Key pieces of legislation:
Divorce Act- federal
Family Law Act- Alberta
Given handout 19
Everything depends on what kind of relationship and what
kind of breakup.
Unlike criminal law, family law can be found in both
provincial and federal law.
Federal has jurisdiction over who gets married, also over
who gets married and divorced.
If married hetero or not, go to divorce act, same no matter
where you live.
Provinces have solemnization, you have to be 18, over 16 or
pregnant or the mother of a living child.
Cant be coercion situation (forced) or consummate situation
Provinces have jurisdiction over spouse support, child
support, adoption, children whose parents are not married
Divorce act overlaps the family law act. They added custody
and support provisions to the divorce act. They are
permitted because the overarching part of the act is the
We also have a family law act that deals with children and
spouses. Sometimes have dual jurisdiction. Once something
starts in a court, you finish it in that court –that way there is
not competing orders based on people financial situation
(provincial is cheaper)
Mutual obligations- from the minute you are married to
someone you are liable to support them.
How do you end a marriage?
Annulment- FLA court judgment that the marriage never
existed. If you are incapable legally to be getting married. If you married someone you though was male and they are
Declaration of irreconcilability- part 4 of family law act-
Interdependent partners, and people who do not with to get
a divorce. They want issues of support and the children
taken care of. All you have to convince the court of is that
you don’t get along. Doesn’t matter how long you’ve been
apart. Bad because you're still married. If you meet
someone else you cant marry the second person. Also has
implications for inheritance.
If you are married you can use the family law act instead of
the divorce act if you choose
Part 3 of FLA- support in cases of separation
To understand the FLA- spouse means someone who is
married, adult interdependent or individual is not married
Divorce Act- doesn’t matter which province, it is all the
same. Always the superior court (court of queens bench).
Only one recognized ground, marital breakdown. 3 types of
Living separate for at least one year (there are
issues with this, you have to be physically separate.
One spouse may move down to the basement but
the other person may be doing to all the cooking
booty calling etc). There has to be an intention to
live that way. Woman cant go away for work and
then ask for divorce. Courts want to encourage
people to reconcile, they will allow you to get back
together for up to 90 days without restarting the 1
The conduct of a person is not to be considered (etc asshole)
Adultery of the other person, other person
committed not you. Cruelty. Includes mental and physical, addiction to
drugs or alcohol. Has to be the other person, not
Judge has to see if there is indica