Edmonton Family Law
Edmonton Family Lawyers
At Stillman LLP, we understand that dealing with family law issues can be a highly emotional and challenging period in the lives of our clients. We will support you through the process, advise you on your rights and obligations under the law, and assist you in navigating any disputes. We can also discuss and assist you with proactive planning tools, such as prenuptial and cohabitation agreements.
Our firm’s wealth of expertise and reputation in family law is a direct product of our knowledgeable lawyers and staff. Our lawyers have appeared at all levels of court in Alberta, and also represent clients in the North West Territories, in addition to regularly participating in a variety of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. We balance our passionate advocacy with being practical and focused on achieving solutions that are in our clients’ best interests.
Areas of experience include:
- Divorce and Separation
- Matrimonial Property
- Spousal Support
- Custody and Access
- Child Support
- Mobility Rights
- Mediation and Settlement
- Prenuptial and Cohabitation Agreements
- Restraining Orders
- Adult Interdependent Partners
If you are seeking more information about our legal services, require a divorce lawyer, or wish to inquire about our other services, Contact Stillman LLP today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a marital breakdown?
According to the Divorce Act of Canada, marital breakdown is the only recognized reason for a divorce to occur. A marital breakdown can be caused by separation, cruelty, or adultery. Each kind of divorce has different requirements. Separation requires the spouses to live apart for at least one year before obtaining a divorce, which can include living under the same roof but in different beds, not performing domestic services such as cooking or cleaning, and having little to no contact with each other. Cruelty involves mental or physical abuse, and adultery is defined as extramarital relations with someone other than your spouse. For both cruelty and adultery divorces, the evidence must be presented to support the claims.
What are the steps for getting a divorce?
The first step of the divorce process in Canada is to separate from your spouse. Separation requires the spouses to live apart for a year before filing for divorce.
Obtain a divorce application by filling out the correct forms for your province and determine if the divorce is a no-fault or fault divorce. No-fault divorces require the spouses to have been separated for a year, and fault divorces are filed for reasons of cruelty or adultery and must include evidence to support the claims made.
Determine if the divorce will be contested or not. An uncontested divorce is one where both parties agree to the reason and terms of the divorce and are filed on the same application. Contested divorces are where the spouses do not agree on the reason or terms for the divorce and require separate divorce applications.
File the Statement of Claim for Divorce to the appropriate court, which will depend on where you live in Alberta.
Serve the Statement of Claim for Divorce by delivering the documents to the other spouse via a professional process server or someone you trust, like a friend or family member.
Wait for the defendant to respond. They have 20 days if they reside within Alberta, 30 days if they are outside of Alberta but within Canada, and 60 days if they live outside of Canada. At this point, the Defendant may file a dispute, which will trigger the Court to hold an Examination of Discovery. This is a pre-trial process where either party can ask questions and prepare their documentation. If a dispute is filed, it is recommended to retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
A Justice will be assigned to your case and will review all filed documents. If all conditions are met, the Justice will issue the Divorce Judgement. After 31 days, you can then request your Certificate of Divorce from the Court.
How can I prepare for a divorce trial?
You can lessen the stress of a divorce trial by retaining Stillman LLP as your Edmonton family law experts. We will guide you through this difficult, time-consuming process and ease the burden on your shoulders.
The first step you should do is prepare your financial documents. This includes bank, credit card, mortgage statements, and more. By gathering this in advance, you can save time and money by being prepared.
The next step is to keep a cool head and go into the divorce proceedings with settlement and compromise in mind. Rarely does either party walk away from a divorce trial feeling victorious. Often, feelings and egos are bruised during the trial process. By going in with a level head and an end goal in mind, you can preserve your dignity. This is especially important when child custody is involved, as shielding your child from the ugliness that can come out of a divorce trial is vital for their health and mental wellbeing.
The last steps include considering your future budget and living arrangements. Divorce touches every aspect of a person’s life, and having a plan in place ahead of time will help ease the stress of the situation.
Why should I choose Stillman LLP as my Edmonton family law lawyer?
In an ideal world, divorces would be negotiated peacefully by the spouses without the need for the intervention of a lawyer. Unfortunately, divorce is often highly emotional and stressful, and it becomes difficult to come to a decision when one or both spouses are unhappy with each other.
By engaging the services of Stillman LLP, you gain the valuable partnership of family law experts who have the experience and compassion to guide you through this difficult process. Having a lawyer on your side will help you enforce your rights and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. We can assist you with child custody, divorce or separation cases, as well as help families find a proper resolution for their unique situation.
How can I prepare for a child custody case?
Child custody cases are among the most difficult to navigate on your own. By choosing Stillman LLP as your Edmonton family lawyers, you can rest assured knowing that your case will be handled by lawyers who take family issues seriously. Protecting the child or children is our first concern, and we will do everything in our power to protect them. We will help you determine if you are eligible for custody, access, and/or child support, and will fight to ensure your rights are protected in court.
The most important thing you can do to prepare is to go in with your child's best interests in mind. It may be difficult, but sometimes what we want and what your child needs don't always align. Reconciling yourself to the knowledge that your child will be provided with the best life possible and being open to compromise will ensure your case moves forward as quickly and painlessly as possible.