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There is no one size fits all approach to Divorce.  A tailored course of action that is proportionate and efficient to your specific matter is crucial.

Here are the key steps to how a divorce proceeds in Alberta (in chronological order):

1) Retain a lawyer

When you consult with one of the divorce lawyers at Hayher Lee LLP we will ensure that you feel comfortable and confident in your choice of legal counsel before entering into a retainer agreement.

We strongly believe that it is important that you make a well thought out decision on who to hire as your lawyer as this is a highly individualized and personal process.

Sometimes this involves consulting with lawyers at different law firms to ensure that the person you will be working with is a good fit for you. We are happy to provide referrals to facilitate this process. 

2) Exchange Financial Disclosure

When we are dealing with matters involving financial assets and income levels such as support and division of family property, it is important to provide, and obtain, full and complete financial disclosure.

The exchange of disclosure will enable your lawyer to provide you with an assessment of your legal rights and obligations and assist you in making a well-informed decision on settlement.

3) Attempt to reach a resolution

The resolution process can be tailor made to the individuals involved and the complexity of the issues in question.  We engage various different dispute resolution processes depending on the level of conflict involved and proportionality.

Some options include direction negotiations, either through in person meetings or written settlement proposals, lawyer assisted mediation (this can be anything from formal mediation to informal mediation with respected community or spiritual leaders, family members, etc.), arbitration and litigation.

Some matters utilize a combination of different resolution processes.

4) Enter into a separation agreement

Assuming that a negotiated settlement has been achieved, the next step is to agree to the terms of a Separation Agreement.

A Separation Agreement is a comprehensive that addresses and provides as much finality as possible to the various matters being addressed including parenting, child support, partner or spousal support and division of family property.

5) Submit divorce application to the courts

Once the outstanding issues have been resolved, and assuming that one of the grounds of divorce have been met, we are then in a position to finalize the divorce itself.  This is usually a simple matter of submitting various documents to the court for a judge’s consideration and endorsement.