There is only one "Grounds For Divorce" in Canada:
Divorce is granted in Canada for one reason. Marriage breakdown.
Marriage breakdown is based on one of the following three "grounds."
There are just three grounds for marriage breakdown: Cruelty or Adultery, or Separation for one year. Any one of them is sufficient for divorce. You do not need to have more than one ground.
- Separation for one year:
You have lived "separate and apart" for a year having decided the marriage is over. Living "separate and apart" does not necessarily mean living in separate homes. You can live separate and apart while sharing a home.
It is also possible to claim that although you only recently moved out and live in a different home, the marriage broke down and was essentially over at some time in the past, regardless of living arrangements
You do not need a separation agreement to prove separation.
Your spouse has had sexual intercourse with someone else and you are not going to forgive her for that. However you have to prove it and that is not easy. It is not clear if the many other forms of sex would apply or not. Is fellatio sexual intercourse? Many women do not regard fellatio as sex. You need to ask a lawyer what the courts think. CanLaw's lawyer referral service will help you find a lawyer
"Cruelty" can mean just about what ever the woman wants it to mean. If she claims it is unbearable to continue living together, the courts will probably accept that. Cruelty may include physical or mental "abuse." The courts do not seem to care if the abuse is real or imagined. As long as she cries abuse, the courts will believe her regardless of the truth.
Unfortunately many women's groups coach women on how to manipulate the system by claiming abuse, whether it is true or not.
Canada is a society in which the politically weak, (visible minorities and women) merely by being so, are automatically in the right.
You should seriously consider using Separation as your ground for divorce. Most divorces in Canada are based on the grounds of separation for a year or more.
Proving cruelty or adultery will be expensive, slow, frustrating and very difficult.
This does not mean that you should not file for divorce on the grounds of cruelty or adultery, but why go to all the trouble?
Most people find it faster, simpler and much less expensive to simply separate for a year and then plead Separation as the grounds for divorce. Ask a lawyer before you decide. CanLaw's lawyer referral service will help you find a lawyer
Your Separation Agreement will help you resolve property, custody and support matters. However you do not need a legal document that says you are separated, as there is no "legal separation" in Canada.
Divorce in Canada is controlled by the Divorce Act
However each province also has its own Family Law Acts, which will affect your divorce in some manner.
How do you determine when the one year waiting period started and ends?
The clock starts running when you decide that the marriage is over and there can be no reconciliation. You do not have to be physically living in separate homes to be "separated."
Your separation can mean living in separate bedrooms, or as one of you moving out and living elsewhere.
A Long Separation Doesn't Mean You're DivorcedSome uninformed people will say 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. Marriages do not just disolve or evaporate. A divorce granted by a judge is the only way that your marriage will be terminated under the eyes of the law.
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.
Citizenship: You do not have to be a Canadian citizen to apply for a divorce in Canada. You must reside here.
Canadian Divorce Laws
The Divorce Act is a federal law made by the Parliament of Canada, administered equally across all provinces and territories. Only the superior court of each province has jurisdiction to deal with a Petition for Divorce.
There Are No Winners in Court: Getting involved with the courts in a contested divorces is a lousy, destructive, enervating, expensive, frustrating, and time wasting nightmare that will last for years.
Do you know, for example, that a prolonged divorce or family court battle often will wipe out your resources completely? Can you afford to spend $50,000 or more on legal costs? How would that help your children? Or be in their "best interests?"
Dealing with divorce is very trying and hard on both parties. It is not just the divorce, it is also the custody and access and support battles that follow and drag on for years. Dealing with the many unknowns make it more upsetting.
It is well worth your time to review these pages and educate yourself on the rules, the process and the grounds for divorce, custody and support. It will give you a sense of control again and make life a little easier for you during the nightmare called divorce.
Be smart and avoid court battles by doing your own divorce.
Yes, you can do your own divorce the easy way - - Uncontested Divorce: for a few hundred dollars or pay others tens of thousands. The choice is yours.
| DO IT YOURSELF DIVORCE
How do I file for divorce in Canada?
You can do your own "uncontested" divorce, using separation for one year as the reason.
If your divorce is simple and there are no major problems, you can do it yourself and seek an uncontested divorce with or without the help of a lawyer or paralegal.
BUT, regardless, it is prudent to spend a little money and consult with a divorce lawyer or paralegal and have your options explained before you act.
Use CanLaw's Lawyer Referral Services to find a lawyer.
A lawyer will explain how the law applies in your situation and how to protect your rights. You can then choose the right course of action for your situation.
Find divorce legal information and resources including law firm, lawyer and attorney listings and reviews on CanLaw.com
You can file for divorce with or without the involvement, consent or cooperation of your spouse.
BASIC TYPES OF DIVORCE
- Uncontested Divorce: You file the forms for divorce and if your spouse does not file a response, then the divorce becomes uncontested.
You probably will not even have to appear in court. Usually a judge will just rubber stamp the divorce so long as there is no glaring unfairness or inequity in the proposed divorce arrangements.
You cannot file an "uncontested divorce." The court determines this based on your filings.
- Joint Divorce: If you and your spouse agree on most or all of the issues you have an uncontested joint divorce.
When both parties sign, and swear to the divorce papers the divorce is mutual and you are telling the court that you both want a divorce and agree on the terms you set up.
- Collaborative Contested Divorce: A Collaborative contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot agree on all of the issues, but are willing to negotiate through lawyers to solve all problems and all agree not to go to court.
- Contested Divorce: A contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot agree on all of the issues. It can easily cost you $50,000 because this is where lawyers get involved in a lengthy court battle. A contested divorce will involve considerable time, money and frustration. They often turn into major battles and both parties end up losers.
Common Steps to Divorce.
- Decide to Divorce.
- Research the rules by browsing CanLaw; it is rich with free information.
- Attend to property issues with a CanLaw Separation Agreement.
- Decide if you really need a lawyer to prepare your divorce documents.
- Actually read some of the how-to's and reports. 20 minutes of reading will save you thousands of dollars
Each province has it's own way of doing things. Basically in each province the steps are:
- File your first set of papers in the right court.
- Wait for clearance from the Divorce Registry in Ottawa.
- While you are waiting you conduct 'service' on your spouse according to the rules of court procedure. Go here to Find a Process Server on CanLaw
- Wait the prescribed number of days and hope the other side does what you want.
- File the second set of papers and your Affidavits.
- File Motions and financial statements as requested.
- Wait for a court decision
When are you divorced?
Divorce becomes final 31 days after the judge signs the order.
Once the judgement is final you can apply for a certificate of divorce.
You cannot remarry until you have that certificate.
You will need proof of your Canadian Divorce.
Click here to get your official Divorce Order or Certificate of Divorce
How to Divorce.
If divorce is in your future then you and your soon-to-be-ex will follow the rules.
Traditionally people used to turn to a lawyer. But - because all parties must follow the Divorce Act and the Child Support Guidelines you do not need to complicate things with the traditional adversarial approach of lawyers.
If children are involved the guidelines will dictate exactly how much child support you will get, or give. Divorcing couples can not make their own child support arrangements.
You do not need your spouse's permission or approval for divorce. It only takes one person to seek divorce.
The courts encourage you to come to terms about property and money. You can do this with a valid CanLaw Separation Agreement If you can not negotiate an agreement then the alternative is to abandon the hopes of having an agreement signed, or to seek legal counsel. Stats Canada estimates that 90% of divorcing couples do not need a law firm to take control of their divorce and money.
"Hell hath no fury like the lawyer of a woman scorned"