DIVORCE LAWYERS CALGARY
To separate is to cease living together as a couple. The legal phrase from the Divorce Act, which applies when parties are legally married, is “separate and apart”. Usually this involves one person leaving the matrimonial home and taking up residence elsewhere. It is possible, however, depending on the particular circumstances, for parties to be separated while continuing to both live in the same home. For instance, where the parties sleep in separate bedrooms and essentially live like roommates rather than spouses. At least one of the parties must believe that the marriage is over. Both components, the physical separation and mental intent, must coincide for parties to be separated or to be living separate and apart. Separated persons remain legally married to their spouses until a Divorce Judgment is granted.
Separation Agreement – A binding contract which sets out the terms agreed upon between the parties regarding all legal issues, typically covering the details as to a resolution of the division of property (all assets and debts), parenting (sometimes referred to as custody and access), child support and spousal support. Although a Separation Agreement resolves most, if not all the parties’ legal issues, they are not divorced until a Divorce Judgment is granted.
A Separation Agreement tends to be drafted by the lawyer for one of the parties, while the other party obtains independent legal advice. Although such an agreement may be arrived at quite readily in some cases, more often than not there are legal issues in dispute that need to be resolved. You should speak to your lawyer about what would be the most effective and appropriate approach for you. You may need to commence a Court Action and bring a Family Application if there are immediate issues that must be dealt with such as parenting or support.
Divorce Judgment – A Judgment by which a Judge grants a divorce. Only then are the parties no longer legally married. Thirty days after a Divorce Judgment is granted, a Certificate of Divorce may be obtained from the Court. A Certificate of Divorce is a document that certifies that the parties are divorced and that it is final. It is required in order to remarry. It also allows the wife to automatically return to her “maiden name” without the necessity of a formal name change.
Desk Divorce – A term which describes the process of obtaining an uncontested divorce by submitting a package of documents, referred to as a desk divorce package, to the Court without the necessity of any personal attendances in Court of the parties or their lawyers. It is referred to as a desk divorce because the Judge reviews the desk divorce package at his or her desk, rather than in a Courtroom. Once the desk divorce package is filed or submitted to the Court, there is a wait of several months before the Judgment is granted, except in the very limited situations where a rush divorce is required and allowed.