Separation and Divorce Documents

We draft and file 8% of Edmonton’s divorces — the most of any Edmonton firm.

We draft simple, uncontested divorces for a fixed fee. [For contested divorces or complicated files — see our *legal representation page*]

For our simple uncontested divorce service, our staff will assist you in the completion of your divorce documents using the information you provide. With this service, to keep your costs as low as possible: we do not provide legal advice; a lawyer does not oversee your file; and The Divorce Company does not represent you. We will file the documents on your behalf and you will not need to attend court.

To use this simple uncontested fixed fee service, the following must be true: [however, if your situation is not simple or is not uncontested, then see our *legal representation page*]

  • You or your former spouse have lived in Alberta for the last year.
  • You have already divided your assets and debts between you in a way that does not require any additional work or description.
  • If there are children:
    • Child support is being paid according to the Federal Child Support Guidelines
    • You agree on parenting arrangements and decision making responsibilities.
  • You either:
    • Have been living separate and apart from your spouse for at least one year (maybe you were separated while you were living in the same home) OR
    • If you have not yet been separated for one full year, you want to file the initial documents now so that the rest of the divorce process will be much faster OR
    • If the marriage broke down because of adultery or cruelty, the person who was cruel or committed adultery is willing to sign a document indicating that agree they did these things.

Many people need additional documents drafted such as such as separation agreements, title transfer, dower release, registration of spousal support payments with Canada Revenue Agency, request for reduction of tax with your employer, Canada Pension Plan credit splitting. Many people don’t know about the mandatory registration of marital status change required by Canada Revenue Agency. In the application, you can check off other documents that you may be interested in.

There are two types of divorce documents depending on your circumstances.

Which suits your circumstances?

#1: Uncontested Joint Divorce

If your spouse agrees with all issues of the divorce and is willing to sign the divorce documents, you can use a joint divorce. You do not need to sue or serve the other person. This is much less expensive and much faster as your spouse is co-operating.

Our fees (not including gst) for drafting and filing a uncontested joint divorce are:

  • Either one or both spouses attend our office for one 50 minute meeting, you have all necessary materials with you such as photo ID, marriage certificate, and Parenting After Separation certificates (if you have children 16 or under) — $1,050 +  Government Court Filing fee of $260.
  • You complete an application online – you and your spouse come in only to sign documents (together or separately) – $900 + Government Court Filing fee of $260. Note — This process does not allow for any substantive questions. Please use the online process only if you are sure you you will have no questions or you located outside of the Edmonton area. See below for a link to start the application.

#2: Sole Divorce

You are not sure if your spouse will cooperate. Consequently, you do not count on them signing the documents. There are extra steps required for this which include having someone (who cannot be you) who will give the documents to your former spouse in person. This is called ‘serving documents’. You can also hire people to do this for you.

Assuming your former spouse does not contest (tell the court that they do not agree with the divorce),  we can tell the court that they never filed any documents themselves disagreeing with the divorce, and we ask the court to continue the divorce as if they had agreed to it. This is how most of these types of divorces proceed.

If your former spouse files documents disagreeing with aspects of the divorce, then we advise that you seek the advice of a lawyer. You can retain our firm to represent you — or you can find your own lawyer. The cost for additional legal services is not included in the fixed fee.

Our fees for a Sole Uncontested Divorce are:

  • In person: $1300  +  $260 Government Court Filing Fee
  • On line application: $1150  + $260 Government Court Filing Fee
  • Additional services we can arrange:
    • Arranging to have your spouse served  – minimum $100 + cost of process server (estimated at about $175 depending on circumstances) [or you can arrange to have your spouse served by an adult at no cost]
    • Asking the court for permission to have your spouse served outside the country – minimum $650 (this requires someone to attend court on your behalf).[but you can also do this on your own]
    • Asking the court to approve a different way of serving your spouse (by email or facebook for example) – minimum $650 (this requires someone to attend court on your behalf).[but you can do this on your own]

Getting Started

Whether you are starting a joint divorce or sole divorce, having us draft documents in-person or from an online application, you will need to have the following:

  • Your information: full name at birth, last name used just before marriage, date of birth, current last name, current address, phone number, and email.
  • Their information: (as best as you can) full name at birth, last name used just before marriage, date of birth, current last name, current address, phone number, and email.
  • Marriage Certificate (Alberta example photo):
    • If you were married in Canada, you must provide a marriage certificate issued by the government. Please note: this is not a handwritten certificate that you might have obtained from the marriage ceremony. You can order acceptable marriage certificates from any registry agent in Alberta. Most provinces have online ordering as well (except Alberta).
    • If you were not married in Canada, you will need to provide the name of the person who married you and the names of witnesses to the ceremony. If you cannot remember, you may indicate ‘Unknown’. (e.g. We were married before Unknown. There were two witnesses, John Smith and Unknown)
  • If there are children
    • Full names, date of birth and city/province of birth.
    • If there are children under the age of 16, you will provide a completion certificate from the Alberta Government’s free Parenting After Separation (PAS) course available online *here*.
    • If you are filing a joint divorce, your spouse will need to provide the PAS certificate as well.
    • Incomes of both spouses that will be used for child support.
    • The expected monthly cost of any additional expenses for the children such as childcare or extracurricular activities.

What would work better for you — an In-Person Meeting or completing the online no-obligation application?

Book a 50 Minute Meeting – Divorce Documents Prepared In Person

Once you have assembled the necessary information, book an in-person meeting using the link below. In that meeting, we expect to draft all necessary documents for your divorce in 50 minutes. You will review, make any necessary changes, and approve the documents. If you have been separated for more than one year and are doing a joint divorce, you can sign all documents in that single meeting.

If you want to make more time available in the meeting for questions, consider completing the online application first.

On Line Application

You can provide your information online. Based on the information you provide, we will provide a quotation for expected services.

Click below to get started.  Remember to save your application often, and submit once you have completed.  We will review your application and send you a quote for payment once we are sure that we can help you.

Once you have the quotation, you may:

  1. Provide payment by e-transfer or credit card, we will draft the documents and send them to you by email for review.
  2. Book an in-person meeting. We can use the information you provide in the online application to significantly speed the drafting process making more time available for you to ask questions during the meeting.  Payment is due at the end of the meeting.
  3. Do nothing. There is no obligation. Just let us know that you do not want to proceed and we will close your file.

Additional Potential costs:

Over 90% of clients do not pay us any additional fees — but some do.

No one likes surprises. We do not like charging extra fees. Often corrections will take significantly longer than the drafting the actual divorce itself. Quite frankly, the fees below do not even cover our cost to correct the issues. Please avoid having extra charges. The chances of having additional fees can be greatly reduced by reading the instructions carefully and reviewing all documents before signing.  Most files do not require any additional fees, but some do. The following are minimum charges and do not include gst. If it takes more time than expected to correct the following, we will bill at a rate of $290/hour plus GST.

  • Corrections to documents after they have been approved – $250
  • Administer and refile documents that were signed incorrectly outside of our office – $150.
  • Discontinuing a prior divorce that was previously started which you did not tell us about — $250
  • Asking the court to dispense with the normal 30 day appeal period once the divorce has been granted – $150. Most people just wait for the 30 day appeal period to expire because there is no additional charge.
  • Having to reissue documents that were lost, spoiled, or destroyed – $100.
  • Having our company apply for the the Divorce Certificate – $150 (Most clients do this themselves for free — we provide a web link for you , it takes less than 5 minutes, and there is no charge to you, and you can ask for as many Divorce Certificates as you want).
  • Booking a signing meeting but failing to attend and not cancelling with a minimum of 8 business hours notice – $60.
  • Having to come for additional meetings because one party did not bring the required documents as advised – $60.
  • If you are not following the Federal Child Support Guidelines, our rate is $290/hour to try to write your reasons for not following the Federal Child Support Guidelines. Most clients have a hard time clearly indicating to the court why their particular arrangement is in the best interests of the children and why a Judge should allow a different arrangement. Most clients who do not want to follow the Federal Child Support Guidelines benefit from a discussion about this.
  • Discussions about how both parents might claim the amount eligible as dependent tax deduction in a shared parenting arrangement (normally a $3200 tax savings per year for the higher income spouse) – $290/hour. If we are doing your documents in person and there is time available, there is no extra charge for this.
  • Postage for foreign countries – $25
  • Having to attend post office because documents were sent registered mail and we were not available to sign for them – $150 (Please – avoid this fee, send documents as regular mail, it is less expensive and just as reliable. Documents can always be recreated and resigned if for some reason they go missing).
  • Drafting supplemental Affidavits because of additional requests by the court – $250. Occasionally, a Judge might decide to request more information from you. This is unusual, but it does happen.

The Fine Print

Divorce Forms Terms and Conditions

To use our fixed fee divorce document preparation service, you must have:

  • Basic facts (names, marriage dates, separation dates)
  • Spousal Support arrangements
  • Child Support amounts in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines
  • Parenting arrangements which are in the best interests of the children
  • Your grounds for divorce will be that that your marriage has broken down because you have (or will have) lived separate and apart for at least 1 year. Alternatively, you do not need to live separate and aparat for a year if one party is claiming adultery or cruelty and the other party is willing to sign a document agreeing they committed adultery or were cruel.
  • You must be able to supply a government issued marriage certificate (if married in Canada, or in the case of a foreign divorce, you must provide the name of the official who married you, the number and names of any witnesses – you may use ‘unknown’ if you do not remember).
  • If you have children under age 16, you can supply a certificate of attendance from the government mandated course “Parenting After Separation” for you, and if you are doing a joint divorce application, for your spouse as well.
  • If we are preparing a sole divorce and you are not in the Edmonton judicial area, we are unable to file your documents for you – as you should commence your divorce in your local judicial area.

Beyond reasonable simple clarification questions, additional mediation and/or arbitration services are available and charged separately at our current rate.

We seldom charge additional fees, but we reserve the right to charge additionally for the following:

  • discontinuing an existing action which you have previously filed.
  • departing from the Federal Child Support Guidelines
  • amending information which you supplied in error, failed to supply, or supplied incompletly,  – such as, but not limited to, number of children, incorrect spelling of your child’s name, wrong date of birth, incorrect marriage date, location, witnesses, officiant, names, marital status at time of marriage, changes in income, etc. We offer two rounds of reasonable document revisions at no cost, and then charge $100 per round of revisions thereafter. We do not charge for revisions if the error is ours.
  • We may reject your application for any reason, including lack of information provided or poor/inconsistent capitalization that would require extensive editing.

You acknowledge:

  • We will fully rely on the information, documents, advice, and instructions supplied by the Participants. We assume no decision-making responsibility or managerial authority during the process, nor do you grant the same. This is a typing service and will type the forms solely on the information provided by you. The staff completing the documents are likley not lawyers, do not practice law and are not able to give you legal advice. The receipt of general legal information is not a substitute for legal advice or assistance. You should seek legal advice regarding any agreement. The fees for such advice are not part of the fees paid to us, nor are we able to supply you with independent legal advice with this service.
  • If your divorce becomes contested, this fixed fee service is not able to further assist you and will recommend that you seek the advice of a family lawyer.

Payment terms:

Payment for document completion services is made in advance by credit card, money order, certified cheque, or Interac email money transfer. Personal cheques are not accepted. Money orders and certified cheques are payable to “Dean Bergsma Professional Corporation dba The Divorce Company”. You may cancel this contract and request a refund only before we have begun to type your documents. Monies refunded will be less any actual applicable service fees incurred.

Delivery of documents

Your documents will be delivered to you either by regular mail or email, or you may pick them up at our office. If you choose to have your documents delivered to you by regular mail, they will be sent via Canada Post. Regular domestic postage rates are included in our fees. If you request to have your documents delivered expeditiously, or to foreign countries, additional charges may apply.