How To File a Divorce in Calgary? A Step-by-step Guide


Proceeding through a divorce can be one of the hardest decisions you’ve made in life. It impacts two lives in many ways, but at the same time, there are times where you need to consider one. This is exactly when you need to know about filing a divorce, and divorce lawyer Calgary are the most experienced people to help you in this struggle. 

At family lawyer Calgary, we have a group of trusted and experienced divorce lawyers that are ready to stay by your side throughout the whole process and defend your case.

The federal Divorce Act governs all procedures for divorce cases in Canada. However, regulating the divorce cases, completing the procedures and organizing the documents is different in each province. You can get more information about this from your official province website or a divorce lawyer.

Divorce Filing Process in Calgary, Canada

Step 1

Make up your mind about considering a divorce and living separately from your spouse.

Step 2

Every divorce application starts with a document known as the ‘Statement of Claim’ for filing a divorce. You can also bring up a second document called the ‘Statement of Claim for Divorce and Division of Matrimonial Property, which will help separate the property alongside your divorce proceedings.

The application forms are different in each province. So it is essential to collect and go through your provincial rules before considering divorce. You can obtain the correct form via your lawyer, the court office, or the family law information center near you.

Step 3

Identifying the cause of the separation or divorce is the next most important thing for considering a divorce. Is it a no-fault or for fault divorce?

Here are some common grounds for divorce:

  1. You and your spouse have been living separately for 1 year or more.
  2. Your spouse has committed adultery
  3. Your spouse was cruel – physically and mentally

Point 1 falls under the case of no-fault divorce, while points 2 and 3 falls under fault divorces. In either case, you and your spouse should consider a lawyer to agree on the responsibilities (in case of children) and settlements (in case of property). And also take help for the matters that could not be settled mutually.

Step 4

Ascertaining the type of divorce is important because you need to mention this in your document. Is it an uncontested or contested divorce?

  1. An uncontested divorce is where both partners agree to the terms and conditions of the divorce. In such cases, you can proceed for separation with just one application.
  2. A contested divorce is where the spouses disagree on the terms and agreements of the divorce, in which case and both partners are required to submit the documents separately.

Step 5

If you share children with your spouse, then you’re required to include a separate outline about your parenting preference, child support, and other matters in the document, which shall be reviewed in court.

In a contested divorce, the matters shall be settled in court, but you have to provide an outline of all the mutual agreements about child parenting between you and your wife in case of an uncontested application.

Step 6

Filing for a divorce with the help of a lawyer is a smart decision as he/she can help you when you need help for settlement on unresolved issues. The rules and regulations are slightly different in each province, and so it should be in your best interest to hire a lawyer who can walk you through the whole process.

The Statement of Claim is an official document, and so, there is a filing fee of $260.00 that has to be paid to the court. 

Step 7

As soon as you file a Statement of Claim for Divorce at the courthouse, it shall be served to the defendant (your spouse). In a divorce, the plaintiff is the person who starts the divorce application process(you), and the partner becomes the defendant. It’s important to remember that the statement must be delivered to the spouse by anyone except yourself, i.e., your friend, family, relative, or anyone else.

Step 8

In response to the divorce papers, the defendant has 20 days to respond to the papers from the day it has been served. If he/she lives outside of the province but inside Canada, then he/she gets 2 months to respond to the claim. 

During this time, wait patiently until your papers are cleared from the Divorce Registry. You need to follow the protocols of the divorce as stated by the court. If the defendant chooses to respond, then he/she will file for an application and submit it to the court.

Step 9

Suppose the defendant chooses not to respond within the 20-day time. In that case, you can proceed with the divorce by yourself by submitting your Affidavit for Divorce, the Divorce order, and the Clerk’s certificate.

Step 9

The Clerk should submit all the documents to the lawyer for review. After verifying the documents, the judge will issue you a Divorce Order. This usually takes about 4-6 weeks.

Step 10

After the 30 days is over, you will receive a Certificate for Divorce, which officially terminates your marriage and thus allows you to remain separated. Alternatively, you can also get committed to someone else legally after the divorce.

In Conclusion

When you’re filing for a divorce, it’s essential to have a lawyer by your side not to make irrelevant mistakes, hence the unwanted trouble. Besides, many people in Canada have issues regarding child support, property matters, and the divorce process. This is where we specialize as divorce lawyers. Find a reliable child custody attorney Fort Worth or Calgary who will help you in the best way to ensure that the rights of you, your children, and your assets are well-protected.