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Uncontested Divorces in Alberta

Published On: January 23, 2013

How to Qualify for an Uncontested Divorce in Alberta

You can file for an uncontested divorce in Alberta if:

  • you or your spouse have resided in Alberta for the past 12 or more months;
  • you and your spouse agree to all matters concerning property, assets and debts;
  • if spousal support is an issue, you and your spouse are in agreement with spousal support; and
  • if there are dependent children, you and your spouse are in agreement with custody, access and child support.

Is your spouse unwilling to accept personal service?  This does not make the divorce ‘contested’.  It just means we have to find an alternate way to serve your spouse.  Contested occurs primarily when your spouse files a response to the Statement of Claim for Divorce which was served upon him or her, and you do not agree to the counterclaims being made by your spouse.

Desk Divorce vs Uncontested Divorces

A desk divorce is what happens when you file for an uncontested divorce. It means you do not have to appear before a Judge to get your divorce. You are represented by Affidavit evidence instead.  Your paperwork is filed at the divorce counter (ie. desk) and the clerks later present it to the Judge for consideration. You may need to appear before a judge if your divorce becomes contested, you require an emergency divorce, you have a special request, or you need to serve your spouse out of country or substitutionally.

No Fault Divorce vs Fault Divorce

When you file for a divorce, it is considered ‘no fault’ if you file under the grounds of one year separation. A fault divorce is when you file under the grounds of mental cruelty, physical cruelty, adultery or a combination of these grounds.  You are blaming the marriage breakdown on the behaviour of your spouse. The Defendant would have to be the one that committed the act of cruelty or adultery. Even if filing under cruelty or adultery, the divorce can still be considered uncontested if your spouse does not contest the grounds you file under.

Do I need to hire a lawyer?

The most affordable and practical method for obtaining an uncontested divorce is to hire an experienced paralegal. You do not need to hire a lawyer in an uncontested divorce situation, unless of course, you require legal advice to make sure that your proposal is fair and good for you or your situation is complex. You can even represent yourself before the courts if you require an emergency divorce, have a special request, or need to serve your spouse out of country or substitutionally.  We can prepare you for these simple court applications.

We can assist with child support calculations using the Federal Child Support Guidelines.  We present the calculations to the court for verification that they are correct.  The only concern usually is whether the income disclosed is accurate, and whether there are grounds for deviating from the guidelines. If spousal support is an issue, we can also calculate spousal support using the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines.  Though not law, these guidelines are often referred to by lawyers when advising on spousal support.

Still not sure?  We can draft the Statement of Claim for Divorce, complete the child support and/or spousal support calculations.  You can then take the documents to a lawyer for advice.  Following the advice, we can modify the document on your behalf.

Award Winning Paralegal Company

The owner of the Canadian Legal Resource Centre Inc. (that would be me, Debbie Ward), has 26+ years experience processing over 5,000 uncontested divorces and legal separation agreements. Her two divorce assistants have a combined 16 years experience working on uncontested divorces. We are a full-service paralegal company. We can assist you with your uncontested divorce from beginning to end.

If you have property issues, we can help you and your spouse with a legal separation agreement. However, in order for it to be binding, you and your spouse will need to meet with two separate lawyers for advice and signing.

Why hire the Canadian Legal Resource Centre Inc. to help you with your uncontested divorce in Alberta? We were voted the #1 Paralegal Company by consumers like you 10 years in a row. We are recipients of the Consumer Choice Award for Business Excellence for the category “paralegal services”.

Though we are located in Calgary, we help applicants throughout Alberta. If you and/or your spouse have lived in Alberta for the past 12 or more months, we can help. Please call for your free Uncontested Divorce consultation.

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