The Do It Yourself Divorce Process

IMPORTANT: This service does not provide legal advice

Welcome to Spectrum Family Law’s unique Desk Divorce Service designed by experienced divorce lawyers to help you and your spouse move on quickly and easily with reasonable and predictable, flat fee packages.

Divorce in Alberta

If you are looking to file for divorce in Alberta, it is important that you make sure you are aware of the grounds for divorce according to the Divorce Act and that at least one applies to your situation.

Are you and your spouse a candidate for the Did It Ourselves service?

  • you or your spouse have resided in Alberta for the past 12 or more months;
  • you and your spouse agree to all matters concerning property, assets and debts;
  • if spousal support is an issue, you and your spouse are in agreement with spousal support; and
  • if there are dependent children, you and your spouse are in agreement with custody, access and child support.

See What Our Clients Have to Say

Outstanding. Launa Schey is a total professional, as is the admin staff. This firm is professional, effective, and top notch.

R. Nissen

Helpful, knowledgeable and professional. Thank you all! Will be recommending Spectrum to friends and family.

Yeg. M

Would strongly recommend Lorraine to anyone seeking help with divorce. Great professional that knows what needs to be done. The most important Is that she is honest and not trying to extend the process. Very understandable and trying to save your money. Totally recommend her.

S. Brusov

I was nervous at first about getting a representative for a family law matter, so after doing some careful research I found Loraine Mlambo at Spectrum Family Law. She got to work on my case right away and as a result my nightmare soon became a dream come true. She was both courteous and professional not to mention an excellent communicator.

J. Robinson

Uncontested Divorce Packages

Affordable Uncontested Divorce Packages


Uncontested Divorce FLAT FEE Packages

You may have heard the phrase “uncontested divorce” or its other name of “desk divorce”. Both these terms refer to joint divorces where both parties look to end the marriage because it is not working, without any fights or bitterness.

Whereas with an uncontested divorce, one party files for divorce and the other signs in agreement to ending the marriage, a joint divorce is an even more cohesive experience. All decisions and all filing and documents are completed together and filed together.

Winning is nothing to do with it, as it is more about both parties moving onto their next chapters in life as easily and conflict-free as possible.

We can help you and your spouse file successfully for an uncontested divorce with our Uncontested Divorce FLAT FEE package.

Family Law Application Drafting Service

Do it yourself family law application services


We also offer a family law application drafting service covering:

  • Spousal Support Applications
  • Parenting Applications

Spousal support

Also known as spouse support or alimony and can be applied for if you are filing for divorce. It also applies to any couples ending an Adult interdependent relationship. That is a relationship that has lasted for at least three years or involves having a child together.

Parenting Applications

Parenting Agreements, whether they are Access and Custody Orders, Contact Orders or Parenting Orders, are official orders made by the court to legally enforce the amount of time a parent can spend with their child. The details are outlined under the Domestic Relations Act, Provincial Court Act or Divorce Act.

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There are situations where a Justice may not let you get a divorce, these include:

1. Spouses who intentionally mislead the Court will not be allowed to divorce.

An example would be two spouses agreeing to state that they have been separated for one year when in fact they have only been separated for one month.

2. You and your spouse have children that you have not worked out an arrangement for. 

The Justice must be satisfied that reasonable arrangements have been made to take care of and support the children financially after the divorce. What is reasonable will depend on each couple’s circumstances, but the Justice will decide if the arrangements that have been made are fair.

You must ensure that these issues are dealt with before going to Court for a divorce application or else you may have to go back again after having dealt with any issues that were found.

It is possible for a couple to be granted a Divorce Judgment before they have dealt with the division of matrimonial property. This includes all of the property that they have acquired during their married life. However, most of the time, matrimonial property will be divided between the spouses during the divorce proceedings, either through an agreement or by following a Court Order. If the property is divided by an agreement between the spouses, each spouse must have had independent legal advice before entering into that agreement. If the property is divided by a Court Order, Alberta’s Matrimonial Property Act will govern the terms of the Order.

Property division can be very complicated and it is recommended that you speak with a lawyer about all of your options. For more information, see the Student Legal Services pamphlet “Division of Property: Married Couples”.

Under the Divorce Act, one spouse must be “ordinarily resident” in Alberta. This means you must have lived in Alberta for one year immediately before the divorce action is begun. If you have children, it is usually best to file your divorce action in the province where your children live.

You may be able to get divorced in Alberta no matter where you were married. If you were married outside of Canada, the Court will need some proof that the marriage was valid according to the law of that country. If this applies to you, you will need a marriage certificate and an affidavit proving the marriage was in solemn form (valid). If you were married in a Canadian province other than AB, a marriage certificate issued by the government of the province where you married would be sufficient proof of an out-of-province marriage. Please remember that you must still meet the “ordinarily resident” requirement (lived in Alberta for one year before your divorce action) no matter where you were married.

The length of time from start to finish for a divorce action depends upon how quickly you (or your lawyer) finish the paperwork, how easy it is to locate and serve the documents on your spouse, and how many complications there are in the case. An uncontested divorce will generally take between 6 months to a year. A contested divorce could take several years.

Various things might happen during the 31-day waiting period between the date of the Divorce Judgment and the date you can make an application for a Certificate of Divorce:

1. You and your spouse might get back together. If so you should apply to set aside the Divorce Judgment. You would then once again be considered married to each other.

2. A spouse might appeal the Judgment. If this happens, no Certificate of Divorce can be issued.

NOTE: An appeal cannot be started after the Certificate of Divorce has been issued.

3. A spouse may apply to set aside the Divorce Judgment because it was obtained as a result of fraud. This application would have to be finished before a Certificate of Divorce could be issued.

The 31-day waiting period may be waived if there are special circumstances that make it in the public interest to grant the divorce earlier. An example of special circumstances would be one spouse wanting to remarry within a short period of time due to the impending birth of a child or death of a family member.

It is unlikely any of these occur, and the Certificate of Divorce is granted 31 days after the Divorce Judgment, on application to the Clerk of the Court.

There must be arrangements made for children under 18 whenever you are going through a divorce proceeding. These are known as corollary relief Orders.

Corollary relief Orders are Orders dealing with spousal support, child support, child custody and access. Corollary relief Orders can be made for a limited time (called an ‘Interim Order’) or they can be made as a final Order. They can be made after separation but before a divorce or during the divorce process.

Note: if there are children, a Justice must see that there have been arrangements made for their support before granting a divorce judgment.

Parenting After Separation Seminar

If you and your spouse have children under the age of 16, you MUST attend the Parenting After Separation Seminar before making any application to the court dealing with your children, or before applying for a Divorce Judgment. After completing the course, parents will receive a certificate of completion that will be filed with the courts.

For more information, please contact Spectrum Family Law and schedule a consultation with a family law specialist.

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