Understanding Calgary Divorce Law: Part 1

November 2, 2015

Understanding Calgary Divorce Law: Part 1

We at GDE Family Law do our best to serve those in and around the Greater Calgary Area during some of the most difficult times of their lives. Divorce is never easy, but we strive to make the process as simple, straightforward, and stress-free as possible, allowing you and your family to move on to the next phase of your lives quickly and with a strong foundation to build on.

As part of our commitment to our clients and the citizens of Calgary, we'll be regularly publishing information here on our website that explains the law and procedures you'll encounter during a divorce. This general information is not meant as specific legal advice for any particular situation or individual, but is meant to help everyone understand the basics of Calgary divorces and what you may experience in your own unique divorce case.

Canada's Divorce Act is the Foundation of Calgary Divorce Law
The Divorce Act (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/D-3.4/FullText.html), entered into Canadian law in 1985, still stands as the foundation for divorce throughout all provinces, including Alberta. There are other laws, including case law—precedents set in other court decisions, rather than laws established through direct legislation—that have an impact on specific elements of certain divorces, but they all rest on the foundation of the Divorce Act.

Section 8 of the Act is is the start of the law that is most relevant to most Calgary citizens involved in a divorce proceeding, defining the legal grounds to seek a divorce:

    8. (1) A court of competent jurisdiction may, on application by either or both spouses, grant a divorce to the spouse or spouses on the ground that there has been a breakdown of their marriage.

    (2) Breakdown of a marriage is established only if

    (a) the spouses have lived separate and apart for at least one year immediately preceding the determination of the divorce proceeding and were living separate and apart at the commencement of the proceeding; or

    (b) the spouse against whom the divorce proceeding is brought has, since celebration of the marriage,

    (i) committed adultery, or

    (ii) treated the other spouse with physical or mental cruelty of such a kind as to render intolerable the continued cohabitation of the spouses.

In short, a legal divorce can only be sought in the Calgary courts following a separation of at least a year, or if adultery or cruelty has taken place. Separation is by far the most common cause cited in Calgary divorces for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the difficulty that can be encountered in proving adultery or cruelty in a contested divorce.

Even if other causes exist, it can be simpler to separate prior to finalizing a divorce—the proceedings can be started during the period of separation, and the divorce can be finalized shortly after the year of separation has passed.

We'll take a deeper look at each of the legal grounds for divorce in future articles, so if you have further questions please keep reading.

Get Help Filing for Your Calgary Divorce

The law isn't always simple, and a divorce is stressful enough without the paperwork. Contact the experienced [Calgary divorce lawyers] at GDE Family Law today—we can help you understand the process, and take care of much of it for you.

This entry was tagged Divorce Law and posted on November 2, 2015

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