Divorce and Separation in Alberta

Minimizing the stress and pain caused by a relationship breakdown

Divorce is never easy. It can be especially difficult when you have children involved or if your relationship has become abusive. It may help to know there are some things you can do to make the process easier for yourself and your family.

First, get legal advice from an experienced divorce lawyer.  You need someone with experience dealing with complex issues such as custody battles, child support payments, spousal maintenance, division of property, etc. A  family law lawyer will also advise you about what steps you should take before filing for divorce so you don’t end up making mistakes that could cost you money down the road.

Next, if you find yourself in an abusive relationship and are concerned for your safety, contact the police or find the supports you need to stay safe.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce: What is the difference?

A divorce is considered “contested” if there is an ongoing dispute between the parties over marital property or how much support should be paid.   Legal representation on each side can assist the parties in negotiating involving important topics such as child custody, spousal support, division of assets, and much more.

Alternatively, an uncontested divorce allows you and your spouse to get divorced without having to go through any court proceedings at all. This type of divorce is also known as a “desk” divorce because most of the work is done at the lawyer’s desk and not in the courtroom.  Both spouses usually have a separation agreement completed beforehand, where they must agree on the main aspects of their separation in advance.  One key focus aspect of an uncontested divorce is to finalize the marriage in a swift, cooperative fashion.

An uncontested divorce, by nature, is far less costly and time-consuming than a contested divorce. Contact the Chahal Raj law office today to request an introductory consultation with a divorce lawyer for more information on the timeline and costs of filing for divorce.

What are examples of the grounds for divorce?

There are many different reasons why people decide to file for divorce. Some common ones include:

  • Irreconcilable differences – if your relationship has become so bad that you cannot live together anymore, this may qualify as irreconcilable differences. You might want to consider getting help from a family lawyer before filing for divorce. They could advise you on your next steps to minimize the challenges you will face in the coming days and weeks.
  • Adultery – If you believe that your partner committed adultery (i.e., had sexual relations outside of your relationship), then you may be able to use this as grounds for divorce. However, you’ll still need proof of this allegation.
  • Cruelty/abuse – If you feel that your partner was abusive towards you during your relationship, then you may be able to prove cruelty or abuse. It doesn’t matter if your partner or spouse did something once or multiple times; just make sure that you’ve documented everything.
  • Mental illness – If you think that your partner suffers from mental health issues such as depression or bipolar disorder, then you may be eligible to claim this reason for divorce. Again, though, you’ll need documentation proving these claims.
  • Abandonment – If you believe that you were abandoned by your partner, then you may be entitled to a divorce based on abandonment. To do this, you’ll need to show evidence that your partner or spouse left you alone and didn’t provide financial assistance while living apart from you.
  • Fraud – If you suspect fraud within your relationship, then you’re probably going to need to take legal action against your spouse. There are several ways to do this, including suing your spouse or partner civilly or criminally, depending on the severity of their actions.

Child custody arrangements in a divorce

When it comes to determining how much parenting time each parent should receive after separating, two types of custody agreements are available: shared custody and sole custody.

In sole custody, the children live with one parent who has full parental rights and the authority to make both day-to-day decisions and major decisions for their welfare.

In shared custody, the children live equally with both parents who share joint decision-making to raise their children.

In split parenting, the siblings have been separated, and each parent has one or more of the children.

Information for Adult Interdependent Partners who are separating in Alberta

If you’re an unmarried couple planning to separate, you might wonder how the divorce and separation rules in Alberta apply to your adult interdependent relationship.  On January 1, 2020, property division laws changed in Alberta for people living in common-law relationships.  This means that adult interdependent partners now have the same property division rules and protection as married couples.

Contact us for more information

In order to protect yourself and minimize mistakes in this often delicate process, it’s important to seek out professional legal advice early on. At the Chahal Raj Law, we understand how stressful divorces can be, especially when children are involved. We offer compassionate guidance throughout every step of the process.   Contact Us today to set up a no-obligation consultation with a family lawyer in our office.

Request Initial Consultation

Contact our law office to schedule an initial consultation to get experienced legal help with Divorce and Separation legal services.

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The first step is to meet with a lawyer.  Start today by requesting an initial consultation with a lawyer at Chahal Raj Law.

For faster service, please call (780) 447-2799 

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Chahal Raj Law is a law firm based in Edmonton, Alberta, which serves clients throughout Alberta.  We specialize in Real Estate transactions, Commercial Transactions, Immigration Law and Family Law.

Our law firm strives to provide our clients with professional, competent, responsive and affordable service. At Chahal Raj Law, we go above and beyond to look out for the best interest of our clients. Your lawyer will be accessible to you at all times via phone, text or email.

Sukhjeevan Chahal

Swati Raj

Chahal Raj Law
Unit #114, 9704-39 Ave NW,
Edmonton AB T6E 6M7

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Phone: (780) 447-2799

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