Everything You Need to Know About Divorce in Alberta

Two people may drift apart from marriage for many reasons. They may eventually want a divorce. It is a painful experience, indeed. But if you don’t take proper steps from the beginning, it can get real nasty.

Before filing a divorce in Alberta, you should be aware of your legal rights and responsibilities. Getting divorced can be a smooth process if you and your estranged partner are cooperative with each other and get preparation from the start.

Though our article doesn’t provide you any legal advice, it will help you to have a better understanding of Alberta divorce.


divorce in Alberta

What is a divorce going to cost you in Alberta?

It’s the most frequent question people ask about divorce. We are talking about legal costs here. Though it is not easy to pinpoint the actual price, we can give you a gross idea of average divorce cost in Alberta-

  • Uncontested divorce would cost you $1,740.
  • Contested divorce would cost $23,730.
  • The separation agreement would $2,500.
  • Child support and custody $15,950.

The highest reported contested divorce cost in Alberta is $150,000. The main issue of the divorce cost is who is going to bear the legal fee. The court may order the losing party to pay the legal costs of divorce.

However, the result of a court trial in family law is often mixed. Suppose one party wins the custody of children and other party wins on the matter of the amount of support. Is this case, the court may order either party to pay the legal costs as no party emerges as the winner.

How do Child Custody and Child Visitation Rights work in Alberta?

Studies show that children suffer the most from a divorce. So, children’s custody and support priority should be paramount. Divorce is often the result of abuse, addiction, and absence. These things need to be considered for the welfare of children.

If there is evidence of abuse or addiction, you need to seek for the solution to the court.

These are the initiate you should take regarding the child custody and child visitation rights-

  • Apply for a consent order- If you and your former partner get to a parenting agreement, you may apply to make these terms into a consent order.
  • Apply for a parenting order- It needs to fix the amount of time you could spend with your children.
  • Apply for a contact order- This might be necessary if the court doesn’t approve your guardianship.
  • Apply for a custody and access order- It will determine which partner will be the guardian of the children and has the right to visit them.

Besides these, you can also apply for the change of these orders to the court.

child custody and child visitation rights in divorce in Alberta

How does the Property Division work in Alberta Divorce?

Property division is one of the biggest concerns in divorce. The property doesn’t only mean house, land, and bank account. It’s your stocks, deposits, bonds, insurance, recreational property, pensions, etc. Before getting a divorce, you and your former partner have to go through all of your assets.

According to Alberta family law, there are three types of property-

  • Matrimonial property
  • Exempt property
  • Increase in value of the exempt property.

Exempt property is the property that you own before your marriage, or you receive as a gift or inheritance from a third party during your wedding. These types of property are exempt from division.

Matrimonial property is the property you acquired during your marriage. This property gets evenly distributed between two partners regardless of who earned what.

The last category is an increase in the value of the exempt property. While the property you have before your marriage is exempt from division, its increased value gets divided evenly. For example, you own a painting before the wedding that was worth $2000. When you get divorced, its value rises to $4000. Now, the increased $2000 will subject to equitable division.

What Documents and Information need to provide for Divorce?

Paperwork may vary for each divorce case in Alberta based on the circumstances of the case. For instance, the form is different for contested divorce and uncontested divorce. If there are children, then you need to handle extra paperwork. Whatever the nature or situation of your divorce, these are some standard guidelines for everyone-

  • Your recent years of tax returns.
  • Bank account and credit card statement.
  • Documents of mortgage payments.
  • Property assessment documents.
  • A complete list of your property.
  • Financial investment documents.
  • Insurance policies.
  • Pension plans.
documents and informations for divorce in Alberta



Divorce is not always bad if you plan accordingly and have a good understanding with your partner. Always remember that divorce is not just a separation of two persons. It’s much more than that. There are children to take care of and hard-earned property to divide.

Both the partners and children go through mental stress during and after the marriage. So everyone should be supportive of each other during the process. You need to avoid negative emotions for the sake of your children.

Spousal support is also a crucial issue in divorce. You can read our spousal support in Canada article.

If you want any consultation regarding Alberta divorce or Calgary divorce, don’t hesitate to contact us.