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Separating from your spouse can be confusing and scary due to the unexpected course the divorce can take.  If you are planning to divorce in Edmonton, Canada there are certain steps you must take to end the relationship.  If you decide to separate from one another and end the relationship, you must be separated for at least one year to obtain a divorce.  Since each divorce is different it’s important to understand the proceedings.

Why File for Divorce?

There are waivers towards the one-year requirement in Edmonton in the event your spouse was abusive, committed adultery, or is physically or mentally abusive. Adultery happens when a married person has an affair with someone that is not their spouse.  If filing for divorce on grounds of adultery, you must prove it took places such as providing evidence or an affidavit by the spouse who committed adultery.  Cruelty is another reason why some spouses file for divorce.  Cruelty occurs when the other spouse is violent, and verbally abusive including insults or threats, drunk or excessive drug use.  A family law lawyer can help guide you in the process including the distribution of property and debts, spousal support, child support, and custody and visitation rights if there are children involved.

How to file for divorce in Edmonton Alberta

If you still wish to proceed with divorcing your spouse, there are certain steps to take.  There is the opportunity to represent yourself or hire a lawyer for a divorce. It is strongly recommended to hire a lawyer as they are familiar with the law and can help you with the process.  Ensure you have been living in the province for at least one year.  This is a requirement before divorce proceedings can occur.  Filing a Statement of Claim for Divorce with the Clerk of Court of Queen’s Bench and paying the filing fee of $200 will start the divorce process.

Why Do I Need to Fill Out the Statement of Claim?

When filling out the Statement of Claim, you must provide the reason for divorce.  You must provide any details about you and your spouse as well as any agreements you have made regarding the division of property, custody agreements, or spousal and child support.  In the event you cannot agree with your spouse regarding any division or property, this will be decided by the court.  A lawyer can assist with filing a claim for property division to include custody and financial support.  After all the paperwork is complete and submitted to the court, you must serve a copy to your spouse.  Your spouse must know you have filed for divorce, you can hand the notice to your spouse or have them served, mailing of documents is not allowed as the spouse could potentially claim they did not receive it.  Your spouse has forty days to respond to the claim, if your spouse is located outside the country or province, the time to respond will be set by the court.

Who Needs to Take a Course

As stressful as separation and divorce may be, there may be courses each person needs to take prior to the divorce being finalized.  In the event children are involved, parents and guardians may be required by the judge to take impact classes to help build relationships, how separating affects parents and children, build communication skills, parenting plans and identify any legal issues.  The course can be completed online through the Resolution Services Learning Centre.

But What if the Divorce is Uncontested

If your spouse doesn’t contest the filing, which means they agree with the divorce and stipulations, there will not be a court hearing.  The spouse can file a demand of notice which means they do not object to the claim and agree with the Statement of Claim for Divorce.  Your spouse also has the option to not do anything and just wait for the court to handle the divorce.  The court will review all the paperwork, make necessary adjustments, and ensure any children involved are taken care of and receive the correct support according to Child Support calculator Guidelines.  Each spouse needs to agree with the overall judgment and the judge needs to be satisfied with the stipulations prior to signing off on the order.  After 30 days, if you and your spouse do not wish to appeal to the court, the divorce will be finalized on day 31.


Divorce can be stressful and heartbreaking however it’s important to contact a lawyer in the event you divorce Edmonton.  A good family law lawyer will assist you with understanding the divorce law in Edmonton and try to assist with a smooth process.  Kolinsky Law’s local divorce attorney will help you understand what to expect during the divorce process and can potentially help you file the paperwork and prepare you for divorce.