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Getting a Divorce in Alberta: What you need to Know

There can be various reasons for two people to drift apart in a marriage and eventually decide on getting a divorce. However, most people, after taking the decision are unaware of the complicated legal system, the various options of filing a divorce and even the finances incurred during the process. Making the decision of ending your marriage could perhaps be one of the biggest decisions you will take in your life. Your decision could impact you in ways you may not have envisaged and if there are children, the steps you take have to be even more calculated.

Just as there are various ways of getting married, you also have several options available to get a divorce. From hiring a lawyer to opting for a paralegal or even choosing to self-file for divorce, there are plenty of ways to do so. Your options could also depend on the country you reside in and where you will file for divorce. Filing for divorce in Alberta is not a complicated process and is similar to that in other Canadian provinces, and that’s because the Divorce Act is a federal act and not a provincial one. Listed below are two important points to keep in mind while getting a divorce in Alberta.

  1. Alberta has a residency requirement of one year prior to the date of filing for divorce. You will need to have resided there for at least one year before the start of the divorce proceedings

  2. You have met one or more of the following grounds:
  • You have lived separately from your spouse for one year before the last set of documents are filed in court
  • Your spouse has committed adultery
  • Your spouse has abused you mentally or physically.

Even if you choose not to hire a lawyer it is advisable to consult one since important decisions have to be made, and it is best to initiate the process of divorce with full knowledge.

If you and your spouse are not certain about filing for divorce and want to first experiment staying apart from each other then you could explore the option of obtaining a separation in Alberta. Once both of you decide to divorce then there are various options at hand which could make the process a little less stressful. A lot of people prefer to self-file because paying a lawyer’s fee is financially draining. Since every divorce case is unique, it is up to the individuals involved to decide on the best method of filing for divorce in their case.  Whether you choose to self-file, hire the services of a lawyer or engage a paralegal, getting a divorce in Alberta is a fairly uncomplicated process.

If there are financial constraints and you are hesitant about availing the services of a lawyer but are also intimidated by the paperwork and filing process then you may want to consider hiring a paralegal. However, this would work best for those whose divorce is uncontested, there are no disputes over distribution of finances, and decisions about the children have been worked out. Paralegals can provide you with adequate support without burning a hole in your pocket in comparison with lawyers. They will guide you through the entire process and help you with filing the correct paperwork. A qualified paralegal would also be able to devote more time to you and offer you a more personalized service as compared to a lawyer. Between the costs of hiring a lawyer and the alternative of no representation at all, a person facing the emotional stress and complexities of a court system when filing a divorce in Alberta would definitely benefit from the experience of working with a paralegal at a reasonable rate.

If you’re looking to get an affordable divorce in Calgaryget in touch with us.

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