Divorce Lawyers in Strathmore, AB, Guiding You Through Tough Times
Relationship separation is difficult to manage before you get into the legal aspects. And when adding the legalities, it can be overwhelming. The property must be divided between two people, any bank account the couple shared must be divided, and many other forms of business between the two will have to be sorted before the process can end.
Within the proceedings, having a lawyer present as a third party that can help you understand your rights and give legal advice and information that can help the division go smoothly can help individuals sort the matter calmly.
What are My Options to End My Marriage?
Marriage is a legal contract between two individuals, just as any contract in the eyes of the law. And when any legal agreement is broken or dissolved, it must go through the proper process according to the law of the province where the marriage was formed. A lawyer will walk their clients through which approach most fits their individual needs.
There are several ways to separate married individuals or those residing in a domestic partnership in Alberta:
1. Dissolution: Dissolution of Marriage, more commonly known as divorce, is the most type of marriage separation. By dissolving the marriage contract, both partners end all legal bonds with each other. Neither is required to support one another further (unless ruled by a judge), and each regains their rights to further marriage contracts.
2. Legal Separation: Being legally separated does not end a marriage or partnership. Instead, any account, property, or other assets the couple shares are split or divided. Each partner chooses property, and any shared child must choose with which parent they want to reside. While legally separated, you can’t ask the court to order any debt, ownership, custody, or support division; and you cannot marry another person.
3. Annulment/Nullity: If a judge, court, or lawyer proves that the marriage was not legal in the first place, this is known as an annulment.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Alberta?
The separation of a marriage may be an uncontested process. In this case, the issues of:
- custody of any shared child or children
- parenting access
- spousal or partner support
have been settled.
If not, or the matter of a statement of claim for legal separation is being levied by one partner, Albertan law states that there are three grounds for divorce:
◦ When both spouses have lived separately without prolonged contact for more than a year
◦ When a person has sex with someone outside of the will of their spouse
◦ Adultery is proven through evidence or by an affidavit by the person who made illicit contact outside of the marriage has been shown
◦ When one spouse commits an act of physical or mental cruelty, including:
▪ constant verbal abuse
▪ excessive drug use
How Do I Start the Process of Marriage Separation?
Before you permanently dissolve a marriage, it is strongly recommended that you review the grounds on which the separation is founded, contact a lawyer for legal advice, understand your rights under Albertan law, and prepare any child or children you may have with the other person for the drastic change in their support system.
If you were married outside of Alberta, you could not file legal documents to start a case until you have lived in Alberta for at least one year. After that, you may file for any form of marriage separation or separation of the property via an exclusive possession order and file for a statement of claim at your local court. If you do not have a lawyer, you can find the support of a local lawyer by calling and making an appointment with a lawyer at Getz Collins and Associates at 403-934-2500.