You can still get a divorce, even with court closures. Here's how.

How do I file for Divorce if I'm representing myself?

Uncategorized Jun 09, 2020

If you choose to self-represent during divorce, you will need to obtain the relevant documents, fill them out, and file them with the courthouse. Different circumstances require different paperwork. First, you can either file by yourself (regular divorce) or file jointly with your spouse (joint divorce). Second, the relevant paperwork depends on whether you have dependent children.

Regular Divorce with Dependent Children

To file an uncontested divorce with dependent children, you must use the grounds of one-year separation, all issues concerning property must be settled, you must know where your spouse is located, and you must have dependent children. Because you must include corollary relief in your divorce action (child custody and access, child support, and spousal support), you and your spouse need to agree on these topics before filing. If your dependent children are 16 years old or younger, you must take the Parenting After Separation seminar online or in person. To prepare...

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Divorce takes longer than you think

Uncategorized Jun 09, 2020

Whether you are the one filing for the divorce or the one receiving the divorce papers, both parties often underestimate how much time and work it takes to complete the process and recover. You’re in a marathon—not a sprint.

Although the legal process can take as little as four months for couples already separated a year, it usually takes 1-2 years before the final paperwork is completed. The emotional journey though can last considerably longer.

Typically, the person who files for divorce has not made a sudden decision. They have probably been considering it for months or even years before they take action. The decision to end a life-long commitment is usually preceded by discussions, arguments, silences or desperate attempts to compromise. The aftermath for the couple and the people around them can last for years.

Eventually, one or both of you will move towards a clear decision – often not openly and sometimes not even consciously. Affairs may start as a...

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How to Enforce a Family Law Judgment

Uncategorized Jun 02, 2020

You won. The Court has granted you a Judgment, you’ve filed it with the clerk and now you are ready to collect. What happens when the other party decides not to pay? Do you have to go back into Court again for another long battle? Not necessarily. Here are some tips that can assist you in enforcing a family law Judgment.

1. Register with the Maintenance Enforcement Program: This program is available to assist with the enforcement of child and spousal support Orders without huge cost to the recipient of the money. Maintenance enforcement has a tool kit including suspension of driver’s licenses or passports and garnishees to compel parties to abide by support Orders.

2. File and Serve a Garnishee Summons: By filing a garnishee summons with the Court and serving it on your opposing party’s employer, this will remove a portion of their paycheque before it is deposited into the party’s account, preventing them from withholding money from you. The employer must...

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Property that doesn’t get divided 50/50

Uncategorized Jun 02, 2020

1) Exempt Property. Certain property is exempt from being distributed as matrimonial property, based on the idea that not all property falls within the financial partnership of a marriage. This category includes gifts from third parties, inheritances, property that was owned before the marriage, awards for damages (such as a disability payout from your service) and proceeds of certain insurance policies. The value of the property at the date of the marriage or at the date the thing was acquired (whichever is later) is exempt from distribution.

2) Increases in the Value of Exempt Assets. The court must order a “just and equitable” distribution of property for the increase in value of an exempt asset or the income generated by an exempt asset for the period of the marriage. For example, the value of a collectible car owned by one spouse before the marriage is exempt, but the increase in its value over the course of the marriage – the accrued equity...

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My name is not on the title to our house, is it still joint property?

Uncategorized Jun 02, 2020

If only one person’s name is on the property title, and/or the owner purchased the home before the other party moved in, the non-owner is likely entitled to a portion of it. Unless you’ve both signed a domestic or marriage contract (for married couples), a cohabitation agreement (for non-married couples) or another legal agreement that spells out who keeps what if you break up, here’s what happens: for married couples, property is typically divided 50-50; for common-law couples, the courts consider how much each partner contributed.

People are usually due what they put into the relationship, such as domestic duties: looking after children, cooking and cleaning, general maintenance and upkeep of property, mortgage payments, bill payments — things of that nature that people have invested into a property, and at the end of the day, it’s unfair if they leave that relationship without getting what’s due back to them just because of ownership. (If your...

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9 Tips to Protect Your Interests When You’re Married

Uncategorized Jun 02, 2020

Getting a divorce?  And your heart is starting to pound because you’re worried about the financial ripple effect?

Well--divorce is expensive. But you do have control over how expensive.

As a lawyer, I can tell you it is better to be realistic about what is achievable rather than fighting for what is, at best, uncertain. Because the

reality of going into court is a crap shoot—there‘s no certainty of the outcome.

 

  1. Get a prenuptial agreement/cohabitation agreement BEFORE you move in together. This document says what happens if things don’t work out… usually “I keep what’s mine, you keep what’s yours and things we buy together get split equally”. A prenuptial agreement only takes effect if you actually marry.
  2. Agreements cost money but doing it ahead of time is cheaper than fighting about it later. You must have independent legal advice for both sides. The document must be drawn up well in advance of the wedding...
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7 Tips to Protect Your Interests In A Common-law Relationship

Uncategorized Jun 02, 2020

Not married? Keep reading.  You’re not as protected as you think.

Getting separated?  And your heart is starting to pound because you’re worried about the financial ripple effect?

Well--separation is expensive. But you do have control over how expensive.

As a lawyer, I can tell you it is better to be realistic about what is achievable rather than fighting for what is, at best, uncertain. Because the

reality of going into court is a crap shoot—there‘s no certainty of the outcome.

 

  1. Get a cohabitation agreement before you move in together. This agreement can be written to become a prenuptial agreement if you later marry.
  1. Make arrangements in your Will or beneficiary designations to provide for a partner.
  2. Keep all financial matters separate. No joint loans, mortgages, debts, assets; keep track of what is spent by each on what.
  3. Keep a record of things bought together—who paid for it and how much, receipts. Ensure all property you both pay...
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How to Talk to Your Wife about Postnuptial Agreements

Uncategorized May 19, 2020

So you’re married now and life is pretty good. Congratulations! Not to rain on your parade, but have you considered what might happen if you ever need to untie the knot? Family court is a battlefield to avoid at all costs.  

Divorce is simply costlier for men, which means marriage is riskier for men. Here’s a question to consider: Does she love you enough to share that risk? 

Postnuptial agreements help equalize risk by outlining a fair distribution of marital assets, though they don’t equalize risk entirely. postnuptial agreement can really only protect your assets. Agreements waiving spousal support may not be enforceable because the court has a right to review support at the time of divorce. If they find that the waiver is not fair or conscionable given that person’s current circumstances, the court can set it aside. 

It’s also important to know that ...

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How to Talk to Your Girlfriend about Prenuptial Agreements

Uncategorized May 18, 2020

So you’re thinking about tying the knot. Congratulations! Not to rain on your parade, but have you considered what might happen if you ever need to untie the knot? Family court is a battlefield to avoid at all costs.  

 

Divorce is simply costlier for men, which means marriage is riskier for men. Here’s a question to consider before you marry her: Does she love you enough to share that risk? 

 

Prenuptial agreements help equalize risk by outlining a fair distribution of marital assets, though they don’t equalize risk entirely. A prenuptial agreement can really only protect your assets. Agreements waiving spousal support may not be enforceable because the court has a right to review support at the time of divorce. If they find that the waiver is not fair or conscionable given that person’s current circumstances, the court can set it aside. 

 

It’s...

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Complete List of Alberta Divorce Forms with Links

Uncategorized May 18, 2020

The forms below can be used to complete an uncontested divorce or a joint divorce. In an uncontested divorce, one party files for divorce, but the parties have already agreed to the terms. Such terms include access, support, and custody. In a joint divorce, both parties file; one person does not file for divorce against the other.  

 

If you cannot view and edit the PDF forms because a notice appears indicating that your PDF viewer is unable to display the particular document type, please visit the Alberta Courts website, where you can right-click on the document link, choose “Save Link As”, and open the file from your computer. Please note that the Court of Queen’s Bench does not accept handwritten forms in Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, and Red Deer. You must fill out the PDF forms on a computer and print out the document.  

 

Uncontested Divorce – Without Dependent Children 

  1. Instructions 
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