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Does who initiates a divorce impact property rights in Alberta?

While some divorces are mutually agreed upon, many are initiated by one party. The other person may feel this is unfair, especially if they do not want the divorce themselves. However, the details of who chose to pursue a dissolution of marriage are typically unimportant in settling issues like property rights.

Those who have saved money rather than spending it throughout their lives can feel particularly unfairly treated if their spouse initiates a divorce. What if the spouse leaving spends it all foolishly? Despite how legitimate these concerns may feel, details such as what a former spouse might do with their share of property does not factor into the division of property. The reason for the divorce is also not typically a factor, unless it is necessary to consider for an issue such as child custody. 

The first instinct someone might have in these cases is to fight the situation. While saving a marriage could be an option in some cases, others may benefit more from facing the reality of the situation head-on. Finding a collaborative way to suggest an equitable division of property to a former spouse can be a good idea. Making reasonable and legally sound requests and pursuing a collaborative settlement can often be a less stressful and less expensive option. 

Those who look into a more collaborative route to settle financial questions may think this leaves out the need for a lawyer. However, some legal professionals in Alberta actually specialize in collaborative law and are important to have on hand in these circumstances. Legal counsel can inform individuals of their property rights as well as ensuring an agreement is valid and enforceable under provincial family law.

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