Dealing with Divorce

When parents divorce, it is common for their children to have many questions. The following resources about divorce were developed for young people. But there may be resources for general audiences which are also appropriate.

See the resources listed under: Divorce and separation


CPLEA Suggested Resources

Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.

CPLEA has created new resources on Family Law in Alberta in partnership with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre. The five booklets in the series provide practical legal information on Child Custody and ParentingFinancial SupportProperty Division, Representing Yourself in Family Court, and Young Parents. The booklets provide information for both married and unmarried couples.  The booklets can be downloaded for free at www.cplea.ca/publications. Select Family Law from the drop down menu.

Related legal topic(s): Child support, Common law relationships, Custody and access, Divorce and separation, Family law general resources, Guardianship and trusteeship, Self-representation

These online FAQs are provided by Canadian Legal FAQs, a website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. These FAQs deal with divorce and provide information regarding: Divorce Act; Grounds for Divorce; Children and Divorce; Custody; Access; Child Support; and Mobility Rights.

Related legal topic(s): Child support, Custody and access, Divorce and separation, Family law general resources, Spousal support

The Family Law Project provides basic legal information on the following topics:

  • Divorce
  • Separation
  • Parenting TIme
  • Child and Spousal Support (also referred to as "maintenance")
  • Matrimonial property
  • Adult interdependent partnerships (often referred to as "common-law relationships")
  • Where to go if you need more in-depth information or help

In addition, the Family Law Project assists people in obtaining uncomplicated child support orders and variations, as well as related applications. A volunteer from the Family Law Project may be able to assist you in court if you meet our eligibility criteria. Please call to determine whether we can help you with your issue. The Family Law Project also provides a monthly Do-Your-Own-Divorce Clinic. Please call to obtain more information and to determine whether we can help you with your divorce.

Related legal topic(s): Child support, Common law relationships, Divorce and separation, Family law general resources, Spousal support

Alberta Resources

The Court of Queen's Bench is the Superior Trial Court for the Province, hearing trials in civil and criminal matters and appeals from decisions of the Provincial Court. The Chief Justice and other Justices of the Court of Queen's Bench are also judges of Surrogate Matters, which has jurisdiction over probate and administration of estate matters. The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta has sole jurisdiction over divorce and the division of property in the Province of Alberta, and presides over matters involving child and spousal support and child custody and access.

Related legal topic(s): Courts and court judgments, Family law general resources, Self-representation

This group of programs and services is offered by Alberta Justice in collaboration with the courts of Alberta. This webpage provides general information for those who are representing themselves in a family matter in either Court of Queen's Bench or The Provincial Court of Alberta.

This service is for people who don’t have a lawyer. Use it to:

  • prepare for court
  • navigate your family law matter through the Provincial Court
  • discuss your issues, explore your options and get you referrals
  • get a court order prepared and filed with the Court of Queen’s Bench and then have copies sent to the other party – after a parenting-related hearing
  • review your divorce before its submitted to the Court of Queen’s Bench
Related legal topic(s): Adoption, Custody and access, Divorce and separation, Family law general resources, Self-representation, Spousal support

Alberta Family Mediation Society (AFMS) advocates resolution of family conflict through the use of mediation by qualified professionals. AFMS offers a family-centered conflict resolution process in which an impartial third party (the mediator) helps the participants in negotiating a consensual, informed and fair agreement.

Related legal topic(s): Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

Calgary Counselling Centre is a charitable organization committed to providing compassionate, professional, and affordable counselling services to Calgarians. They offer counselling and group programs for individuals, couples, parents, families, and youth to help them resolve emotional and social problems. In addition to its may group and individual program services the Centre also offers a Male Domestic Abuse Outreach Program which provides counselling, advocacy, social service referrals (housing, financial aid, legal guidance, support) to men and their families experiencing domestic abuse of all forms.

Related legal topic(s): Divorce and separation, Drugs and alcohol, Elder abuse, Family violence general resources, Health issues, Relationship violence, Sexual assault, Sexual harassment

This online resource is from the Student Legal Services, University of Alberta, Edmonton. It includes information for couples who have been married or are adult interdependent partners. Married persons who are seeking child and/or spousal support as part of a divorce application apply under the Canada Divorce Act.  Non-married parents, married persons who are separated but not getting a divorce, and adult interdependent partners (often called “common law partners”, should seek child and/or spousal support under the Alberta Family Law Act. This resource is also available for download as a PDF.

Related legal topic(s): Child support, Spousal support

Calgary Legal Guidance (CLG) offers a  Do Your Own Divorce clinic to individuals who are looking for information about the divorce process and who have already settled their child support, property and debts and now want to divorce.Parties have to have been separated for more than one year, to have lived in Alberta for one year, and have an agreement as to matrimonial property division and child custody/access. For information on up and coming Do Your Own Divorce Clinics you can contact CLG at 403-234–9266.

Related legal topic(s): Divorce and separation

This online resource about Family law is provided by Legal Aid Alberta. It includes information about: marriage and 'common law relationships'; divorce; property rights, and guardianship of children; and explains some of the differences between a marriage and an Adult Interdependent Relationship.

Related legal topic(s): Common law relationships, Divorce and separation, Guardianship and trusteeship, Marriage

This guide was developed for frontline service providers in Alberta who work with vulnerable individuals. It provides general legal information on Alberta law only.

Related legal topic(s): Custody and access, Divorce and separation, Family law general resources, Family violence general resources, Protective orders, Spousal support

This manual is the companion to the Parenting After Separation course. It provides separated/divorce parents with information about the effect of divorce on children’s development. It introduces topics such as relationship building blocks, helping children cope with separation and divorce, the legal system and parenting plans.

Related legal topic(s): Divorce and separation

Parenting After Separation for Families in High Conflict is a three-hour course offered by Alberta Family Justice Services for parents and guardians who characterize their separation and divorce as high conflict. This course is an addition to the Parenting After Separation course that emphasizes the need for parents to work together to raise their children after separation. For some families, the level of conflict between the parents makes communication difficult or impossible. Other parents may experience periods of high conflict alternating with times when things go smoothly. High levels of conflict between parents will always negatively affect children.

Related legal topic(s): Divorce and separation

This website has guides to separation and divorce for kids, for teens, and for parents. The information in the guides for kids and teens is delivered by drawn characters and the content is spoken and written in easily understood language. For parents, in addition to the guide, there are two online courses, Parenting After Separation, and Parenting After Separation: Finances. The kids' and teens' guides are also available in French.

Note: This website has been created by a British Columbia organization, but, apart from some of the contacts listed, the information presented applies across Canada.

Related legal topic(s): Divorce and separation

Canada/Federal

The CBA Family Law Section has collaborated with Justice Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency and Finance Canada to develop the Tax Matters Toolkit. The Toolkit will help family law lawyers and their clients understand how tax rules might affect their future finances on separation or divorce. It explains the various credits, benefits and deductions, and will help you navigate and apply the often complex tax laws to the particular circumstances.

Related legal topic(s): Family law general resources, Taxation

This online version of a booklet from the Department of Justice Canada can help children between the ages of nine and twelve to learn about family law, and can also help them realize it's normal for them to have an emotional response to their parents' separation. It is also available to download as a PDF.

Related legal topic(s): Divorce and separation