Divorce affects many aspects of life, from disrupting the family structure and routines to impacting finances to, in many cases, causing significant emotional trauma. Regardless of how simple or complex a couple’s impending divorce may seem on the surface, flaring tensions can make it easy for negotiations and other proceedings to turn sour or vindictive—especially without the right lawyers around. Unfortunately, these breakdowns only serve to overcomplicate the process, drawing out the timetable, unnecessarily depleting funds, and putting an even greater strain on all parties’ mental health.
Most people ending a marriage at least start out with simple goals: plan for your own future, protect your children’s interests and get through it all as quickly as possible. With unwavering support from the knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers of Chadi & Company, you’ll identify and reach those objectives most efficiently and effectively—so you can move on and get back to your life, feeling secure as you look ahead.
Table Of Contents
- Why do divorces happen?
- Steps toward a healthy divorce
- How a divorce lawyer helps
Why do divorces happen?
Marriages can break down for any number of legitimate reasons. But legally speaking, in Edmonton and throughout Alberta, the Divorce Act recognizes three potential grounds for divorce that may be cited in a filing:
- Separation – Divorces the following separation are granted after a couple has lived apart from one another for at least one year. Even if you do not live physically separately during that time (i.e., you both remain in the marital home), for instance, due to financial constraints or wanting to maintain stability for children, you are considered separated as long as you can provide evidence of an intended separation. While you may initiate proceedings at any time during the year of separation, you cannot obtain an official divorce until the full year has passed.
- Adultery – You can file for divorce at any time on grounds that your spouse engaged in sex outside your marriage. In order to obtain a divorce on these grounds, you must provide evidence in court—either documentation of some sort that proves the infidelity or a signed affidavit by your spouse avowing their adultery.
- Cruelty – The law defines cruelty within a marriage as any behaviour or mistreatment that affects a spouse physically or mentally to the point that it is impossible or unsafe for the couple to go on living together. Types of cruelty that may be cited in a divorce filing include physical violence or abuse, insults, threats or other verbal abuse, drunkenness, and excessive drug use. If you file for divorce on cruelty grounds, you must provide evidence in court.
Couples may also obtain divorces without assigning fault in cases where no legal fault is apparent, yet they have still decided to dissolve their marriage—this is known as an uncontested divorce. In Edmonton, an uncontested divorce involves filing a series of documents establishing how you and your ex will deal with issues such as child custody, parenting schedules/access to children, and child and spousal support. Even in cases of uncontested divorce, you may still need guidance from a divorce lawyer when it comes to dividing marital property and assets.
Steps toward a healthy divorce
In the interest of preserving your own sanity and your kids’ wellbeing, you should do everything in your power individually (or in cooperation with your ex) to minimize petty conflict and keep disputes focused on finding acceptable outcomes. Take the following steps to facilitate and smooth and healthy divorce process:
- Maintain access – Too often, parents end up withholding access to their kids or using visitation time as leverage in their divorce proceedings. Concerns over abuse, child safety, or protection notwithstanding, this is both an unhealthy and potentially damaging practice. In fact, studies have shown that children can be impacted psychologically, socially, and sometimes even academically by their parents divorcing and that both interparental conflict and denial of access to both parents can exacerbate those issues. It’s better to encourage that they maintain a meaningful relationship with your ex even as you dissolve your marriage.
- Focus on solutions – As easy as it may be to become mired in the conflict, sometimes each little issue is simply not worth the time and energy of negotiation. If you fixate on coming out ahead in every dispute no matter how insignificant, you could waste years of your life and unimaginable sums of money just arguing with your ex. Instead, concentrate on finding fair and equitable solutions that move you both toward finalizing your divorce once and for all.
- Rise above vindictiveness – Don’t let yourself get trapped in the emotions and pettiness of a contentious divorce. Remember that any sort of vindictive games you play or baseless defaming of your ex will only reflect poorly on you in the eyes of the court. Not only do divorce judges in Edmonton spot these tactics from a mile away, but they could end up perceiving you as dishonest or less than truthful and ruling against you as a result.
- Disclose assets openly and honestly – Hiding assets in a divorce is a common dirty tactic that’s also illegal. More than likely, any attempt to conceal finances, accounts, or other property will be discovered eventually. It can only add complications and obstacles to your divorce, not to mention anger your ex and potentially lead to other consequences for you.
How a divorce lawyer helps
When your objective is a smooth, minimal conflict divorce, having an experienced, ethical, and professional lawyer representing your interests is essential. Not only does a good lawyer help you avoid many of the pitfalls that complicate and prolong divorces—but they also handle all of the complicated details, documents, and other requirements that would otherwise burden you and add to your stress during an already trying experience.
With guidance from the reliable divorce lawyers of Chadi & Company in Edmonton, you can feel confident knowing you’re covered throughout every phase of the legal process: from filing initial claims to negotiating terms and working toward a settlement, and even in court, if necessary. To learn more about how we can facilitate as peaceful divorce for you as possible, book a free consultation today by calling (780) 429-2300 or contacting us online.