Filing for Divorce in Alberta: What You Need to Know

A couple may choose divorce for many issues. It’s crucial to take the necessary steps from the beginning to move with the process properly. 

But how to get a divorce in Alberta? What the law says, and what are the grounds for divorce? Find everything you need to know about filing for divorce in Alberta.

Before Filing

You should review your divorce grounds before filing for divorce in Alberta. In such cases, you should seek legal advice. There are many other situations that follow a divorce if you have children.

3 Divorce Grounds

Based on the Divorce Acts, there are 3 divorce grounds that the court accepts. They are:

  • Adultery
  • Separation
  • Cruelty.

6 Steps to Filing for Divorce in Alberta

Here are the 6 steps to filing for divorce in Alberta.

Step One: Start Your Divorce Claim

You need to start the divorce procedure through a “statement of claim for divorce.” If you started the divorce procedure, you are the plaintiff while your partner is the defendant. The situation will be vice versa if your partner starts the procedure. 

You can also apply through “Statement of Claim for Divorce and Division of Matrimonial Property” if you need to settle your properties.

Step Two: Return Divorce Claim Statement

After completing your applications, you must sign the papers and move into court. However, make sure that the claiming procedure is completed.

Step Three: Serve Your Defendant

After the divorce claim is moved to the court, you need to serve your defendant. It’s necessary to deliver your defendant personally. However, you should be aware that they should receive the statement through someone except you.

You can ask your friends or family to deliver the document. Also, you can hire a professional process to deliver them. 

In most cases, plaintiffs find this process very tough. Therefore, they ask for ‘substantial service’ from the court. Additionally, you can get a court order if your defendant stays out of Canada.

Step Four: Dispute Divorce Claim Statement

After sending the legal papers, the defendant has around 20 days to dispute the divorce claim statement. If the partner is out of the province, it will take 1 month or 2 months if the partner is out of Canada.

Basically, a dispute is a “statement of defence.” There are many cases where partners ignore the dispute, so plaintiffs need to move on to process other applications. 

Some people use separation to get a divorce. You have to be sure that the time limit has been crossed properly in such cases. Even if a day is left, the judge won’t take your case.

You can also follow ways when your defendant isn’t responding, like:

  • Noting in Default
  • Affidavit of Applicant
  • Divorce Judgement Proposal
  • Sworn Affidavit of Service
  • Request for Divorce

Such documents include additional documents. Some of them are:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Agreements or orders related to divorce
  • Photocopy of the previous divorce (if available)

Also, some cases include children. These steps are extensive as parents need to fill up some additional documents. It would be best to add Exemption Form, Child Support Forms, parenting Certificates, etc.

Step Five: Judge Signs Divorce Judgement

Next, you need to ask your clerk to process the file to the judge. After getting all the necessary evidence and document about the separation, the judge will sign the application. 

The clerk will get the papers back and send the papers to the plaintiff and the defendant. Nevertheless, this process could take around 4-6 weeks.

Step Six: Get your Divorce Certificate

Your judgment will be final after a month. Later, you can start processing to get the divorce certificate through the court. This is the last step of the whole process. 

The divorce certificate is very important for the defendant and plaintiff. This is proof that they’re not together anymore. Even when you want to get married again, you will require this document.

When the defendant is out of Canada, with no trace of the defendant or includes other support costs, you might require additional steps to follow.


These are the basic 6 steps for filing for divorce in Alberta. Additionally, it’s necessary to have proper divorce grounds to get a divorce. Make sure you have all the necessary documents and evidence that you’ll require. If you take the help of a professional, they will assist you with proper evidence and documents.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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