What Are My Options for Divorce in Alberta? How Can I Get Divorced?

The start of a new year is often a time of great reflection for many couples and families. Many couples who find themselves unhappy in their relationship or marriage look toward divorce or separation at this time of year and often wonder what the options are for divorce. It is important to first note that every marriage, and thus every divorce, is unique and individual. There are personalized factors that go into every relationship, and when that relationship ends, those personal factors can deconstruct explosively. This can lead to hurt feelings, bitterness, resentment and enmity that grows out of what once was a deep love. This is why it is so important for couples to realize that there are options for divorce that can help to salvage your relationship and partnership, and rebuild that lost trust.

The DIY Divorce

DIY, or “Do It Yourself” divorces are generally not a good idea. In these situations, the couple decides to go it alone, split up, file the paperwork and determine division of assets on their own. Given how complicated divorce can be both from a legal and financial standpoint, this rarely ends well and can lead to significant complications and even more tension, stress and bitterness down the road. 

Collaborative Divorce

This is similar to the "DIY" approach, but the couple wisely hires lawyers to deal with the complex legal issues surrounding the split. They work together to divide their assets, with the legal advice of their attorneys to guide them. These kinds of divorces are best in cases where the couple is splitting amicably and is in strong agreement about the division of assets. The attorneys will serve to guide and advise the couple, and when the settlement is final, the family will appear before a judge who will sign and approve the agreement. 

Litigated Divorce

This form of divorce occurs when the couples cannot work together to divide their assets. They will appear in court before a judge, who will hear all of the arguments regarding asset splits, child custody and other factors and will render decisions on each, based on what the court views as best for the individuals in question. This form of divorce is generally very adversarial and can result in anger and bitterness between the spouses. In addition, it takes the power of decision away from the couple and places it in the hands of a judge who may not really know what’s best all around.

Divorce Mediation

Of the various divorce options available, Mediation is an ideal way for many splitting couples to handle their divorce. In a mediated divorce, a neutral third-party sits down with the couple and helps them to come up with an agreement that is best for everyone involved. 

By encouraging open communication and clear-headedness, this approach can save respect, salvage friendships and partnerships, and help to heal a lot of emotional damage. It is certainly best in the majority of cases where children are involved and need to see their parents as a team, even when they are ending their romantic relationship. A mediated divorce allows the couple to retain their privacy and dignity, and keeps the most important decisions where they should be: in the spouses’ hands. 

If you are facing the end of your marriage, it is critical that you consider the options above and select the right course of action for both you and your family. As you begin to explore these options, connect with our team for more information about divorce mediation, arbitration and mediation with arbitration. Contact our office in Calgary to book a complimentary consultation and we can further discuss your situation in detail. If you would like to learn more information about traditional divorce litigation, visit our partner divorce law firm here. 

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