Divorce Law

The breakdown of your marriage can be stressful and personally taxing. Legal proceedings arising from that breakdown are best customized to fit your specific situation and needs. Our team can help you negotiate the terms of your separation from your spouse, draft a comprehensive separation agreement, negotiate distribution of matrimonial property, or guide you through court proceedings or alternative dispute resolution.
We have expertise in a broad range of issues connected to divorce including but not limited to disputes around child custody, parenting, division of assets, and child and spousal support. We can help you select the best path to move forward through this difficult time.

•Divorce in Canada is governed by the federal Divorce Act, which has provisions for child support and spousal support.

•Matrimonial property in Alberta is dealt with under the Matrimonial Property Act, which applies only to married couples.

•The vast majority of divorces proceed on the basis of separation for greater than one year. You do not need your spouse’s cooperation to file for divorce.

•Under the Matrimonial Property Act, there is a presumption that all property acquired during the marriage will be divided equally.

DM&H provides a broad range of expertise in divorce matters. Our team includes lawyers who specialize in a variety of methods of dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law, as well as litigators experienced in all levels of court. We can help you to ascertain the method best suited to achieving your goals, and then provide continuing expertise as your matter proceeds. Our lawyers are highly regarded and well equipped to guide you to resolution, whether that resolution is achieved through negotiated settlement or litigation.

Divorce Law FAQ

Can I get a divorce in Alberta?

Under the Divorce Act, one spouse must have lived in Alberta for one year immediately before the divorce action begins. If you have children, the action should be filed in the province where they live. If you were married outside of Canada, you may still be able to get divorced in Alberta, but will need to provide proof that the marriage was valid according to the law of that country.

How will our assets be divided under the Matrimonial Property Act?

“Matrimonial property” is all property that is acquired by you and your spouse during the marriage, whether it is acquired together or individually. Under the Matrimonial Property Act there is a presumption that this property will be divided equally when the marriage ends. Certain assets are considered “exempt” from division, including gifts, inheritances, or awards or settlements for damages in tort law.

My wife moved out of the home last week. Is the date she moved the 'separation date' when I file my statement of claim for divorce?

Not necessarily. You can be deemed to be living ‘separate and apart’ under the same roof if one of you earlier moved into a different bedroom in the house, and you no longer present to your family, friends, community and the world at large as a ‘couple’.