Grounds for Divorce

Divorce is a very trying experience. When you know what’s going to happen, it’s a lot easier to deal with. While divorce is likely uncharted territory for you, you can arm yourself with all the information necessary to make the smoothest transition into your new life. Take control of the divorce process by educating yourself, it’ll relieve the stress and make your situation a lot easier to deal with.

Knowing The Grounds For Divorce Is A Good Starting Point

Canada has something called the Divorce Act that lays down the general laws for divorce. The Divorce Act recognizes three main grounds for divorce, which are cruelty, adultery, or being separated for one year. These grounds needn’t all be a condition of each divorce, as just one will justify the need for the dissolution of your marriage.

The main ground for divorce used in Canada is separation for a year because proving cruelty or adultery can prove very time consuming not to mention expensive.

It is generally recommended that you don’t file for divorce on the ground of cruelty or adultery, as this will simply make your divorce case much more expensive. As well, it generally will make resolving the other issues in your divorce more difficult to resolve. Finally, because of the backlog in the court system, even if you choose to proceed on the grounds of cruelty or adultery, you probably won’t be able to get your divorce in less than a year anyhow.

Separate And Then Count Down To One Year

The main ground for divorce that people rely on is separation for one year. However, there is often some confusion as to when the one-year separation begins. The period of the one-year separation starts at the time one spouse plans to live separate and apart from the other and acts on those plans. There is no need for a legal document that says you are separated, as there is no legal separation in Canada. This separation can be as limited as living in separate bedrooms, or as extensive as someone moving to another location.

A Long Separation Doesn’t Mean You’re Divorced

Many people are under the assumption that if they are separated for a long period of time, say ten or twenty years, that their marriage is nullified. This is not true; a divorce granted by a judge is the only way that your marriage will be terminated under the eyes of the law. While separation for one year is a ground for divorce, you still need to go through the legal process to obtain a divorce.

Divorcing When You Didn’t Marry In Canada

If you didn’t marry in Canada, you can still legally get a divorce here. Divorce in Canada is based on residency, not the place of marriage. So, if you or your spouse has lived in Canada for at least one year you can obtain a divorce here, on any of the grounds for divorce.

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If you are considering divorce -- or have already made your decision -- you're invited to email me on my contact form. I'll explain how you can protect your legal rights, reduce the expense of divorce, and protect your children from undue emotional stress.