Understanding the Basics of Divorce and Family Law in Edmonton

October 5, 2023


Divorce and family law cases can be emotionally challenging and legally complex. If you find yourself in a situation where divorce or family law matters are at play, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the basics. Many qualified family lawyers can assist you in comprehending the complexities of Canadian family law.

Family lawyers in Edmonton deal with cases of divorce, grounds for divorce, child decision-making and support, and division of assets and debts. This blog aims to provide you with essential information and insights to help you confidently navigate this legal landscape. We’ll cover all key aspects that will empower you during this challenging phase of your life.

Divorce and Family Law in Edmonton

Divorce law governs the process of ending a marriage, while family law deals with legal issues that arise from family relationships. In Edmonton, divorce and family law are primarily regulated by the Divorce Act and Family Law Act.

The Divorce Act is a federal law that guides divorce-related matters in Alberta. It has been in place since 1968 and was last revised in 2021. The Act provides direction on various issues, including divorce proceedings, separation, parenting arrangements, child support, and spousal support.

The Family Law Act covers various issues such as determining parenting, guardianship for children, facilitating contact between non-parents or non-guardians and children, and outlining support obligations for former spouses or parents who were never married.

Grounds for Divorce in Edmonton

Divorce law in Edmonton falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal government. There are three grounds based on which you can apply for divorce here.


Separation, in the context of divorce, refers to the period when a married couple decides to live apart to terminate their marriage. Under the Canadian Divorce Act, couples must physically live apart for at least one year before they can file for divorce unless they can prove that one of the other reasons for divorce, such as adultery, cruelty, or abuse, has occurred.


In Canada, according to the Divorce Act, a divorce can be granted on the grounds of adultery if the spouse seeking the divorce can provide evidence of committing adultery. Adultery refers to a married person engaging in sexual activity with someone other than their spouse. Adultery is recognized as a valid ground for divorce, allowing it to be cited as a legal reason for the dissolution of a marriage.

However, it’s essential to understand that being unfaithful in a marriage does not necessarily mean the innocent partner will receive a larger share of property or financial support. When determining property division and spousal support, the court may consider various factors, such as a spouse’s misconduct or inappropriate behaviour.


Cruelty in a marital union refers to intolerable actions by one spouse towards the other, leading to the inability of the couple to live together. It can manifest in various forms, including emotional and physical abuse, encompassing verbal insults, threats, physical violence, intimidation, and controlling behaviours.

To obtain a divorce on the grounds of cruelty, the person seeking the divorce must provide evidence that the other spouse has subjected them to physical or mental cruelty to such an extent that further cohabitation is impossible.

In any of the above mentioned situations, you need legal assistance from an expert and well-reputed family lawyer in Edmonton.

Laws Regarding Child Decision-making

In Edmonton, child decision-making responsibilities can be assigned to one or both parents or even to another party, such as a grandparent or guardian. The court’s primary consideration is the child’s best interests, considering factors like their age, needs, and relationships with each parent.

While parents are encouraged to establish parenting plans collaboratively, in cases where no agreement can be reached, the court may step in and make decisions based on the child’s best interests.

Other Matters Related to Family Law

Family law also applies to certain non-divorce situations. Here are some issues that are covered by the Family Act:

  • Determining the parentage of a child.
  • Determining guardianship in case of non-biological parents or adoption-related matters.
  • Dividing parenting responsibilities and parenting time.
  • Determining the amount of child support.
  • Determining the child’s contact with other persons, such as grandparents, through contact orders.


Navigating the intricacies of divorce and family law in Edmonton can be overwhelming, but having a solid understanding of the basics is crucial. From the grounds for divorce to child custody and property division, being informed empowers you to make the right decisions for yourself and your family. Remember to seek legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances from an expert family lawyer in Edmonton.

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Whether confronting a difficult family law matter, overseeing your estate affairs, or handling real estate transactions, you can rely on us to offer dependable legal services. Contact us now for reliable and affordable legal consultancy.

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