A desk divorce can be obtained without having to appear in front of a justice. It is cost-effective. AND it is called a “Desk Divorce”.
Ask yourself the following questions first:
- Do you have grounds for divorce? i.e. Have you been separated for more than a year?
- Have you or has your spouse been a resident of Alberta for at least one year?
- Do you have any minor children?
- Will your divorce be contested or uncontested?
Divorce in Canada is governed by a federal statute called the Divorce Act. The most important question to answer is how long you have been separated from your spouse? The MAGIC number is 1 year or longer. You must have been living separate and apart from your spouse for at least 1 year before you can proceed for a divorce.
DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR SPOUSE IS?
Once the Statement of Claim is filed, you have to serve your spouse with the initial divorce pleadings. Don’t worry if you are unable to locate your spouse, there are ways to find out & we are happy to assist with the alternative methods of service.
DO YOU HAVE THE MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE?
If you were married outside of Canada, an official marriage certificate will be useful.
If you were married in Canada, you will need the marriage certificate from the province which issued the marriage certificate. If you don’t have a copy, you can easily order the marriage certificate from a registry.
WHERE ARE THE FORMS?
The last step is to visit the Alberta Courts at the following address to get a list of the Divorce Forms. The forms can only be completed if the divorce is uncontested, there are no minor children, and you have been separated for at least one year.
You can obtain your own desk divorce package at the following Government of Alberta website
If you require any assistance in filing out the forms, you can contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Statement of Claim of Divorce has to be filed first. You can file the Statement of Claim at the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.
The most affordable and practical method for obtaining an uncontested divorce is to do it yourself. However, make sure that you get legal advice if any of the following issues are contested: matrimonial property, spousal support and child support and or custody/access.
Date of Article: March 28, 2017
Prepared By: Sadaf Raja, Barrister & Solicitor