How to File a Joint Divorce Alberta?

How to File a Joint Divorce Alberta

Divorce is a stressful and complicated process. But the heavy load becomes lighter once you and your spouse file a joint divorce Alberta. But do you know how to file a joint divorce in Alberta? If you and your spouse are on the same page about ending your marriage, a joint divorce in Alberta can be a smoother and faster option. Our guide will take you through filing a joint divorce in Alberta.

What is Joint Divorce?

A joint divorce is a mutual approach to ending a marriage where both spouses agree on the common aspects of the divorce, including property division, spousal support (if applicable), and child custody (if applicable).

What is the Grounds for Joint Divorce?

The only ground for a joint divorce in Alberta is separation.  Both spouses must have lived separate and apart for at least one year before filing the divorce documents.

What are the Motives for Joint Divorce?

Couples choose a joint divorce for various reasons, including:

  • Minimizing conflict and emotional strain
  • Reducing legal fees
  • Maintaining a positive co-parenting relationship (if children are involved)
  • A faster resolution to the divorce process

Qualifying for a Joint Divorce Alberta

There are two main requirements to qualify for a joint divorce in Alberta: Residency Requirement and Separation Requirement.

  1. Residency Requirement:  One of the spouses must have been resident in Alberta for at least one year before filing the Joint Statement of Claim for Divorce.
  2. Separation Requirement: Both spouses must have been living separate and apart for at least one year before a divorce judgment is granted by the court.  Temporary reconciliations of up to 90 days during this period are allowed.

How to File a Joint Divorce Alberta?

There are 6 steps to file a joint divorce in Alberta. Once completed, the court will consider your application, and you will get results quickly. So follow these 6 steps carefully.

Step 1: Gather Information

Before you begin, collect your marriage certificate and financial summaries for both spouses. If you already have written agreements on  or dividing property, include those too.

Step 2: Complete the Forms

Head to the Alberta Courts website and download the Joint Statement of Claim for Divorce form. There are two versions – for divorces with or without dependent children. Choose the one that applies to your situation.

Step 3: Consider Legal Assistance

While a lawyer isn’t required, consulting one can ensure your agreement is fair and legally sound. They can answer questions and guide you through the process.

Step 4: File the Documents

Take your completed Joint Statement of Claim, marriage certificate, and $260 filing fee to the Court of King’s Bench. The clerk will file your documents and provide you with copies.

Step 5: Parenting Plan (if applicable)

If you have children, you must create a parenting plan outlining custody arrangements. This can be done yourselves or with a mediator’s help.

Step 6: Attend Court (optional)

Usually, a court appearance is not needed. However, the judge may schedule a brief hearing to finalize the divorce. Your lawyer can advise you if this is necessary.

The Difference Between Joint Divorce and Uncontested Divorce

A joint divorce and an uncontested divorce share some similarities, but there’s a key difference.

  • Joint Divorce: Both spouses actively participate in preparing and filing the documents.
  • Uncontested Divorce: One spouse files for divorce, and the other spouse agrees to the terms but may not be involved in preparing the paperwork.

Why is Joint Divorce the Right Choice?

A joint divorce can be an ideal option for couples who—

  • Want an amicable and respectful separation
  • Can communicate effectively and reach agreements
  • Prioritize minimizing costs and delays

What Steps Do Lawyers Take for Joint Divorce?

While not compulsory, a lawyer can assist with:

  • Completing the paperwork accurately
  • Ensuring both parties’ rights are protected
  • Negotiating agreements on complex issues
  • Representing you in court (if required)


So, considering divorce? A joint divorce in Alberta can offer a smoother, more amicable way to end your marriage.  It could be ideal if you and your spouse agreed on terms and prioritized a respectful separation. While not required, consulting a lawyer is the best way to solve everything in a friendly manner. They can explain your rights and obligations throughout the process, ensuring you make informed decisions.


What is the processing time of a joint divorce?

After submitting all documents, a Canadian court typically takes 1-2 months to process a joint divorce application.  This timeframe can vary depending on the court’s workload. Even with a smooth process, expect to wait at least 2-4 months for your divorce to be finalized after filing.

What is the cost of joint divorce in Alberta?

The cost of a joint divorce in Alberta depends on your situation. The filing fee is $260, but the bigger expense might be legal help. While not mandatory, a lawyer can ensure a fair agreement. Depending on the complexity, consulting can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. If you choose the DIY route, the total cost could be around $1,500, but remember, legal missteps can be costly down the road.

Is it necessary to hire a lawyer for a joint divorce?

Hiring a lawyer for a joint divorce isn’t mandatory but can provide peace of mind. They can review your agreements to ensure fairness and legality, answer your questions, and represent you in court if needed. This can be especially helpful for navigating complex issues or concerns about protecting your rights.  Ultimately, the decision depends on your comfort level and the complexity of your situation.

Who pays for divorce in Canada?

Canadian family law always motivates you for a fair trial. The court will always ask a spouse with more money to pay what is known as an interim disbursement. The spouse in need must have it and pay for lawyers or other kinds of stuff.

Previous How to Split Assets in a Divorce Canada?

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