Going through a separation may be upsetting, traumatic, scary and stressful. For couples with children, often the main problem for both spouses is finding a method to make certain that their children are harmed well under possible from the fact the relationship has arrived for an end. For couples without children, sorting finances and establishing a fair division of assets having a minimum of rancour and unhappiness is vital.
Although the Divorce Act offers both fault-based and no-fault divorces, nearly all couples who eventually proceed using a divorce nowadays use the no-fault “one-year separation” as being the basis of establishing a lasting marriage breakdown. Utilizing the grounds of adultery or mental/physical cruelty is virtually never done any further – partly because “fault” or “misconduct” plays no role pertaining to support or property issues, and partly because arguing over why the relationship ended is really a fruitless, time-consuming exercise and a waste of legal fees.
That’s not saying that as lawyers we are not interested in how our clients suffer from the final of your relationship; but we understand that an appropriate referral into a skilled counsellor, a support group or a divorce coach might be far more helpful and effective in navigating this major life transition.
The words “legal separation” have no real meaning; sometimes people believe that there may be some formal or judicial recognition from the separation that is required by law, but this is simply not the case. The date of separation is relevant when knowing once the one-year separation has elapsed, but as opposed to popular belief the date of separation is not the date when property and debts are crystallized. Unlike other provinces, Alberta’s laws on division of matrimonial property (for married people) provide that matters are “live” until such time since the spouses enter a formal written agreement with independent legal services, or until a trial. This means that assets and debts in the date of separation will not be “fixed” or final – they may change down or up until settlement or trial. What the law states could be very different, however, for unmarried spouses.
Under our Divorce Act, either you and your spouse will need to have been “ordinarily resident” inside the province of Alberta for around 1 year ahead of commencing a divorce action. Consult with your lawyer for those who have doubts about whether this requirement is met. This requirement is really a firm one, and can’t be waived through the Court.1
Many couples work on a general settlement on all concerns that are important in their mind – either with the aid of their lawyers, or a mediator, or by themselves. They don’t necessarily start the negotiation process by filing Court pleadings. However, if they are unable to visit a binding agreement, a legal court will unquestionably intervene and has the ability to handle certain issues by using an interim basis (interim parenting arrangements, interim support, defense against violence, etc.) pending your final agreement or trial.
95% of spouses have the ability to go to a resolution of all matters between them without having to head to trial. When all matters have been resolved and finalized, their lawyers will proceed by having an uncontested divorce. No one must actually attend court; documents are filed using the Court and considered with a judge minus the parties the need to be present. If a couple wishes, they can jointly ask the legal court for a divorce, with out them party the need to become the “Plaintiff” and the other having to be the “Defendant”.
And then there are children, a judge is required to ensure that “reasonable arrangements” happen to be manufactured for the support of the children before granting a divorce. When a judge will not be satisfied the agreement in between the parties is reasonable, the divorce cannot proceed until such arrangements have been in place. This can be to ensure bargains between adults do not prejudice the rights in the child to your fair measure of child support.
Should you wish to proceed using a divorce, Edmonton Legal Services will ask you for a variety of documents to get going:
an authorized copy of the marriage certificate issued by the province where you were married (not really a photocopy, and never the relationship license). Should you be married outside Canada, the lawyer will likely be seeking further details on your part, and while you could have a duplicate of your marriage certificate to deliver, more information 02dexkpky be required.
A photograph of the spouse (in Alberta, when your spouse is usually to be served with divorce documents, a photograph must ensure they are the one who is correctly served.) You cannot serve your spouse yourself – the lawyer is likely to make appropriate arrangements for personal service.
When you have children under 16, and you’ve already attended the Parenting After Separation Course, bring the initial yellow certificate of attendance. In the event you haven’t yet attended, we can provide you with the info to sign up. Attendance with the PAS course is required for the majority of parents of children that are seeking a divorce or any interim court orders. There are exceptions to this particular rule; confer with your lawyer or even a legal assistant for more information.
A completed firm client information sheet and evidence of your identity (i.e. a duplicate of the driver’s license).