Divorce under the Civil Marriage Act

The Civil Marriage Act (Canada) provides a process for non-resident spouses who were married in Alberta and who now reside in a jurisdiction where a divorce cannot be granted to them (because that state does not recognize the validity of their Alberta marriage) to obtain a divorce from the Alberta Court of King's Bench.

Under the Civil Marriage Act, an application for divorce can be made:

  • by both spouses jointly,
  • by one spouse, with the other spouse’s consent,
  • by one spouse, without the other spouse’s consent, if the spouse making the application presents a court order from the state where one of the spouses resides, or from the Alberta Court, declaring that the other spouse:
    • is incapable of making decisions about their civil status because of a mental disability,
    • is unreasonably withholding consent, or
    • cannot be found. 

Joint application for divorce


Note: Under the Civil Marriage Act, a divorce action cannot be combined with a claim for other relief such as spousal support, child support, or the parenting arrangements for children (custody or access). Only a divorce judgment can be granted by the Court.