Family law in Alberta: Does divorce need to happen in court?

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Family Law on Monday, January 15, 2018.

As the old song goes, breaking up is hard to do. It would be even harder if the couple getting a divorce had to attend court sessions. That is not the case today in Alberta thanks to provisions in family law in Canada.

Divorce is connected to family law, though if cases do head to court, they aren’t heard by a family law judge. The Divorce Act in Canada is under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Divorces, therefore, are heard in federal court. In Alberta, that means the Court of King’s Bench. 

Being in the technological age, many documents can be filled out and filed online. Most traditional divorces can be taken care of by paperwork, so attending court is not necessary if everything is pretty straightforward. In some instances, however, issues can’t always be ironed out — things like custody of children, spousal support or child support. Evidence, in these cases, will have to go before a judge. But if the divorcing couple agrees to all terms, a Request for Divorce document (without oral evidence) can be filed.

There are many things a divorcing couple may not know about the divorce process In these cases, it is best for each individual to enlist the aid of his own and her own Alberta lawyer experienced in family law matters. A lawyer’s counsel may prevent an individual from searching for complicated answers to his or her divorce questions. A lawyer will provide the guidance necessary to ensure a smooth divorce for his or her clients.

Source:, “Will I have to go to court to get my divorce?“, Accessed on Dec. 22, 2017

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