hearing, and the divorcing spouses try to negotiate on several items. If they don’t reach a consensus, the mediator stipulates another hearing and finally signs a special Notice that the spouses finally got an agreement. All the terms of such an arrangement are in the Notice as well.

How to divorce a missing spouse in Alberta

So that to divorce a missing spouse in Alberta, the Plaintiff is expected to search for his/her spouse with the help of the police, relatives, friends, etc. It should be proved that the Plaintiff made maximum efforts to determine the current location of the Defendant (what is essential to serve him/her with divorce paperwork). If the search fails, the Plaintiff is usually required to resort to service by publication, meaning that he/she may announce in the local newspaper about the intention to start a divorce proceeding. If the missing spouse still can't be found after a certain period, the judge can grant a divorce by default without the second spouse's participation.

The Default Divorce in Alberta

Default divorce is a type of divorce proceeding which enters when one of the spouses has failed to either respond to a notice of a divorce or an application, or, in some cases, when the Defendant just can't be found.

Default Judgment means that the Defendant manifested himself as an uninterested party for some reason (Demand of Notice or Statement of Defence was not filed), so the Plaintiff's initial requests outlined in the Statement of Claim are likely to be satisfied.

Annulment of the marriage in  Alberta

An annulment of the marriage claims that the marriage has never been legal. This procedure is slightly different from the divorce, and the marriage is canceled as if it never occurred, and with no reconciliation period. Annulment is possible if a divorce case involves such factors as:

  • One of the spouses has been already married and wasn't legally divorced before the marriage (bigamous marriage)
  • Consent to marriage was obtained by threat
  • One of the spouses was under 18 years old at the marriage registration (underage marriage)

Legal Separation in Alberta

Legal separation is not a marriage termination, but a separate living with resolving of all the regular divorce issues like child custody, support, the division of property, and so on.

Alberta law doesn't recognize legal separation. If the spouses are eager to separate they can do it without involving a court, but until they get a Divorce Judgment they remain legally married regardless of how long they have lived separately.

The Same-Sex Divorce in Alberta

Same-sex marriage and divorce are recognized in Alberta since July, 2005. The proceeding of the same-sex divorce is absolutely similar to the straight divorces (see the information above). In Alberta, you need a certified agent to help you with all the characteristics of the same-sex divorce efficacy.

Military Divorce in Alberta

To have a military divorce, the spouses should enter a similar proceeding as the regular civil divorce. Residency requirements may differ, and the deadline for answering the notice of a divorce may be delayed, while the Defendant is on active duty in the armed forces. However, the Plaintiff still should serve the Defendant with divorce paperwork and the rest of the process is nearly the same.

How to divorce a spouse in a jail in Alberta

The divorce with a spouse, who is in jail right now, is the same as the regular divorce proceeding. If the imprisoned spouse is mentally or physically ill, it will cause several problems with the delivery of the documents. If the Defendant is incarcerated, the Plaintiff should exactly now, what prison his/her spouse is currently staying and send him/her all the documents of the divorce process.

Divorce filing fee

Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using DivorceFiller.com. This cost may vary by region. Checking the relevant local courthouse can help to determine the exact amount.

Can a filing fee be waived?

In Alberta, filing fee can be waived, but only for indigent plaintiffs. So, the person should prove the inability to pay the fee by providing the data of their total monthly income, tax rate, debt sum and else. The court makes a decision only after dealing with all the documents.

How we can help

DivorceFiller doesn't promise to solve all the divorce problems and make a dissolution an extremely enjoyable experience. Let's be honest - it would be quite far from reality. However, this company really help their customers to ease the process as much as possible, taking responsibility for the accurate and prompt preparation of divorce forms and documents. Customers of DivorceFiller can save a lot of money and time with no stress and be sure that the court approves the paperwork. The cost of the service is only $149.

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