DIVORCE LAW 101: Where Do We Go From Here?

Posted by heritagelawoffices on Feb 18, 2016 in Blog, Divorce Law, Family Law

Two separate wedding rings next to the word "divorce"Divorce can be an unpleasant chapter of life, but it does not have to be. Once the decision is made, there is normal sequence of events dictated by Alberta law. You can review the steps below, but be sure to contact Heritage Law as early as possible. Our family law experts can help guide you through this difficult time.


In order to be eligible for a divorce, you must be an “ordinary resident” of Alberta. Definitions can vary, but the terms usually include residence in the province for at least a year. Consult with a lawyer here at Heritage if you are unsure about your status.


“Grounds” is the legal reason for the divorce– in Alberta, they include: cruelty, adultery and separation for at least one year. Proof may be required, but your best interest is always at stake with service from Heritage Law.


Next, go to your local Courthouse and ask for a “Statement of Claim for Divorce.” You or a hired representative must then serve this document to your spouse. Lawyers and process servers are handy tools for estranged spouses.


In Alberta, spouses that have been served with divorce papers have twenty days to respond to the claim. Claims can be appealed, expedited or set aside for special circumstances. Even the waiting period can be shortened in special circumstances.


Once filed, a Justice will receive and review the documents. In most cases, the divorce is approved and a signed certificate arrives in approximately 31 days. This certificate is the final step and the official, legal recognition of your divorce.

The list above is just an outline of the full divorce proceedings here in Alberta. Lawyers representing both parties should review and advise on all cases– whether or not your divorce is amicable. Protect your interests and know your rights by contacting or visiting Heritage Law today!