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What is the Civil Marriage Act?

Each day people who reside throughout Alberta decide to get married. For a variety of reasons, those relationships do not always last and couples opt to end their marriages by filing for divorce. While in some situations this process will be straightforward, other times there will be complications. For example, it may be possible that after marrying in Alberta a couple moves to another jurisdiction that does not recognize the validity of the marriage. Without the recognition of a marriage, a divorce is impossible. Likewise, a form of marriage that may not be recognized in a foreign jurisdiction, e.g., a same-sex marriage, may be validated under the the federal Civil Marriage Act if the couple becomes resident in Canada.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench can divorce a couple in the province under certain circumstances. Such an application may be filed by both spouses or by just one of them when the other spouse provides consent. It may also be possible for a spouse to make an application without the consent of the other individual if a court order is provided from either the Alberta Court, or the jurisdiction where the other spouse resides, that declares that spouse cannot be found, is withholding consent unreasonably or, as a result of mental disability, is not capable of making decisions regarding their civil status.

As is the case with any divorce matter, in most situations a divorce lawyer can be of assistance in helping to work through the process. Along the way, matters such as the division of assets and debt, support, and when relevant, child custody and support, must be addressed.

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