Trusted Divorce Lawyers in Edmonton
Forum Law’s dedicated family and divorce lawyers have more than 60 years representing clients in various legal proceedings.
If you’re filing for divorce in Edmonton, it’s essential you retain the legal services of an attorney who is familiar with the process and laws in Canada to ensure the best possible outcome for your situation. We invite you to contact us for a free 15-minute phone conversation to discuss your situation.
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What is family law?
Any legal matters involving parents, children, and other family members are often contentious and complicated. Family law is dedicated to governing the relationships between parents, spouses, and their children. Due to differences in severity in various situations, marriage and divorce disputes are regulated by the federal jurisdiction, while provincial laws govern other categories such as matrimonial property disputes and adoption.
When you’re represented in a separation by our divorce lawyers, our team handles everything through the mediation and negotiation process. If your situation cannot be resolved outside of the court, we are prepared to represent you with our experience at all levels of court in Alberta, where we will vigorously advocate for you for the best possible outcome.
How does it work?
Or family lawyers represent our clients through mediation and negotiation. If your matter is unable to be resolved outside the court process, our lawyers have experience at all levels of court in Alberta where they will vigorously advocate to get the best possible outcome.
That’s why, we take the time to investigate alternative methods for the prompt disposition of legal actions that parties can utilize to obtain a final resolution to their disputes, including negotiated settlements, mediation, arbitration, Judicial Dispute Resolutions, or summary procedures.
How can our divorce lawyers help?
One of the biggest areas of focus for our firm is the family and divorce law. Because of the emotions and personal ties involved, it’s no surprise that it is a long, tiring, and stressful process for all parties involved. We are committed to being at your side throughout the proceedings, not only to provide legal advisement but for emotional support as well.
Since it can be long and expensive, we do what we can to find a fast resolution to disputes, including negotiated settlements, mediation, arbitration, Judicial Dispute Resolutions, or summary procedures.
The average cost for an advisor in Canada
The average family law trials costs an average of $10,000.00 – $15,000.00 per day! For trials that extend to 5 business days, you could be looking at a $75,000 bill. Put your trust in Forum Law, and we’ll fight tooth and nail to ensure your case goes off without a hitch and to give you the best case scenario.
The process of divorce
The first step in the divorce process is to ensure you qualify. Couples must be married for at least one year to file for a divorce. If you’ve been married for less than a year, you should seek an annulment. However, if you’ve been married for more than a year and qualify for a divorce, the first step is to pay a $260 fee to the Clerk of the Court of Queen’s Bench. After that, our divorce lawyers will guide you through the following additional steps:
STEP 1: Qualification
To first qualify for divorce, you must be married for at least one year. If you have been married for less than a year then you would qualify for a marriage annulment, not a divorce.
Seeking an annulment instead? Due to the process of marriage, the court system has a built-in safeguard to ensure that those seeking an annulment are doing so on ethical grounds. As a result, the individual seeking an annulment must prove to the court that it is on righteous grounds. Annulments will not be granted if you and your partner had previously lived together in the same household as husband and wife and typically show reluctance if children are involved.
STEP 2: Splitting of assets
If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement on which assets will be given to whom, you must file a matrimonial property action which will typically require the guidance of a lawyer due to the complexity of divorce cases.
STEP 3: Serving your spouse
Upon the filing of your claim, you must now serve a copy of the claim to your spouse. The reason for this is because legally, your spouse must know that you have started the process of divorce. Due to the severity of divorce, the claim MUST be served in person by an individual or yourself, you can hire a process server to serve the claim on your behalf if need be.
STEP 4: Waiting for a response
Now that your spouse has been served, they have 20 days to reply to the claim if they are located in your province, 1 month if they are in another province. Under the condition that your spouse is not located in Canada, they have two months to respond.
STEP 5: Contesting or agreeing to divorce
Contesting the divorce
In scenarios where your spouse disagrees with the divorce, they will legally be required to file a statement of defense. This document will entail their objections to your original claim such as parenting rights, spousal support or the division of assets. Your spouse may choose to file a counterclaim at this time.
Agreeing to divorce
If your spouse agrees to the divorce, they are choosing not to object to any of the terms in their statement of claim and are not contesting the divorce. From here on out, they will only be informed of the status of the divorce and there will be no court hearing. In some situations, your spouse may not respond at all and as a result you are able to file a noting in default document. In this scenario, the divorce will continue however they will have no involvement whatsoever.
STEP 6: Divorce judgement
If the judge believes that a divorce is qualified, they will grant a divorce judgment. While a judgment may be filed, child support, parenting rights and various other notions can continue to be changed throughout the court process.
STEP 7: Appealing the divorce
Under the conditions that either you or your spouse would like to appeal the divorce judgment, you are able to file a document called the notice of appeal. Please note that this must be done within 30 days of the divorce judgment.
STEP 8: Finalization
The divorce will be finalized 31 days after the court successfully grants the judgment (Unless special circumstances were granted during the divorce). At this stage, you can apply for a certificate of divorce if you require the document in the future.
Other services we provide
We understand that every case, and every family, is unique. As such, we use our breadth of knowledge and experience to best suit each clients’ individual needs.
A contested divorce is typically a long, expensive and difficult legal battle. These types of divorces are classified as “contested” as there is a dispute between the two parties involved. This dispute is typically regarding financial, custody, or child support issues.
An uncontested divorce is classified as a divorce that doesn’t require the other spouse’s approval. This type of divorce will initiate only if the spouses were legally married for less than 10 years, both individuals were legally separated for at least six months, neither spouse applied to dissolve the marriage and/or either spouse was convicted of a crime related to abuse.
Child custody definitively means when an individual has care and control of children. If you are currently in the process of separating from a spouse and have children, your custody rights will undeniably be among the most integral aspects that you will need to consider. Child custody decisions regarding the child’s education, medical issues and religion may also be up for discussion during this process.
Parental access describes the allotted duration that a parent has access to their child. Parental access can be split into four different categories: Sole Custody, Joint Custody, Shared Custody and Split Custody.
A “relocation” generally describes the parental time assigned to the respective individual will no longer work because of a move. For example, a parent moving from Alberta to British Columbia with their child would legally be classified as a “relocation” example.
The division of property can be funneled into two different categories: personal property and real estate property. Upon entering the negotiation stages of a divorce, the two parties involved in most cases will contend to claim as much of the assets that were once jointly shared. This division could include everything from pensions, sentimental items, personal vehicles, homes (Both recreation and vacation)
Family litigation can be associated with divorce but also includes post-divorce disputes or disputes between people who are not married but are in a relationship akin to marriage.
Upon the completion of the divorce process, a separation agreement is drawn up that serves as a legal contract between a couple. This legal document outlines the details of how the respective couple settled issues related to their separation.
Spousal support is the agreed on payment from one spouse to the other after they separate or divorce. Various factors contribute to whether or not a common-law spouse is entitled to spousal support and the exact amount they will be given ongoing.
Like spousal support, child support occurs when two parents agree to separate or divorce however in this scenario they share a child together. On some occasions, the spouses will agree on the amount the child will receive, however if there is a disagreement, the court can be asked to decide utilizing legal guidelines.
Get Help With the Family Law Divorce Process
Divorce and matters involving family law are not easy. At Forum Law , our divorce lawyers are committed to providing our clients with knowledgeable and compassionate representation through life’s most challenging times. If you need assistance with a family law matter or one of the other areas of law we practice, we invite you to contact our litigation lawyers for a free 15-minute phone consultation.