When a marriage falls apart, it’s not easy to cope with the feelings. Both parties had decided someday to take on this beautiful journey together however certain issues build up over time that make it impossible to carry on. Ultimately the end result is separation.
Thus, no marriage guarantees success. In fact, it has been reported that the divorce rate is up at 60% in North America. In some situations, the decision to get divorced is less stressful, when couples amicably agree to end their marriage and part ways. The term used for this kind of divorce is called a joint divorce.
What is a Joint Divorce?
A joint divorce is the friendliest type of divorce wherein both parties mutually decide to separate. They together agree on all the issues related to their divorce and file for divorce collaboratively. They have the option of either filing for divorce on their own or hiring professional help. Working together towards an end result makes the process less stressful and run a lot smoother.
In comparison with an uncontested divorce where one party files for divorce and the other party is in some cases obliged to agree to whatever has been claimed, in Joint Divorce both parties decide the terms of their divorce.
Who qualifies for a Joint Divorce in Alberta?
- At least one of the parties must have resided in Alberta for at least one year prior to the filing of the Joint Statement of Claim for Divorce
- Living separately from your partner for one year prior to filing the last set of court documents is an important requirement’s
- You must know the location of your spouse and both be willing to sign the divorce documents.
What are the requirements of a lawyer or paralegal?
For completing a joint divorce application in Alberta, the following items are required:
- The Original Civil marriage certificate issued by the Government and not the one received at the church. If your marriage took place outside Canada, there is no need to provide a translated marriage certificate. Details of your marriage will be used in your documents as a substitute.
- If there are children from the marriage, parties need to agree to the amount of “basic” child support and percentages of “section 7 expenses”, which usually includes daycare, extracurricular activities, and extended medical and dental costs.
- If there is spousal support to be paid by one party to the other, the amount and duration of the support need to be agreed upon as well.
Why opt for Joint Divorce?
In joint divorces, even though parties no longer wish to stay together, they look at the situation from a business like perspective. All the needs and requirements are already negotiated prior to filing for joint divorce. They both understand that fighting over matters will only cause stress, wasted time, and money. Furthermore, those parties are able to step away from the hardships of the past and focus on how to best plan for their post-divorce lives. This is most important when there are children of the marriage. In a way, they give themselves the best chances of coping and moving forward, especially if they can continue to be amicable even after the divorce.
What is the cost for filing Joint Divorce?
Fees for a Joint Divorce in Alberta vary among paralegals and lawyers between around $750 to $2000. The fees also depend on the situation and requirement of each case. Court filing fee is usually extra, and its amount is $260. Some professionals offer payment plans.