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Divorce Law

Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Calgary 

A separation or divorce can be one of the most traumatic and stressful periods of anyone’s life. This is especially true if children are involved. If you are seeking advice and legal representation of a divorce lawyer in Calgary, First West Law can help. We take a compassionate approach in working with couples to legally dissolve their marriage or form an agreement. We understand that emotions run high during times like these. You can rest assured our family lawyers will have your and your family’s best interests at heart. If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer who will help you get a fresh start on life, schedule a consultation with the team at First West Law today.

Our Approach for Calgary Divorces

When assessing each relationship breakdown, our approach emphasizes a focus on the unique nature of every relationship. Everyone’s situation is different, and it is important to think about how best to deal with the end of your marital or common-law relationship. Some important elements to consider for Calgary family law matters include:


How long were you with your partner?

This starts when you first live together and start carrying on your lives as a combined enterprise. Thus, the longer you’ve been with someone, the more intertwined your lives are, which normally means there will be more unique aspects to consider.

 

How many assets do you & your spouse share?

Some relationships are built on financial independence, whereas others take a more team-oriented approach to building wealth. It’s important to know how much you and your partner shared, and what you shared, to figure out what you’ll be taking with you.


How did you & your spouse live your life?

Did you both work? Did you share the household tasks equally, or was there an understanding that you would divide things a certain way?


How many children do you have? How old are they?

The law seeks to establish a separation that is in the children's best interests and defaults to equal time between the two parents, so long as it is in the best interests of the child.


Are there any other special considerations?

Every family is different, and sometimes there are unique circumstances– such as a medical condition– that need to be considered in order to truly understand your marriage.

 

An assessment of the above factors, among others, will provide us with a good idea of what the dissolution of your marriage will look like. After this assessment, the focus will shift to assisting you in making as smooth a transition as possible to your new life. There are various options available, including settlement, mediation and litigation. Our divorce lawyers in Calgary focus on developing a solution that fits your situation. Having a lawyer by your side can be helpful in:

 

• Understanding legal processes
• Processing divorce procedures faster
• Acquiring child custody
• Negotiating an agreement

 

Don't hesitate to reach out for more information. We also provide legal services for cases related to personal injury, real estate, business law and more.

The Divorce Process in Alberta

At First West Law LLP, we can provide you with complete assistance on the legal processes related to obtaining a divorce in Alberta. If you have been contemplating a divorce, here’s what you need to know.

The Three Grounds for Divorce

As per the Divorce Act, these are the three legal grounds for divorce:

Separation: When you and your spouse have lived apart for at least one year, you can then file for a divorce on the grounds of separation.

Adultery: Adultery must be proven in court through evidence or an affidavit signed by the person committing adultery.

Cruelty: When your spouse engages in physical or mental cruelty to you, including violence, verbal abuse, drug use or drunkenness, you can file for a divorce.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is where the issues related to custody, parenting and support have been settled without the intervention of the court.

 

We can assist with the instructions and formalities in an uncontested divorce. Call us to schedule an appointment at our Calgary law firm.

SEPARATION AGREEMENT

If two individuals are married or in an 'adult interdependent relationship' but begin living separately from one another, they might become separated. A 'separation agreement' is a contract between the two separating or divorcing parties, which addresses the terms of the end of the relationship. It doesn't initiate the separation, but it records how you and the other party will handle your mutual affairs, which can include parenting, spousal support, property division and the like. While a separation agreement isn't necessary, it helps parties avoid acrimony during separations and divorces. It has numerous benefits, such as:

 

  • It helps you and your partner work on key issues, which will speed up your divorce process. 
  • It provides evidence of the discussions and agreements between you and your partner.
  • It helps avoid potential disputes and misunderstandings over issues affecting your children.
  • It is enforceable in court, which will ensure your partner doesn't evade the terms of the agreement.

A separation agreement is a complex document that is the basis of your divorce decree. It should cover all the crucial factors affecting the future of your family. Our experienced divorce lawyers can help you draft a separation agreement to protect your interests.

Our Areas of Expertise in Family Law

At First West Law LLP, we can provide you with comprehensive legal assistance on separation and divorce matters. Our experienced divorce lawyers can provide you with valuable legal advice on matters such as:

  • Marital property division - Our experienced divorce lawyers in Calgary can assist you with marital property division with customized solutions, whether your situation demands arbitration or mediation. With the help of a lawyer, you can ensure that the final agreement is legally enforceable and represents your rights. With changes in the Law, now even two unmarried adult interdependent partners can claim property division.
  • Child and spousal support - Child and spousal support are complex issues that are dependent entirely on situational factors. After a divorce, the parent who doesn't reside with the child might have to pay child support. At the same time, a spouse who is in 'need' might be eligible for spousal support. Whether or not an individual qualifies for these payments and the amount are determined by considerations unique to your situation. Oversight on your part can affect your child's financial security and education. For this reason, dealing with these two aspects of your divorce necessitates the aid of a lawyer.
  • Child custody - In simple terms, child custody determines who is primarily in charge of the children after a divorce. Child custody agreements center around the best interests of the child. They evoke considerations such as which party can best meet the child's safety requirements financially, emotionally, physically and psychologically. There are four types of custody:
    • Sole custody
    • Joint custody
    • Shared custody
    • Split custody

Drawing up a parenting plan by yourself can lead to future problems, which can impact your child's future. Our lawyers can ensure their welfare and your interests as a parent are adequately represented in the parenting plan.

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION WITH A CALGARY DIVORCE LAWYER

Contact our divorce lawyers in Calgary today to schedule a consultation. We can help you navigate the legal process during this challenging time and help you reach solutions for the divorce and family law obligations. Whether you are preparing to file for a divorce or have been served with divorce papers, we will advise you on your personal situation.

Related Posts 

Read more about divorce law in our related blog posts: 

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    What Happens to Real Estate During a Divorce in Alberta?

    While divorce rates are on the decline in Canada, many of us will still face the difficulties of ending a relationship. Getting divorced requires dividing assets, including real estate and mortgages. Deciding who is entitled to what assets can be more complicated than you thought.

    It's important to seek legal counsel when going through a divorce in Alberta. The team at First West Law LLP in Calgary can help you navigate the legal process and the division of assets.

    Read about how homeownership gets divided, along with different types of real estate here.

     

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    Understanding Changes to the Divorce Act in Canada

    The divorce rate in Canada is going down, falling to six divorces for every 1,000 married persons in 2016. 

    Yet it remains one of the most emotionally draining experiences a person can go through. Antiquated and confusing laws made the process worse.

    Over the last few years, lawmakers have changed terms and added new conditions, to make divorce fairer. Many of these new conditions came into effect on March 1, 2021.

    Get the facts you need, and you can start your divorce process today. Here is a quick guide to understanding the recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act.

     

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    The Divorce Process in Alberta: The Steps to Follow and When You Need a Divorce Lawyer

    If you are thinking of filing for divorce, you likely don't know where to begin. The end of your marriage may be emotional and overwhelming, and figuring out a legal process on top of the personal changes you're experiencing simply adds to this stress.

    If this sounds like your situation, you're in the right place. This article will help you understand the divorce process in Alberta, what to expect, and why you should consider getting a divorce lawyer to help you navigate the process.

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  • divorce lawyer calgary
    12/02/2020
    Understanding the Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce

    Calgary lawyers at First West Law LLP understand that each relationship is unique, and everyone’s situation is different. By that same token, we take the approach that the end of each relationship is also unique. Needs, wants, and goals on breakdown of a relationship will vary from person to person and over time. When a relationship breaks down, it is important to take stock of your needs, assess your options, and develop a plan. One significant consideration is deciding whether a legal separation or divorce is best for your situation.

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