The topics in the Dial-A-Law series provide general information on legal issues within the Province of Alberta. The purpose of this topic is to inform you of your legal rights and responsibilities. This is not legal advice. If you require legal advice, you should contact a lawyer.
This topic discusses how to apply for a child or spousal support order when your spouse lives outside the province of Alberta and you still currently reside in Alberta. The following process is to save both parties from travelling back and forth and have their matter resolved in a time effective manner. The same process will apply if your spouse still resides in Alberta and you no longer do.
Process for if you or your spouse live outside of Alberta
If your spouse lives outside of Alberta, you can apply for an Interjurisdictional Support Order (ISO) if you wish to enforce, create or change a spousal or child support Order with the other spouse that owes the payment or will receive the payment. A person is eligible to apply for this type of Order if:
- You or the spouse that lives outside of Alberta, lives in a province that has a similar process as in Alberta for seeking child or spousal support (seek legal advice as such matters may be more complex and will require legal assistance)
- You divorced the other spouse outside of Canada
- You were never legally married to the other partner
- You are married but not yet divorced
- The Divorce action has not yet started
To start the process, you must confirm where the other spouse lives.
After this is confirmed, you may start your application at no charge, at a Provincial Court, Family and Youth Division. If you have any questions, you may contact them at 1-855-738-4747.
Next, you must complete a support application that includes the following information:
- The other spouse’s name and address
- Amount and type of support claimed
- The legal authority from which the Support Order was granted
- Sworn document which must include: the other spouse’s name, address, financial circumstances of both spouses, whom the support is claimed for and their birth dates, amount of support claimed and where it will be received
- Any other document required and requested by the place or Court where the non residing spouse lives
You must prepare and submit a financial statement and a tax status form from the past 3 years
The above application must be submitted to the Court in Alberta
Once the application is complete and approved by that Court, they must send a copy of the application to Court in the place where the other spouse lives. The spouse, who files the application, may be required to submit more evidence, information or other documents that are requested by the Court where the non-residing spouse lives.
Note that the Provincial Court in Alberta may make a Provisional Order which means that the application is not approved until the Court where the non-resident spouse lives, confirms the application. Whether this will apply in your situation, depends on the rules and guidelines of the other Court.
If applicable, the other Court will then review all evidence, documents and make any changes and provide you with a copy of the final order with reasons, if any.
If you wish to contest this Order, you can make another application or appeal it at Court.
Dial-A-Law is a Calgary Legal Guidance public service project funded in part by the Alberta Law Foundation.