Marital breakdown is the ground for divorce in Alberta and the marital breakdown can occur through fault or no fault. Marital breakdown can be established in three ways:
1. Where the parties have lived separate and apart for one year. Note that living separate and apart does not necessarily mean that the parties have ceased cohabiting. Living separate and apart means there has been a complete withdrawal from the performance of matrimonial duties and obligations.
2/3. Adultery/mental or physical cruelty allows a divorce prior to the one year barrier. However, the spouse who committed adultery will usually have to sign an affidavit admitting to the adultery. Likewise, the Court will require proof of cruelty before finalizing a divorce.
Practically speaking, couples seeking a divorce will usually live separate and apart for one year in order to obtain a Divorce Judgment as this is the least contentious manner to establish marital breakdown and provides for the path of least resistance.
It is important to note that you do not have to wait a full year before initiating the divorce proceedings but it is necessary to wait one year before filing documents to finalize the divorce.
Contact Proskiw Law at 780-665-4944 for representation in your family and divorce proceedings.