If you and your spouse (or common law spouse) have separated or plan to separate, you should see us about preparing a separation agreement. The agreement will set out, in writing, what you and your husband or wife have agreed to on such matters as child custody, maintenance and division of property. Once the agreement is signed by both parties, it is a legally binding contract and can be used in court if there is any future dispute. A separation agreement also serves as proof of the date of separation.
In June, 1986, the law in Canada, and likewise Calgary, was changed to make getting a divorce easier. You can now petition for divorce if you can prove one of the following three grounds: adultery, cruelty, or one-year separation. You cannot use your own adultery or cruelty as the ground for divorce; the adultery or cruelty must have been committed by your spouse. The vast majority of divorces proceed on the basis of one year separation. You can even start proceedings before one full year of separation and then obtain your divorce as soon as the full year has passed. A divorce lawyer, Calgary based, such as Wright Law can help this process go as smoothly as possible.
If there is no dispute between you and your spouse as to division of property, payment of support, or child custody and access, you can go ahead with an uncontested divorce. We will start by preparing the Petition for Divorce. The Petition is then filed in court and served on your spouse. If you do not know the whereabouts of your spouse, we can obtain a court order allowing us to serve the Petition on some other relative, or by advertisement.
If you have not previously signed a Separation Agreement, you should consider preparing a written agreement at the same time you obtain your divorce. Minutes of Settlement will spell out in detailed written form all the issues arising on a divorce. Some of these items, such as division of property, are not part of a divorce judgment. Minutes of Settlement will make certain and final all these outstanding issues so they will not be a problem in the future.
In an uncontested divorce, it is not necessary for you to appear in Court. If there are no complications, your divorce should take about three to four months from the time your spouse is served the Petition.
Sometimes, it just isn’t possible to settle all your differences with your husband or wife. Disputes often arise as to how your assets are to be divided, how much support should be paid, or who will get custody of the children. In these circumstances you may have to go to court to get what you are entitled to receive.
We can inform you of your rights. We will tell you how strong your case is, what the procedures are, how long they take, and approximately how much your case will cost. We can then assist you throughout the entire process.
More and more, couples who have decided to marry or live together are having their divorce lawyers prepare written contracts. They realize that many matters are best settled before problems arise. A marriage contract or cohabitation agreement can deal with such issues as ownership of property, payment of support, and the upbringing of children.
Our policy is to provide you with complete fee information before we start any legal work for you. For many types of family law matters, we charge a flat rate. Our fees are very competitive with other Calgary rates, and are set out in the price lists available at our office or here on our: