Divorce and Separation

Claim for Divorce

Formal divorce proceedings can be initiated at any time, with parties sometimes commencing them soon after their decision to separate, and others electing to leave this as the final step upon resolution of all other associated issues between them.

Given the relatively more important issues of matrimonial property division, spousal support, child support and custody, the formal dissolution of the marriage itself can sometimes be overlooked. As academic as this step may seem, any missteps in the timing of finalization could be critical to a party's rights. The parties' marital status can impact rights to pension, employee benefits and favorable rollover tax consequences.

Grounds for Divorce

The grounds for seeking a divorce are physical/mental cruelty, adultery or having been separated for one year. The least problematic and most common ground for seeking a Divorce Judgment is the one-year separation, or "no-fault" divorce. In these instances, the Court will not grant a Divorce Judgment until the one year separation has expired. Physical separation is not required, but rather only the parties having ceased living as husband and wife.

Applying for a Divorce Judgment

Contrary to popular belief, an uncontested divorce need not see the inside of a court room. Subject to the consent of both parties, once submitted to the Court for approval, in a rather administrative fashion the Court will issue a Divorce Judgement endorsed by a Judge. If matters of support, property and custody have been previously resolved by agreement, the Divorce Judgement will not only terminate the marriage, but also serve to capture and reinforce many of those agreed upon rights and obligations.

Following submission of the application for a Divorce Judgment to the Court, the turnaround time can vary widely, anywhere from 2 -6 months. Any irregularities found in the application must be corrected, and the application for Divorce Judgment re-submitted to the Court.

How to Proceed

Although more often than not, the dissolution of a marriage is uncontested, depending on the circumstances, there can be pitfalls associated with undertaking this challenge in a "do-it-yourself" fashion. Each situation is unique. You are well served by seeking the advice from a lawyer to ensure that your interests are protected prior to taking steps of any nature.

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Calgary Divorce Lawyers

To learn more about divorce and about what rights you have from our Calgary lawyers, call the firm toll free at 877-563-5295 throughout Alberta or contact us online. In Calgary, call 403-233-9300.