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What happens to the divorce if the parties attempt to reconcile?

As a divorce lawyer in Calgary, I am frequently asked by clients: What happens to the divorce if I attempt a reconciliation?

Section 8(3) of the Divorce Act provides the answer to that question. If the parties are relying upon separation of at least a year as the ground for the divorce, they may attempt a reconciliation for a period, or periods, not exceeding 90 days without the "clock" that counts the one year period having to be reset.

One of the objectives of the Divorce Act is for the parties to reconcile. When family lawyers file divorce papers with the Court in Calgary to commence a divorce action, they must state that they have complied with the duty to discuss with their client the possibility of the parties reconciling and to inform the client of marriage counselling or guidance known to the lawyer that may be able to assist the parties to achieve a reconciliation.

In Calgary, divorce lawyers must sign a part of the Statement of Claim for Divorce that confirms that they have complied with this duty.

All parties should carefully consider whether a reconciliation is possible before they consult with a Calgary divorce lawyer, irrespective of whether they believe that the parties will be unable to agree upon issues such as custody and access, child support, spousal support and division of matrimonial property. This is because, if they reconcile, they will not have to resolve any such issues.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact me via email here, or via telephone on 403-538-2105.

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