Divorce in Alberta: Filling the Papers

Table of contents

Separation and divorce can bring up a lot of questions. Since 2006, Fairway has been helping clients through this significant transition, and our mediators have seen it all. You'll find answers to frequently asked questions, definitions of important legal terms, samples of important documents, and helpful advice for navigating the divorce and separation process below. If you have any further inquiries or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our mediators, please contact the location that is most convenient for you.

When can I start the divorce process, and what do I need to do first?

The divorce process typically includes the execution of a separation agreement. In the absence of assets or children, it is unusual for one spouse to file for divorce before the other has signed a separation agreement. All the decisions you and your spouse have made, whether by mutual agreement or court order, should be recorded in a separation agreement. Divorce agreements typically cover four main areas: property division, spousal support, child support, and parenting responsibilities.

In Alberta, where can I find a sample separation agreement?

The separation agreement is the result of your discussions with your spouse. The terms of your separation agreement can be settled in a number of ways.

  1. Both you and your partner can take the conventional route and seek the help of attorneys in your legal battle.
  2. If you and your partner are completely in sync on all fronts, you can do it on your own.
  3. You may also opt to use an ADR service (alternative dispute resolution). Because of the 2021 amendments to the Divorce Act, which mandate alternative dispute resolution, which may include mediation unless it is inappropriate (ex. Situations involving family violence) Divorce in Canada is governed by clear laws, and most families decide it's not worth the hassle to fight over custody or child support with an attorney. In accordance with the new Divorce Act, mediation is encouraged as a first resort even in high-asset, high-conflict divorces. For more information on how to get started, contact your local Fairway.

In Alberta, how do I go about getting a divorce?

It may take the court in Alberta two to three months to finalize a divorce. Because of this, we can:

  • It is now time for the court to have Ottawa issue a certificate of finalization of a divorce.
  • The Length of Any Delays
  • Having to wait around for the courts to finalize a divorce

Divorce petitions can be filed in two ways: by the individual seeking a divorce or by a service hired for that purpose.

  • If you and your spouse want to file for divorce without the help of a lawyer, you can do so by getting the necessary paperwork from the courthouse, filling it out jointly, and then filing it. It seems easy at first. The forms, however, become more involved for married couples who share assets, a financial support system, and children.
  • A divorce attorney will charge you more money, but they will handle all the paperwork and court appearances for you.

What does Divorce in Alberta cost?

In Alberta, divorcing couples must pay roughly $260 in court fees. All necessary divorce paperwork will be submitted to the King's Bench clerk.

A Guide for People Representing Themselves in Alberta Family Court

If the spouses are unable to mediate or negotiate on their own, and neither wants to hire an attorney to represent them, it is not uncommon for them to represent themselves in a matrimonial dispute. When someone represents themselves in court, they are essentially representing only themselves.

Law and Family: Representing Yourself in Family Court

How to File an Application in Alberta Courts is outlined here. Family Law Self-Representation

The term "common law" is often misunderstood. Instead of "common law marriage," Alberta uses the term "adult interdependent relationships" (AIR).

Legal Aspects of Families, Cohabitation, and Adult Dependent Partnerships

What Makes an Adult Dependent Relationship in Alberta? Dependent Adult Friendships

Even if one parent does not share in the physical care of the child or children, he or she still has a duty to provide financial support for them under the Family Law Act. A child has a right to financial support from both parents.

Support payments are due to the custodial parent when the child is not living with them both. Most of the time, the parent with the higher income will be the one to fork over child support if the child splits time evenly between themselves and the other parent.

Where can I find Alberta's child support guidelines?

For the purpose of determining child support, Alberta follows the federal guidelines. For the purpose of establishing child support obligations, the courts use specific rules, which are reflected in these guidelines.

The amounts are determined by the payer's yearly income and the number of dependent children. Different provinces have different formulas, so here is Alberta's table for figuring out aid.

What factors into Alberta's child support formula?

If you need to determine how much child support to pay each month, you can use the federal guidelines. The child support calculator can help you figure out how much money you owe or are owed in a hurry.

In what percentage of one's annual income does child support begin to be levied?

If you want to use the Federal Tables to determine the correct child support amount, you'll need to know the paying parent's annual income. Income used for child support purposes in Alberta may differ from taxable income. This Detailed Guide will help you learn more about figuring out your earnings.

The table amount in the Federal Child Support Guidelines is established by taking into account the following factors:

Explain the relationship between the Universal Child Care Benefit and child support.

The Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) is provided to Alberta parents. This UCCB payment is made to the custodial parent following a divorce or legal separation. Income thresholds do not always account for the Universal Child Care Benefit. The following situations prevent this benefit from being counted as income:

  • You're figuring out how much each parent should contribute to one-off costs.
  • The Universal Child Care Benefit recipient's child has unique costs that must be covered.

When do people in Alberta legally become adults?

In Alberta, the age of majority is 18.

When it comes to child support, why does Alberta have its own set of rules in addition to the federal ones?

Parents who don't use the Divorce Act aren't eligible for help under the federal child support guidelines. It's preferable to ensure that all kids are given the same treatment when it comes to child support. To cover situations where the Divorce Act might not apply, the Alberta Guidelines were drafted and included in the Family Law Act.

Children, the Law, and Parenting Arrangements

This booklet provides information on parenting time, child custody, and the definition of an Adult Interdependent Relationship in Alberta. Parental Rights & Responsibilities in Custody & Raising of Minor Children

Payments made to a former spouse in Alberta to help with their day-to-day expenses are known as spousal support.

When an order for spousal support can be made in Alberta

One definition of an "Adult Interdependent Relationship" is a romantic partnership in which two adults depend on one another.

  • For a period of three years; or
  • If you are in an AIP (Adult Interdependent Partnership) that has lasted less than three years;
  • If you plan to start a family within the next three years, for less than that time.

The spousal support provisions of the Divorce Act (Canada) will be applied by the court if a divorce involves a request for such payments by one or both parties. If the following conditions are met, the court will order spousal support under the Family Law Act:

  • After being in an AIR for some time, both parties are now seeking spousal support; or
  • Once married, the couple has yet to file for divorce.

There are some key distinctions between these two statutes.

To what end is spousal maintenance paid?

The purposes of a spousal support order are outlined in both the Divorce Act (Canada) and the Family Law Act (Alberta). In order to achieve these goals, we must:

  • Take into account the financial gains or losses that each partner experienced during the marriage or as a result of the divorce.
  • Child-related expenses beyond child support must be split evenly between the parents.
  • Help alleviate the financial strain that the divorce may have placed on the former partners.
  • As much as is possible, it is advisable to push for spouses to become financially independent as soon as possible.

Both laws state that neither party's misconduct may be used to determine whether or not spousal support should be awarded, or what the amount of support should be.

How do I determine the correct amount of child support?

Spousal support obligations and payments can be calculated with the help of the Support Advisory Guidelines. The guidelines factor in the combined income of both partners, the number of children in the household, and the length of the marriage.

MySupportCalculator.ca is an online calculator that can help you determine how much financial support you may be eligible to receive in Canada.

Is it possible to enforce the spousal support order in Alberta?

Parties can enroll in the Alberta Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) once a spousal support agreement has been reached. Government programs like MEP can help ensure that spousal support payments are made and received. To sign up for the Alberta MEP, please click here.

Helping to establish Advisory Principles.

The Law and Family Support Funds

This pamphlet provides information about financial support, including the child and spousal support laws in Alberta. PDF Offering Monetary Help

Each Canadian province has its own set of laws governing the equitable distribution of marital assets. Please note that the content you are viewing is region-specific and is therefore intended only for viewers in Alberta.

If you and your spouse or adult interdependent partner in Alberta divorce on or after January 1, 2020, the Family Property Act will govern your assets. Matrimonial Property Act applies to those who were married and legally separated on or before December 31, 2019.

What kinds of things do Albertans consider to be part of their families?

With a few exceptions, all property and debts acquired during a marriage or cohabitation (depending on the applicable legislation in your situation) in Alberta are considered matrimonial or family property.

All of the following are included in this category:

  • Vehicles
  • RRSP’s
  • Financial security in old age
  • Financial records
  • Protection plans
  • Wedding abodes
  • Amusement park equipment
  • Investments

Debts like these are also included:

  • Financial aid via plastic
  • Using Credit Lines
  • Mortgages
  • Paying with plastic
  • Income tax

How does Alberta's division of property work?

Unless it would be immoral to do so, couples in Alberta should divide the property's value evenly. For example, if one spouse keeps an asset and the other does not, the spouse who does not keep the asset will receive an amount equal to half of the asset's value.

Is there any property in Alberta that is not considered marital or family property?

Certain items are not considered "matrimonial" in Alberta and are not subject to division. Such things may include:

  • Financial resources each partner brought to the marriage or cohabitation
  • Inheritances
  • Presents bought specifically for one recipient
  • Compensation for injuries sustained in accidents
  • Insurance money that doesn't come from the at-fault party to compensate a single victim's loss

However, merely because a spouse has been the recipient of one or more of these does not render them exempt. There are many variables to consider, such as

  • Its current market value, if you will.
  • For cases where the item's value has dropped
  • In the event of a sale,
  • How the funds were used, including whether or not they were invested in a joint asset,

In Alberta, how is a pension divided?

According to the Matrimonial and Family Property Act, pensions are considered separate property. Private pensions (obtained through employment) and the Canada Pension Plan are the two main categories of retirement savings plans. When a marriage ends, a pension may be divided in accordance with statute.

Topics in Family Law Including Property Division

This pamphlet explains Alberta's property division laws and is useful for anyone experiencing a breakup. Separation of Property Form

When compared to going through the courts, divorce mediation is both faster and cheaper. The Divorce Act requires the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques, such as mediation, arbitration, or collaborative law, when a couple is having marital problems. You and your spouse, with the assistance of a neutral third party like Fairway, will sit down together or apart to work out an agreement covering all aspects of your divorce, from property division and spousal support to parental decision making. Divorce mediation can be either open or closed. Unlike closed mediation, open mediation can be discussed publicly. As a rule, mediations within families are private.

Collaboration is essential for successful mediation of divorce. The mediator guides the discussion and keeps it moving so that all issues are discussed. But he or she won't give you the rundown on the law Because of this, before signing any legally binding agreement, it is recommended that both parties consult with their own independent lawyers.

A legally binding separation agreement can be filed with the court after a divorce mediation session where a non-binding written agreement was reached during the mediation. Similar to obtaining a court order, this one can be used to force compliance.

Cooperation is crucial in divorce mediation, which can be difficult. However, many very contentious couples and financially complex families have benefited from our proprietary process, which involves multiple professionals, in order to reach a fair and equitable settlement. To save time and money, divorcing couples should try to settle their differences through mediation whenever possible.

Handles divorce cases, including claims for spousal and child support, custody, and visitation. The United States Government's Legal Separation Act


Laws pertaining to families in Alberta

The Act is a component of the Alberta Justice's Family Law Strategy, which seeks to establish a family law system that is accessible, efficient, and beneficial to the health of all Albertans, especially children and their families. The Family Law Act of Alberta

To ensure a just and equitable division of property upon divorce, the MPA was created. The MPA is premised on the idea that marital assets and liabilities should be divided equitably. Child support, spousal support, and support for domestic partners is collected and enforced by the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP). Law Enforcing Maintenance Obligations

Do you think you might enjoy playing on Fairway? Contact us so that we may assist you in determining your best course of action. In only 30 minutes, you can gain perspective.

One of our senior divorce mediators is available for a no-cost initial consultation with potential clients. They will talk to you about what you're going through and what you're looking for from our services so that they can recommend the right one for you. A swift conclusion is possible with our team's mediation, financial advice, and litigation support. Maintain your sense of agency and mastery over your life's trajectory, resources, and liberation.

You should call us first, before you contact an attorney.

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