By your side every step of your divorce journey

Uncontested Divorce in Calgary

Sometimes marriages simply don’t work out, and getting a divorce is the only option for you and your spouse. Ease this new chapter of your life with our uncontested divorce lawyers. We understand that even the most amicable separations require a delicate touch and expert legal guidance. We are here to guide you through the process.

When you think of divorce, you think of messy battles in court that take months to resolve. But this is not always the case. In fact, many couples decide to end their marriage amicably and come to an agreement without setting foot in a court. This is called an uncontested divorce, or desk divorce.

At DLegal, we understand that no matter how amicable your divorce may be, it’s still an emotional time in your life, and dealing with the often confusing divorce process can be a lot. Our experienced divorce lawyers will handle your divorce with the empathy and care it deserves and give you help, advice, and guidance to ensure a swift and smooth uncontested divorce.

Inquire About a Divorce Lawyer
DLegal Law Office - Baloons

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce, sometimes called a desk divorce, is a type of divorce without the need for substantial court intervention. Unlike contested divorces, where couples disagree on various issues such as division of assets, child custody, or spousal support, in an uncontested divorce, both parties are in agreement on all terms related to the dissolution of their marriage. This streamlined process typically leads to a quicker and less expensive divorce compared to contested proceedings.

No matter what your situation, we’re here to help. Our knowledgeable divorce lawyers will be with you every step of the way, assisting with all the legalities of your divorce to ensure a quick and stress-free process.

How It Works

If you want to initiate an uncontested divorce, you (the applicant) must file a Statement of Claim for Divorce with the Court of the King’s Bench. Along with this document, you must also file relevant supporting documents, such as a draft copy of the proposed divorce judgment and any necessary affidavits. While you submit all the documentation, your spouse needs to be served with all these documents and has the opportunity to respond within a specified timeframe.

If your spouse agrees with the terms outlined in the Statement of Claim, they can file a Demand for Notice, indicating their consent to the divorce and agreement with the proposed terms. Once this step is completed, the divorce can proceed without the need for a court hearing, provided all legal requirements are met.

Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce

To qualify for an uncontested divorce in Alberta, both you and your spouse must meet certain legal requirements.

At least one of the spouses must be a resident of Alberta for at least one year preceding the divorce application. This residency requirement is essential to establish the jurisdiction of the Alberta courts in handling the divorce case.

There must also be grounds for divorce attesting to the fact that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This breakdown is typically demonstrated by living separate and apart for a continuous period of at least one year, with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. Living separately and apart can occur under the same roof if you are not cohabiting as a couple during that time.

One of the fundamental requirements for an uncontested divorce is that both you and your spouse must be in complete agreement on all major issues pertaining to the divorce. This includes but is not limited to the fair division of property and debts, arrangements for child custody and access, child support, and spousal support if applicable.

Any disagreements on these matters could result in the divorce being classified as contested, necessitating a different legal process.

Difference Between a Uncontested and Contested Divorce

The main difference between a contested and uncontested divorce lies in the level of agreement between the spouses regarding the terms of the divorce. In a contested divorce, spouses are unable to reach an agreement on critical issues, leading to prolonged court proceedings and potentially contentious legal battles. On the other hand, in an uncontested divorce, both parties are in agreement on all relevant matters, allowing for a smoother and more efficient process.

Difference Between an Uncontested and a Joint Divorce

While both uncontested and joint divorces involve mutual agreement between spouses, there is a subtle difference between the two. In an uncontested divorce, one spouse initiates the legal proceedings by filing a Statement of Claim for Divorce, which the other spouse then responds to. In a joint divorce, however, both spouses file the divorce application together, signifying their joint agreement to end the marriage and their mutual consent to the terms of the divorce.

Is an Uncontested Divorce Right for You?

Deciding whether an uncontested divorce is the right choice for you requires careful consideration of your specific circumstances, the level of cooperation between you and your spouse, and your ability to reach agreements on key issues.

Willingness to Communicate and Cooperate

An uncontested divorce is best suited for couples who can communicate effectively and work together to reach agreements. Suppose you and your spouse are able to discuss and resolve critical issues such as property division, child custody, and support in a civil manner. In that case, an uncontested divorce may be a viable option.

There Are No Overly Complex Issues

The simplicity or complexity of the issues involved in your divorce can impact the suitability of an uncontested process. If there is a significant disagreement on the division of assets or contentious issues related to child custody, child support, or alimony, an uncontested divorce may not be possible.

If You are Emotionally Ready

Uncontested divorces often proceed more smoothly when both parties are emotionally prepared for the process. If there are unresolved emotions or conflicts that may impede cooperation, it may be beneficial to address these issues through counseling or mediation before pursuing an uncontested divorce.

You Want to Save Time and Money

Uncontested divorces are way more cost-effective and faster than contested ones. If saving time and money is a priority, and both parties are in agreement, an uncontested divorce may be a favorable option.

When There Are Children Involved

If there are children from the marriage, an uncontested divorce can be less emotionally taxing for them. However, it’s crucial to ensure that child-related agreements, such as custody and support arrangements, are in the best interest of the children.

What is a Separation Agreement?

A separation agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of separation between spouses, including matters such as division of assets and debts, child custody and access, child support, and spousal support. It is often prepared and signed by both spouses and while it is not a requirement for divorce, it can provide a framework for an uncontested divorce by resolving key issues in advance.

How To Get an Uncontested Divorce

To initiate an uncontested divorce in Alberta, the uncontested divorce process involves several steps.

Preparation of Documents

The process begins with the applicant, the spouse initiating the divorce, preparing essential paperwork. This includes the central document, the Statement of Claim for Divorce, outlining grounds for divorce and terms sought, supported by affidavits providing evidence on key facts. An original marriage certificate is also required as proof of legal marriage.

Filing with the Court

Once prepared, the applicant files these documents with the Court of King’s Bench in the relevant jurisdiction, paying the associated court filing fee. The original and additional copies become part of the official court record, assigned a file number.

Service of Documents on the Respondent

The applicant ensures proper service of divorce documents on the respondent, the other spouse, using approved methods like personal delivery, registered mail, or court-approved means. Proper service is crucial for the court to recognize the divorce application as valid.

Response from Respondent

After receiving the documents, the respondent has a specified response period, typically 20 days within the province or one month outside, and two months if they are served outside Canada. If agreeing with the terms, the respondent files a Demand for Notice, indicating consent to the divorce and agreement with the applicant’s terms.

Finalizing the Divorce

After both parties sign the necessary documents and any waiting periods elapse, the applicant can request a divorce judgment. Assuming all the required documents are in order and both parties agree, the court reviews the case. If satisfied that legal requirements are met and there are no outstanding issues, the court issues a divorce judgment, formally concluding the marriage and outlining agreed-upon terms, including property division, child custody, support, and spousal support if applicable. However, additional time may be required in some cases to address outstanding legal or financial matters before the divorce is officially concluded.

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Alberta?

The duration of an uncontested divorce in Alberta varies based on factors such as court processing times, case complexity, and the efficiency of communication between the parties. Generally quicker than contested divorces, uncontested proceedings are often finalized within a few months from initiation.

The Value of Getting a Specialised Lawyer

While uncontested divorces may seem straightforward, it can still be a good idea to seek legal advice to ensure that your rights and interests are protected. Our experienced divorce lawyers will guide you through the whole divorce proceeding, help you negotiate a fair settlement, review divorce paperwork, and ensure that all necessary steps are followed to obtain a smooth and efficient divorce. We can also help you contest a filed divorce judgement if there are any errors or changes in the final judgement.

We understand that getting a divorce is not a great experience and one you’d like to get over swiftly. Having one of our divorce lawyers on your side will give you peace of mind, knowing that all the details are taken care of so that you can start your new life as soon as possible.


Divorce Lawyer Calgary

Amicable Divorce Without Children / Spousal Support $1495
Amicable Divorce With Children OR Spousal Support $2245
Amicable Divorce With Children AND Spousal Support $2445
Consultation on contested family matters $350/hour**

* The flat rate applies to a standard joint or uncontested divorce package and does not include GST, disbursements (such as process server and court filing fees), and extra services.

** Depending on your situation, we offer 50% on the first hour

Lawyer & Notary
Anna Dunaeva

Anna perpetually works to surpass her clients' expectations. Through continuous communication, Anna delivers on her commitment to keep clients at the centre of her practice.

View Anna's Bio Explore our People

News & Resources

Subscribe to our Newsletter to Stay Updated on Legal News

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.