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Divorce can seem like the most challenging process in the world, but sometimes it is the best thing to do. Separation of two people in a marriage is a matter that involves big decisions to be made that affect the future of the broken family. If you belong in Alberta and have been living separately from your spouse for a period of 1 year or more, you are allowed the right to file for divorce. Even if a year hasn’t been completed of full separation, a reason like cruelty or abuse from the spouse can also start the process.
The divorce process in Alberta isn’t a difficult one if you and your spouse both agree on things like property division, child custody, alimony, and so on. It can take 2 to 3 months. However, in the case of a contested divorce, it can take years to settle. So if you meet the guidelines of the court in Alberta and are ready to get a divorce, the following are the steps you’d have to go through:
File for Divorce
In the province of Alberta, if you’re to file for a divorce, you have to travel to the court and acquire a document called the Statement of Claim for Divorce. It can be received by any of the spouses to start the process. The one who gets the document and initiates the divorce process, in this case, you, will be called the Plaintiff of the procedure and the other as the Defendant.
This document is issued by the clerk of the courthouse and contains extensive forms and questions to be filled in the specified period. Although this form will be enough to settle on property and child custody issues, including the divorce, there can be other detailed forms that help take the matters alongside the divorce finalization.
A divorce claim form is a serious document that requires attachment of authentic materials and signatures of people involved in the issue. So as the document is supplied to you, it would be best if you cleared out your mind and by careful and thorough thinking sign the form. Then you must fill out the form concisely and accurately, providing that you have completed one year of separation.
There may be demand for specific documents. Collecting these files can be a difficult task, and administering the emotional disrupt you may be going through, you have the option of asking for help. A lawyer can come in and handle all the tasks of your divorce and make the process easy. As you are alone in this fight, make sure to hire a reliable lawyer from an established firm who can understand you, for example, Spectrum Family Law in Calgary.
Serve the Claim
After completing the divorce claim and sending it to court, the next step will be ‘serving’ the Defendant with it. This doesn’t mean that you have to take the claim and hand it over to your spouse yourself. No, in fact, the court rules that any other person serves the application, a relative, close friend, or hired professional to the Defendant. Under challenging circumstances, you can request the court an Order for Substantial service or an Order to serve outside of Canada if the spouse happens to be in another country.
Prepare Dispute Documents
The road to filing for a divorce is not an easy one, and after each step, the difficulty can get more advanced. However, after you’re done, you can start to build a better future for yourself and your children, if gaining custody is the plan. So in this manner, when you are successful with the task of sending signed divorce documents to your spouse, the next thing to do can be hard, which is to wait.
The court allows a 20 days period if, in Alberta, one month if outside the province and two months if outside the country to the Defendant to dispute the Statement of Claim. Hence, if they go forward with the dispute or don’t answer at all, you as a plaintiff can file for the following claims:
- Sworn Affidavit of Service
- Noting in Default
- Request for Divorce
- Affidavit of Applicant
- A proposed Divorce Judgment
If children are involved, you must also include Child Support Data Sheets, Parenting after Separation Certificate, and Divorce Judgment, including arrangements for children. The affidavit must have your original Marriage Certificate, copy of any orders on your divorce, and a copy of Certificates of Divorce of a previous marriage.
Wait for the Judgment
Subsequent to filing the affidavit, you can wait for the clerk to get the documents seen by a Justice who has the final say in the process. If the Justice finds your claim to be fulfilling with evidence and required forms, they will sign the Divorce Judgement immediately. The clerk will receive your completed application and send it over to both you and your ex-spouse after finishing a time period of approximately 5 to 6 weeks.
In the final act in settlement of your divorce held in Alberta, you can request a Certificate of Divorce from the Court. This the sole proof of your divorce and an essential document that must be obtained and saved as evidence and for making other future decisions. Both the Plaintiff and Defendant need a separate copy of this document to finalize the process and can attain it thirty-one days after the Divorce Judgment is signed.