Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

There are two kinds of divorces, contested and uncontested

In a contested divorce, the parties cannot agree on terms with the divorce. The terms of a divorce include,  child support, spousal support, parenting arrangements, and property division. In a contested divorce, the parties cannot resolve some or all of these issues on their own. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses have reached an agreement on all issues and do not need the court to divide assets or make determinations about terms of the divorce. As such, the only thing left for the lawyer to do is draft the agreement and file for divorce with the Courts. The uncontested divorce process moves through the system more quickly and creates less of a financial burden for both parties as the bulk of legal costs come from parties being unable to reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce.

Divorce Lawyers Protect Your Rights in Contested vs Uncontested Divorce

Having qualified legal representation is essential to the protection of your interests. Even in the most amicable divorce proceedings, the assistance of a qualified and experienced lawyer can help to ensure a favorable outcome in either a contested or uncontested divorce. The divorce lawyers at Resolve Legal Group offer clients comprehensive representation in all aspects of divorce. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, our divorce lawyers conduct a thorough review of your situation and advise you of your legal options for your unique case.

In the event that your divorce is uncontested,, our family lawyers can assist you with drafting your agreement or reviewing an existing agreement. By reviewing an existing agreement, our family law lawyers will determine if your existing agreement will be binding in court and whether or not it protects your interests. If we did not draft the agreement, we will advise you of any provisions that could place you at risk. In drafting these agreements, our divorce lawyers use language that clearly communicates the decisions you and your spouse have negotiated to ensure that your agreements are binding today and into the future.

In a contested divorce, we work closely with you to understand the nature of the disputes and what your expectations are with regard to the outcome. Our team of family lawyers offer multiple approaches to resolving your disputes, mediation and litigation. We are committed to obtaining the best available outcome in the most effective manner for your needs.

Did you know that independent legal advice is one of the requirements for an existing agreement to be legally binding? Make an appointment with one of our family law lawyers to review your existing agreement and receive the independent legal advice you need.

Contact us at 403-229-2365 (Calgary Office) or 403-907-0251 (Cochrane Office) to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer regarding your divorce options.

Divorce/Separation


We all go through many transitions in our lives, however, divorce is a transition that none of us expect to go through especially when we enter a relationship expecting that partnership to last forever. Often times people experiencing divorce or separation are flooded with a variety of emotions such as guilt, anger, sadness, disappointment and loneliness, which adds to the difficulty of moving forward through the process of divorce and separation. Divorce and separation can be an extremely stressful and challenging transition. To further complicate matters compounding that stress is the task of dividing the finances of one intact family into two. There are so many questions facing any individual going through a divorce or separation such as: where will the children live, what will happen to our home, how will we be able to make ends meet, what will happen with our children? The list can be endless.

It is important to retain the services of a professional with whom you have a ‘good fit’ as you need to be able to rely on and trust that professional to guide you through what often is one of the most difficult processes that an individual can experience. At Resolve Legal Group it is our mandate to ensure that our practice remains client centered, keeping our client’s needs at the forefront of any plan of action that we proceed with; and solution focused, meaning we strive to incorporate risk management strategies within our action plans and deliver the most efficient and cost effective services as possible.

Division of Common Law Property


Unlike married people, when unmarried people separate property division can be much different than if you were married. It is important to seek legal advise as to what your rights are as an unmarried person separating from a partner in a ‘common law’ relationship.

Division of Matrimonial Property


There is an assumption in Alberta that matrimonial property will be equally divided between the parties upon separation or divorce. In reality, dividing the property is not a simple process, particularly where there any many assets and debts that have accumulated throughout the marriage. Determining what is and isn’t actual ‘matrimonial property’ can be difficult and often legal advice on identifying the property to be divided will be required. We can advise you on the legislation that governs the division of matrimonial property and how it applies to your scenario. There are time limits on making a matrimonial property claim under the legislation so it is highly important that you receive legal advice on your rights, liabilities and time constraints as soon as possible.

Custody, Access, and Parenting


When there are children of the marriage/relationship there are many decisions to be made as to where the children will live, who will make the major decisions for the child and what parenting arrangements need to be made to accommodate the child’s needs, the parents’ needs and keep the family unit working. We can answer all your questions on the different types of custody arrangements there are and we can work with you to develop a parenting agreement that will accommodate your needs. We can help you understand the law, whether you are married or unmarried, as it relates to custody and access.

We can also educate you as to the different resources available to you that can assist parents in helping to make these difficult decisions regarding custody, access and parenting so as to minimise conflict between the parties.

Cohabitation, Prenuptial, Post Nuptial Agreements


In Alberta, parties can enter into a ‘contract’ or agreement ideally (but not always) before they start living together or before they get married so as to settle such matters as property division, support and other rights in the event that the partnership is no longer able to continue. In order to ensure that these agreements are fair, ‘legal and binding’ you must see a lawyer for independent legal advice.

Mobility


After separation or divorce, it is not uncommon for one parent to wish to relocate for personal reasons or work related reasons. Where there are children, the issue of mobility becomes a concern in almost every situation. Both parents need to consent to the relocation of a child in a joint custodial situation. If parents cannot agree on the relocation of the child with the primary caregiver, legal assistance will be needed. We have experience with representing provincial, federal and international mobility arguments and can assist you in negotiation, mediation or court ordered resolution on the issue of mobility.

Child Support


Child support is not optional. Parents have an obligation to support their children while they are under the age of majority, when they separate from the other parent, whether they were married or not. Support is determined in accordance with the Federal Child Support Guidelines, which take into account income of the paying parent and where that parent resides, and the number of children. Parents can also be obligated to pay additional support for the children which can include costs for daycare and other extraordinary expenses. Parents may also be obligated to pay support for children who are over the age of majority if they are continuing their education or if they are unable to support themselves by reason of illness or disability. We can help you understand the rules and tables that make up the Guidelines so as so ensure you are paying or receiving the appropriate amount of support for your children. We can also advise you on what to do if you are not receiving support. We can also provide direction on how to enforce child support court orders and assistance with how to ensure that child support is recalculated and adjusted when income of the payor changes.

Spousal or Partner Support


There is no automatic entitlement to spousal/partner support when you get a divorce or separate from a Partner. An agreement can either be made between the parties or a Court can decide firstly, if there is entitlement to support and secondly, how much support you might receive and for how long you will receive it. There any many factors that must be addressed in order to establish entitlement to support and there are many objectives that affect the amount and duration of support. We can help you understand this very difficult area of law that has been established though legislative recognition and case law precedent. There are also Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines which have been introduced to help us determine amount and duration; these guidelines act as a reference point to assist individuals in determining a range of appropriate support, but they are not mandatory calculations under the law. We strongly recommend that you receive legal advice before you agree to pay or receive any amount of support.

Adoption


If you are seeking to officially adopt a child who has been in your care, a step-child or a child for whom you have acted in loco parentis, we can assist you in understanding the court process, the information required and the timelines for processing an Application for Adoption.

Grandparents Rights


During the breakdown of a relationship or marriage, a grandparent relationship with his/her grandchild(ren) can at times be marginalized. Are you a grandparent but do not have access to your grandchild or grandchildren? Are you concerned about the well-being or safety or your grandchild or grandchildren? No matter what concerns a grandparent may have, we are able to provide advice on your rights as a grandparent under the Alberta legislative framework..