If you are applying for an Alberta Divorce, you can benefit from these 4 time and money saving tips, even if your situation is contested.
CAUTION: the information found in this blog is general in nature, and does not constitute legal advice. Some of the tips found in this article may not benefit you or produce the results you desire. Use your own judgment or seek legal advice if you choose follow them.
Alberta Divorce Preparation – Property
Before filing for a divorce in Alberta, you need to decide if you wish to include a claim for division of matrimonial property within your divorce application. Normally, you would include a claim for property, assets, and debts if you want to compel your spouse to divide these things. Once you file a Statement of Claim for Divorce and Division of Matrimonial Property, and provided your spouse is willing to cooperate, you would then proceed to negotiate a Separation Agreement. Once an agreement has been reached, the divorce is then finalized (provided you have met the grounds for divorce). If you are unable to negotiate a settlement of property, your lawyer(s) would likely take it to trial and let the Judge decide how everything is to be divided.
You also have the option of dividing all property, assets, and debts privately with your spouse, without any assistance from lawyers or paralegals. But, you do so at your own risk. Legal Separation Agreements are not mandatory. However, to be considered for mortgage re-financing, your bank(s) might insist that you obtain a Legal Separation Agreement. The other option is to proceed straight to a Separation Agreement (to deal with issues such as property), and not file for a divorce at this time (ie. file for a divorce after property has been settled). Or, keep both applications separate.
TIP #1: you do not have to include a claim for property in your Alberta Divorce application if you and your spouse are willing to negotiate a division. You can proceed straight to a separation agreement and file for a divorce at a later date, if that is your wish. You can find information on getting a Separation Agreement here: Guide to Separation.
Collecting Documents for your Legal Separation Agreement in Alberta
If you and your spouse have property, assets, and debts to divide, then collect all of your financial documents in advance of your appointment with your divorce lawyer or divorce paralegal. Unless you make $250 or more per hour, I’d also suggest that you organize it before going to a lawyer. If you’d like a free handout listing the types of documents you should collect, please refer to this link:
You have several choices as to what you need to collect for financial documents:
- currently dated, if it is the intention of you and your spouse to divide assets and debts as of the current date;
- date of separation, if it is the intention of you and your spouses to divide assets and debts as of the date of separation; or
- statement of all assets and debts over the past 3 years if you need to audit all statements to track and verify the existence of all assets and debts.
You may seek legal advice if you need help deciding what documentation should be collected.
TIP #2: collect and organize all of your financial documents in advance of your appointment with your divorce lawyer or paralegal. Click here for your workbook: Matrimonial Property Workbook
Alberta Divorce Preparation – Children
If you are filing for a divorce and there are dependent children, you will need to collect proof of income for you and your spouse. In uncontested situations, normally all that is required from each of you is the following:
- Most recent tax summary for each of you; or
- Most recent paystub for each of you.
However, if neither of these documents accurately reflect total current earnings for you or your spouse, examples of additional documentation which may be required include:
- notice of assessments and reassessment from the Canada Revenue Agency for each of you;
- corporate tax filings and recent bank statements from self-employed persons, including notice of assessments and reassessments from the Canada Revenue Agency;
- detailed corporate records (ie. to determine how money is disbursed on expenses and to related-third parties); and/or
- all paystubs for the past 3 months showing total earnings.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the declaration of yours or your spouse’s income, please call for your free consultation.
Tip#3: We can help you determine child support calculations free of charge. Our calculations are then verified by the court house. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the disclosure of income by both parties. Or, check out this website: Federal Child Support Guideline Calculator
Parenting After Separation Seminar
The parenting seminar is designed to minimize the impact of separation on children and to educate the parents of their roles and responsibilities. Regular and high conflict seminars are provided. In some cases, they allow both parents to attend the same seminar. To register for this FREE one-day (or two half-day) seminar held in the following Alberta locations, call:
- Bonnyville (780) 645-6324
- Brooks (403) 504-8026
- Calgary (403) 440-3833
- Camrose (780) 679-1240
- Canmore (403) 609-3743
- Drayton Valley (780) 514-2204
- Edmonton (780) 413-9805
- Edson (780) 865-8280
- Fort McMurray (780) 743-7136
- Grande Prairie (780) 538-5340
- Hinton (780) 865-8280
- Jasper (780) 852-2117
- Lethbridge (403) 320-4232
- Lloydminster (780) 853-8130
- Medicine Hat (403) 504-8026
- Peace River (780) 624-6256
- Red Deer (403) 343-6400
- Slave Lake (780) 523-6600
- Spruce Grove (780) 962-7618
- Stony Plain (780) 963-8583
- Wetaskiwin (780) 361-1258
***NEW: this course is now available online. For more information click the image below:
Tip #4: You will learn free information on custody, access and child support in Alberta. You will learn about rights and responsibilities, types of custody arrangements, how to calculate child support, and how to minimize the impact of separation on children.