Alberta Divorce Frequently Asked Questions
While it’s in your best interests to at least meet with a lawyer, you don’t technically need a lawyer when it comes to filing for divorce, as these forms are available online. However, please be aware that these forms do not outline procedure, and you may be caught off guard without legal advice. As well, if there is matrimonial property involved and an agreement has been reached, you will need independent legal advice to sign off on the contract in order to comply with Alberta's Matrimonial Property Act.
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If you and your spouse own property together, you will need a lawyer as the Matrimonial Property Act requires independent legal advice and a valid contract to comply with legislation.
You know the old adage – about bringing knives to a gunfight? Independent legal advice is necessary to ensure that your interests are looked after, as you may not be on the same page as your spouse about everything.
It depends on the complexity of the situation, but once the divorce is submitted, it can take anywhere between 3 – 12 months. If negotiations are happening, this can also extend the time. Check out this page for more information on the divorce process.
You still retain certain rights under the law even without signing a prenuptial agreement. These rights come from statutes and include things like spousal support and child support. Seeking out a lawyer is strongly advised when it comes to navigating the web of prenuptial agreements.
Depending on if the matter is contested or uncontested, the cost can vary greatly. An uncontested divorce could be as low as $1,500, whereas a contested divorce can be closer to $20,000.
It’s important to remind ourselves that children are not property, and they deserve to be with both of their parents. The top priority when determining whom they should be with is: what is in the best interests of the child/children. With this in mind, you will work together with your lawyer to determine where the child’s best fit will be.
Talk and be as open as possible with your partner when you are determining what will be fair for both sides. Speaking with a lawyer is very helpful in these circumstances, and can provide clarity for both of you.
While there are a plethora of options that are best explained by a lawyer, married spouses are covered by the Matrimonial Property Act. In its simplest application, the Matrimonial Property Act states that any property acquired during the marriage is equally divisible, regardless of whose name is on the property.
Depending on if you’re common law or married, the law is different. If you’re married, you will rely on the Matrimonial Property Act, which states that your spouse is entitled to a share of the assets. Common law spouses do not rely on the Matrimonial Property Act, and will usually divide up their assets individually, according to whose name is on what. However, in some circumstances, common law partners are still entitled to a share of their partner’s assets if one has suffered a great financial gain/loss from the relationship.