Everything You Need to Know about Divorce in Alberta – Part 1

Sometimes, couples drift apart from each other and end their relationship for many reasons. Going through the divorce process isn’t easy and can even be a painful experience for both parties. Before going through this process, you should know what it entails to get divorced and what your legal rights and responsibilities are. This article should help by answering some of the most commonly asked questions about divorce.

1. When Can I Legally Get Divorced?

You can get divorced in Alberta when you and your spouse have no children under the age of 24 and have lived separately for at least a year. In Alberta, there are only two grounds for divorce, and one of them is having lived separately for one year. To be legally separated, you need to have physically and voluntarily separated. This means that you and your spouse must have physically moved out of the home and are not likely to go back to the same home again.

There are a few exceptions to getting a divorce in Alberta. There are couples who remain legally separated even though they live together. In this case, they can’t apply for divorce unless they have lived apart for a year and a day. Also, there are couples who are separated and get back together again after having lived separately, but they were not legally separated. If they remain separated for one year, they can then apply for divorce.

2. I Want a Divorce, But My Spouse Doesn’t Want To. Is It Still Possible to File for a Divorce?

Yes, it is still possible to file for a divorce. You need to understand that the divorce process is not something that can be stopped, and you need to continue with it. However, you do need to speak with your spouse and find out whether they will sign the divorce papers or not. If you and your spouse don’t agree with the divorce, you will have to go to your court hearing and prove to the judge that a divorce is necessary.

3. How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in Alberta?

It is impossible to determine the exact amount of your divorce lawyer costs because you will be asked to pay these in installments. This means that the amount you need to pay today may differ from the amount you will pay in case of a trial. Also, the cost of hiring a divorce lawyer varies widely. To get a good divorce lawyer, you should be ready to pay around $1,000 to $2,000 as a retainer. Then, you will be required to pay extra for your divorce lawyer for any additional work that he does for you.

4. Do Fathers Have the Same Parental Rights as Mothers Following a Divorce?

Yes, fathers have the same parental rights as mothers following a divorce. This means that fathers have the right to have their children live with them and the right to have a say in their child’s decisions. However, you need to be aware that a father’s rights are not as great as it is in the case of a marriage. This is because, in the case of separation, mothers have more power and authority over the child.

Fathers also have to provide financial and emotional support to their children as well as take active parts in their lives. This means that you need to pay child support and maintain a relationship with your child.

5. How Long Does a Divorce Take?

The length of time it takes to get a divorce depends on various factors. It depends on whether your case is contested or not, whether you and your spouse want to keep the divorce out of the public eye and what kind of divorce you want. The length of time it takes for a divorce can range from a few months to about a year on average. However, in some cases, it may take even longer to get a divorce.


When you’re getting a divorce, you need to know that the process can be confusing and lengthy. To ensure that you’re getting a fair and just divorce, you need to work with a divorce lawyer. By reading the above article, you should now have enough basic knowledge about getting a divorce.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed going through all the legalities of divorce, then having a divorce mediation specialist you can rely on can help a lot. This is exactly what Alberta Divorce Finances does for you. We help you understand the full range of your financial options as well as the implications of your divorce case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.