What is an uncontested divorce and what are its advantages?

Uncontested Divorces
In Alberta, an uncontested divorce, also known as a desk divorce, occurs when both parties agree on all the issues arising from their divorce, including the grounds for divorce. If, at any point during the process, a dispute arises, the divorce becomes a contested one.

If you have questions about what is an uncontested divorce and what are its advantages, our Edmonton divorce lawyers are available to help. It is a good idea to contact a lawyer before proceeding with an uncontested divorce to ensure that you don’t run into problems.

Are You Eligible To Apply For An Uncontested Divorce?

You can apply for an uncontested divorce in Alberta if you meet the following requirements:

  • you are legally married to your spouse
  • either you or your spouse has lived in the province for at least one year leading up to filing your application
  • if you have children, you and your spouse must both complete a mandatory seminar called Parenting After Separation
  • you and your spouse agree with respect to all the issues arising from your separation, including custody and living arrangements for any children, child and spousal support, property division issues and the ground for divorce.

There are three grounds for divorce in Alberta:

  • separation (living apart from your spouse for at least one year)
  • adultery (generally to prove this ground, your spouse must be willing to sign an affidavit admitting that they committed adultery)
  • cruelty (includes mental and physical abuse).

Most uncontested divorces are granted based on the ground of separation for one year. You must meet one of the three grounds in order to be granted a divorce.

The Advantages Of An Uncontested Divorce

In most cases, when compared to a contested divorce, an uncontested divorce:

  • is faster
  • is easier
  • does not require the parties to appear in court
  • causes less stress on the parties and their children
  • is less expensive.

How Do You Apply For An Uncontested Divorce?

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta has all of the forms necessary for an uncontested divorce. The first step is filling out a Statement of Claim, attaching the necessary documents (you will need a copy of your marriage certificate) and filing the form and attachments with the court. You must pay a fee to file your Statement of Claim.

The Statement of Claim must be served on your spouse by a person who is at least 18 years old. You cannot be the person who gives your spouse the document, so you have to find someone else to do it. If you don’t know where your spouse is, or they live outside of Canada, there are specific steps that must be taken to proceed with your divorce. Contact a lawyer for assistance.

If your spouse does not file a Statement of Defence within the time limit, then you proceed with an uncontested divorce by filling out and filing the remaining forms requesting a divorce. If you are claiming a divorce based on one year of separation, you must wait for the year to be up before you file the rest of your forms.

Contact Verhaeghe Law Office’s Edmonton Divorce Lawyers For Legal Help

Even though the uncontested divorce is designed to be easy and straightforward, it is common for people to be unsure of the process. Don’t hesitate to contact our Edmonton divorce lawyers for help determining what is an uncontested divorce and what are its advantages. You can book a consultation by calling us or filling out a contact us form. Our legal team is on standby and pleased to help you.

*Disclaimer: Please note the content in this article is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic. We encourage you to seek legal counsel from a divorce lawyer for more specific advice as it pertains to your unique circumstances.

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