Dissolving a marriage is an intricate legal process. Despite the ready availability of websites that will tell you otherwise, it’s not one to attempt on your own. A divorce will have an enormous impact on your financial future. And if you and your spouse had children together, the legal terms of your divorce can have an impact on your relationship with them.
Our dedicated team of divorce lawyers can help you navigate the major issues of the divorce process. Our years of experience can help you negotiate a settlement out of court, but we’re not afraid to take the fight in front of a judge when we must.
Establishing Grounds for an Alberta Divorce
Alberta law allows couples to get a divorce for one of three reasons. The first two, adultery and cruelty, allow you to proceed with an immediate divorce. The law only requires there to be a single incident of either, but you must be prepared to offer evidence.
The third reason is you’ve been separated for at least one year. You’ll have to provide evidence of separation too, but this is usually a lot easier to prove.
You can even be legally separated while living in the same house. You’d want to take some steps to show you really are separated. For example, you might want to sleep in separate bedrooms, open your own bank account, and cancel joint debt accounts.
Once you have the court order allowing you to get a divorce, you can begin to get through the process itself. This will begin with filing a “Statement of Claim for Divorce.” You will have to serve your spouse with this paperwork either by handing it to him or her or by hiring a process server.
You can get a divorce if you can’t find your spouse, but there are steps you’ll need to take to make sure the court recognizes your attempts to give notice. The Statement of Divorce is where you will lay out how you wish to resolve the major issues of the divorce. If your spouse disagrees, he or she may file a Statement of Defence.
The Major Issues of Divorce
A divorce is said to be “uncontested” or “undefended” if you and your spouse have already come to an agreement about all the major issues. It is a “contested” or “defended” if you and your spouse can’t resolve these issues on your own and with the help of your lawyers.
The major issues of divorce are:
- Dividing marital assets.
- Dividing marital debts.
- If there are children, setting a child support amount. This is required.
- Establishing custody and/or co-parenting arrangements.
- Determining whether one spouse will provide the other with spousal support, also known as alimony.
- If applicable, determining spousal support amounts and durations.
There are few undefended divorces. Even the most amiable of divorcing couples often have disputes over one or more of these issues. Our team can tell you what the best and worst possible outcomes are, under the law, for each of these six issues. Together, we’ll come up with a strategy for helping you achieve your best-case scenario.
Even if your divorce is undefended it makes sense to have legal representation. It’s easy to make mistakes while filing. Those mistakes could have a huge impact on your future. We can make sure the papers you file say and do what you intended them to.
High Net Worth Divorces in Edmonton
When you and your spouse have a high net worth your divorce can become immensely complicated. Assets will need to have their value assessed by professionals to determine what a just and equitable division of property might look like. You’ll need to consider tax implications. Retirement funds can pose real challenges. You and your spouse may even own businesses together.
You’ll need expert advice, even if your divorce is amiable. Usually, high net worth divorces are extremely contentious. Make a wrong move, and you could vastly lower your standard of living. Merchant Law has helped hundreds of people defend their rights and preserve their futures through the divorce process. You need a tough Edmonton family lawyer on your side, and we can help you.