Understanding Calgary Divorce Law: Part 5
December 3, 2015
Our goal at GDE Family Law, one of Calgary's leading divorce and family law firms is to make the legal process of a divorce as simple, transparent, and easy as possible. We know that this is a time of incredible emotional stress and uncertainty for our clients, and we strive to give them the information and representation they need to feel empowered and in control.
This article series is part of that effort. Previous instalments have outlined the basic grounds for divorce allowed under Canada's Divorce Act—the necessary components to begin a divorce proceeding—and noted filing with a Calgary-area court is necessary to begin the official process of a divorce proceeding (keeping in mind that a lawyer can help you determine which forms are necessary and can even file them for you). Little has been said about the actual process of a divorce itself, though, and this article will begin to correct that.
Please bear in mind that every case is unique, and the specifics you read about here might not apply directly to your case. For many of the Calgary divorce cases we handle, though, this information is highly relevant.
Understanding Alternative Dispute Resolution in Your Calgary Divorce
Very rarely is a divorce truly friendly on both sides, but it's in everyone's interest to keep a divorce as smooth and amicable as possible. While an adversarial court proceeding is inevitable in some cases, many Calgary divorces can be settled via alternative dispute resolution instead. When possible, the ADR process is much less stressful and leads to a much faster conclusion while ensuring a fair outcome for all parties.
During alternative dispute resolution, you and your spouse will sit down with a neutral advisor or mediator who will attempt to bring you to agreements concerning the division of your property and assets, as well as custody and visitation arrangements if there are children involved. This is not marriage counseling or couples therapy, but rather a place to discuss the practicalities of the divorce in a safe space with a professional in the room to keep tempers down and the discussion on track.
You are also entitled and in fact encouraged to have a lawyer present during the ADR sessions—the ADR facilitator will attempt to secure a fair outcome for both parties, while your lawyer acts as an advocate specifically for your interests. You are always entitled to have someone in your corner who knows the law, understands the technicalities involved, and will make sure your rights are protected. If ADR succeeds, as it usually does when both spouses agree to it with a real desire to move forward, you'll find the divorce process far less costly and emotionally draining than you might have been led to believe.
Contact a Leading Calgary Divorce Lawyer Today
If you are ready to start a divorce proceeding, or have any questions about filing for divorce in Calgary or going through the ADR process, please give our office a call for a no-obligation consultation. Divorce is stressful enough—you don't have to go through it alone!
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