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What Happens Next?

This free booklet was prepared for your child, ages 9 to 12, by the Department of Justice of Canada. It is intended help them deal with separation and divorce. To access your free book, click on the link below, or select here: my free book.

 

Information for Kids About Separation & Divorce

You can also access the following free Calendar for children:

Parenting Schedule for Children

If you have favorite books that have help you and your children deal with separation and divorce, please feel free to comment below.

Thank you.


Statement of Claim for Divorce Form FL-01 for Alberta (divorce forms)

Statement of Claim for Divorce Form FL-01 for Alberta

Are you looking for divorce forms for Alberta?  Or, perhaps you are looking for someone to help prepare your divorce forms—someone that is much cheaper than a lawyer?  You’ve come to the right place!

This blog is for you if you are in Alberta and thinking about:

  • filling in your own divorce forms and trying to figure out how to get a divorce on your own;
  • buying an Alberta Divorce Kit;
  • using an online divorce service that guides you in handling your own divorce; or
  • hiring a paralegal that can provide personal one-on-one service.

Should I hire a Divorce Paralegal?

Completing your own divorce forms when your situation is uncontested is a lot like completing routine personal income tax return for simple situations.  Since you file your taxes year-after-year, it makes sense that you learn how to prepare and file your own Income Tax Return if your situation is not complicated.

However, your divorce is a one-time thing (unless you Zsa Zsa Gabor) and involves a lot more steps and forms.  So, leave the preparation of your divorce forms to the experienced paralegals.

  • If you are a teacher—teach what you know. Let us handle your divorce.
  • If you are a truck driver, do what you do best. Drive!  But, be sure to put us in the driver’s seat when it comes to your divorce.
  • Already stressed about your marriage breakdown? Leave the messy uncomfortable stuff for us to handle. Its simply more painful to let a divorce drag on longer than it must.
  • Too busy working Monday-Friday? We do all of your court filing so that you do not lose time at work during typical office hours.
FREE CONSULTATION
403-229-2774 (Calgary) or 1-800-320-2477 (Toll Free)
OPEN MON-SAT

Mistakes when Filling Out Divorce Forms

I’ve been in business since 1995 and have trained a lot of divorce paralegals. When it’s a divorce with no children, it can take my newly trained paralegal a dozen times to learn how to prepare all of the divorce forms and to follow the procedures properly.   When there are children, it can take much much longer. One of my divorce paralegals worked with lawyers in the divorce field for over 10 years before coming to work with me.  She did the happy dance every time I audited her file and could not find a single error!

Also, my divorce paralegals are required to take law courses which include a study of the Divorce Act and legal procedure.  And, it still takes a lot of time for them to learn how to complete all of the divorce forms properly and follow proper procedures that can vary from file to file.

It can take years for a divorce paralegal to encounter all of the situations that can arise on a court file due to unique situations facing each client.  As I’ve processed 5,000+ divorces personally, I’ve pretty much seen everything that can happen!

Time-sensitive?  No problem, we know exactly how to speed up your divorce if this is a concern.   Property issues?  No problem.  We also assist with legal separation agreements.

“A few things you need to consider before
starting a divorce”.

On-Line Service Providers vs Hiring a Paralegal Firm

You can hire us, a paralegal firm, to prepare your divorce forms for you at a fraction of the cost a lawyer would charge.   Not only do we prepare your forms for divorce, we also:

  • do all the court filing;
  • serve or coordinate service upon your spouse;
  • commission your Affidavits at no extra cost (Affidavit of Service and Affidavit of Applicant) provided you can attend our office; and
  • give you peace of mind knowing that you are in good hands!

The problem with divorce kits or online service providers is that you are still required to do a lot of your own work, including meeting with a Commissioner for Oaths to have your Affidavits commissioned, attending the court house multiple times and arranging service on your spouse by a third party (you can’t be the one to personally serve). There is a lot of running around.  Plus, online service providers are very inefficient.  A quick phone call helps us get right to the point whereas impersonal email or online chatter can result in a lot of back-and-forth.  Each person’s situation is unique.  Just pick up the phone and call us.  It is much more efficient.

Finding a Reputable Company to Prepare Your Divorce Forms

Fake Reviews

Can you trust the divorce company you are about to hire?

Plus, I would personally recommend you not hire an online service provider when (a) you can’t easily reach them by phone; (b) they are not local; (c) they don’t list their key employees on their website; and (d) they don’t list their address or head office.  Also, some online service providers buy reviews.  So, you can’t always trust if the reviews are legit. Google reviews are great because the name of the person giving the review is shown.  You can also see very quickly that the person giving the review is local to the company that they hired–they are not the result of bought reviews from an array of people from third world countries!

Online Divorce Forms on Government Websites

Thinking about completing your own divorce forms?  One quick peak at the instructions for doing your own divorce will make your head start to spin. Here are a couple of links to government websites that give you the divorce forms and generic instructions for handling your own divorce:

The challenge is, they tell you generally what you are required to do, but they don’t tell you how to fill out the forms or proper wording that will prevent rejection.

Can I complete my own divorce forms?

Of course, you can fill in your own divorce forms, go to court, file, arrange service by a third party, wait to see if your spouse is going to contest your divorce, then fill in the balance of your divorce forms and file them too. Then you wait for your divorce to be granted.  But, it often is not as simple as that.  Rarely, can a person get from A to Z without some type of obstacle.  I can’t emphasis this enough.  We get a bunch of business from people who have struggled to do their own divorce but have failed.

Errors result in rejections.  The rejections are most unfortunate if they are not discovered until after you have served your spouse. You may have to amend your divorce forms, re-file and re-serve. Essentially, you are starting all over!  Sometimes the errors are not spotted until after your papers have made it all the way to the Judge 2 to 3 months later provided you’ve not delayed in getting to that stage because of lack of experience!

Of course, if the Clerk missed an error, they could reject on one error, you fix it and return the file to the Clerk only to have it rejected again.

Divorce Forms Are More Complicated When There Are Children

If there are children, there are extra steps involving child support calculations and taking the mandatory parenting seminar.  Also, the child support guidelines are law.  If you are deviating, you need a good reason for it.  The child support guideline forms are not available on the internet. You must attend the court in person to have the Child Support Guideline Worksheet Forms prepared on your behalf. But, if you hire us, we take care of that step for you.

Only a Judge can rule as to whether the deviation from the Federal Child Support Guidelines is warranted.  You can be 3 or 4 months into the process (provided you have not been making lots of mistakes along the way or delaying due to lack of experience), before you find out if the proposed child support has been rejected. Back to stage 1.  You may need to amend the first document, file and re-serve, and wait some more, update the final papers, and re-file.  There are other methods to fixing errors that may apply, but the method that is available to you really depends on the type of rejection.

Lets just hope that the Judge is happy with your revisions and there are no further rejections!

Also, if you follow the child support guidelines, you can participate for free in the recalculation program.  But, if you deviate, then you may have to return to court every time you want to change child support.

How does a Joint Divorce work?

If you and your spouse are willing to work together as co-applicants, rather than proceeding with a regular divorce, we can as an alternative, prepare all your joint divorce forms for both of you. During our interview, we’ll help you assess whether a joint divorce is a good approach for your individual circumstance.  A joint divorce can be a more complicated process if part way through the divorce your spouse withholds his or her cooperation.  Alternatively, if you wish to amend the Joint Divorce after granted (usually this happens when there are children), it can also be more complicated if your ex-spouse withholds their cooperation at that time.  Often, a regular divorce puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you a bit more control over the outcome.

Google + Reviews on our Divorce Services

Here is what a few people have said about us on Google+ Reviews:

  • “I used Canadian Legal Resources for an uncontested divorce and found the owner and staff very helpful and professional every step in the process. Any concerns I had were addressed immediately and efficiently. I highly recommend!”
  • “Used their service to complete a no contest divorce with my ex who lives in the states. Wendy was very helpful and made the process easy. Would highly recommend.”
  • “Debbie Ward is a very supportive and caring professional. She helped me to save money, time, and reduce the emotional toll during my divorce process that took only 2 months to finalize. I’m back in the market! Thanks.”
  • “A practical way to get through a difficult time. Their no-nonsense approach and guidance through the divorce process while creating a fair agreement for both parties was exactly what we needed…and a much less expensive alternative to hiring lawyers.”
  • “Very positive and delightful experience. I was a victim of other online services and hesitant to use a company again. Trust me and go to Canadian Legal. They are knowledgeable, kind, and helpful. You will not be disappointed!”
  • “I had lots of issues with those online services over the past 5 years to deal with my legal issues. But I found working with the staff at Canadian Legal Resource Center to be absolutely wonderful. They were clear and precise on what was needed from me and explained to me clearly what they would do. All the forms were ready and explained and I had no issues with any of the documents submitted. In fact, the whole process was easy compared to what I had been through with those online services. I would highly recommend them.”
  • “Throughout our mediation, Debbie was helpful, went through every detail, and was respectful of both parties. I would definitely recommend Canadian Legal Resource Centre!”
  • “Top notch customer service, Debbie is very knowledgeable, no wonder they received customer service award and very good reviews. I would definitely recommend their service for anyone going through divorce. Good reputation is earned, and they deserve it. Thanks so much for your excellent service.”

About Us

We’ve been in business since 1995.  We are committed to providing high quality, affordable and efficient service.   That’s a guarantee!

Do you need social proof that we are the #1 choice for paralegal services?  Check us out here:

For more information about uncontested divorces and legal separation agreements, please call for a free consultation at 403-229-2774 (Calgary) or 1-800-320-2477 (Toll Free) (elsewhere in Alberta) or check us out here:

 

FREE CONSULTATION
403-229-2774 (Calgary) or 1-800-320-2477 (Toll Free)
OPEN MON-SAT

 

 


 

Provincial Court (Family and Youth Division) – In the event you do not wish a Divorce at this time or you would like an immediate Order dealing with custody, access and child support, you may contact your local Provincial Court (Family Division). They provide free forms and assistant. You may wish to hire a lawyer in the event matters are or may become disputed and you do not want to jeopardize your claim. This Court, or a lawyer, can also inform of circumstances in which you may wish to proceed with a claim through the Court of Queen’s Bench without finalizing a Divorce.


You can file for a Divorce if you can establish before the Courts there has been a marriage breakdown. The following paragraphs are found in the Divorce Act (Canada):

“8.(1) A Court of competent jurisdiction may, on application by either or both spouses, grant a Divorce to the spouse or spouses on the ground that there has been a breakdown of their marriage.

Breakdown of marriage

(2) Breakdown of a marriage is established only if

(a) the spouses have lived separate and apart for at least one year immediately preceding the determination of the Divorce proceeding and were living separate and apart at the commencement of the proceeding; or

(b) the spouse against whom the Divorce proceeding is brought has, since celebration of the marriage,

(i) committed adultery, or (ii) treated the other spouse with physical or mental cruelty of such a kind as to render intolerable the continued cohabitation of the spouses.”

Irreconcilable differences is not a ground for Divorce in Canada (this ground is often described in U.S. television). Please refer to the section below on “what is a separation date” to gain an understanding of what might constitute “separate and apart”.


 

Processing times and procedures fluctuate depending on the level of cooperation from the spouses, how and where the Defendant was served, what city the divorce application was filed in and grounds for Divorce. Average processing time is normally 4 to 6 months (if the Defendant is served personally in Alberta), 5 to 7 months (if the Defendant is served personally elsewhere) or 6 to 8 months (if the Defendant is served substitutionally or outside Canada).

To illustrate (parties have been separate over one year):

  • Three to Four Weeks: File the Statement of Claim for Divorce, Serve Defendant in Alberta, wait 20 days, Plaintiff signs final papers, final papers filed.
  • One to four months: Length of time it then takes most major centres in Alberta to grant a divorce once the final papers have been filed (processing times are usually slower during July to September and December to February as a result of staff holidays during the summer and at Christmas time). Divorces not involving children are typically faster than divorces involving children. Some of the Court Houses in small centers may be able to grant a divorce in less than one month. The Courts automatically mail a Divorce Judgment out to the Plaintiff and Defendant. In an emergency it is possible to have a Divorce granted at this stage in less than 2 weeks.
  • Clearance Certificate: Part of the reason it can take so long is because a divorce cannot be granted until the courts get confirmation from the National Divorce Registry that there are no prior divorce applications which take precedence. You cannot get a divorce on the current application if you or your spouse filed for a divorce previously which was not finished or discontinued (meaning you have to finish the first application or have it discontinued to complete the 2nd application). A Clearance Certificate often takes upwards of 6 weeks to be issued. A divorce cannot be granted on the current application until a clearance certificate is issued.
  • 31 days later: In Canada, divorces do not take effect until 31 days after being granted (unless the 31 days have been waived by both parties due to compelling reasons) and only for so long as the divorce has not been appealed within the 31 days, at which point we order and mail a Divorce Certificate to each of you. If you intend to remarry outside Canada, please advise and we will be sure to order for you (at no extra cost) an International Divorce Certificate (a regular Divorce Certificate notarized which is required for marriage outside Canada).