Divorce

If you are married and want to put an end to your marriage, the only way to officially do so is to obtain a Divorce.  

In order to obtain a Divorce, you must apply to the courts for a Divorce Order. If you and your spouse can agree upon how to resolve all of the other issues regarding the end of your relationship (such as who will take care of the children when, who will pay whom how much support, and how you will divide your assets), then you may not have to attend court to obtain your Divorce. Instead, you can file the necessary paperwork with the courts and receive a Divorce Order in the mail.

How Do I Get A Divorce Order?

In order to obtain a Divorce Order, you must have grounds for Divorce.  Grounds for Divorce are the reasons why you think the courts should grant you a Divorce.  This does not mean that you must explain to the judge why you or your spouse decided to end the relationship.  It means that you must indicate in your court documents which of the three grounds for Divorce apply to the end of your marriage.  These three grounds for Divorce are:

Separation

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Seeking a Divorce on the grounds of Separation means that you want a judge to grant you a Divorce because you and your spouse have been separated for a year or longer.

Adultery

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If you or your spouse committed adultery, then it may be possible to obtain a Divorce on the grounds of Adultery.

Cruelty

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If your spouse was abusive towards you, then it may be possible to obtain a Divorce on the grounds of Cruelty.

Separation: The Most Common Grounds For Divorce

Although there are three grounds for Divorce in Canada, most Divorces are granted on the grounds of Separation.  There are many reasons for this.  For example, it is almost always easier, less costly, and less time consuming to prove that you have separated for a year than it is to prove that your spouse cheated on you or that your spouse was abusive towards you.  It can also be difficult to attempt to settle the other issues in your matter, and to try to parent any children that you have together, if you are focused on proving Adultery.

Obtaining A Divorce Takes Time

Obtaining a Divorce Order can take a long time.  In most cases, you must be separated for at least a year before you can obtain a Divorce.  Also in most cases you must give your spouse about a month to respond to your Application for a Divorce.  Further, the courthouse is often very busy, which means that it can take several weeks, or even several months, for a judge to have time to review your court documents and determine whether (s)he will grant your Divorce.  It may take even more time for the courthouse staff to mail your Divorce Order to you.

You will be officially Divorced about a month after the day that your Divorce Order is signed.  To prove that nothing transpired to nullify your Divorce after the Divorce Order was made (such as you and your spouse deciding to resume your relationship), you must obtain a Divorce Certificate.  Once you have both your Divorce Order and your Divorce Certificate, you have everything you need to prove that you are Divorced.  You will need both of these documents if you want to get married again.

If you want a religious Divorce or Annulment as well, this is something that you must obtain from a religious official (such as a Priest, Imam, or Rabbi).  The court cannot force you or your spouse to cooperate in obtaining a religious Divorce or Annulment; however, in many cases, the court can refuse to give your spouse any Orders that (s)he would like until (s)he cooperates in obtaining a religious Divorce or Annulment.  

Only people who are married need a Divorce.  If you are living with your spouse but not married to him/her, then you cannot get, and do not need, a Divorce.

If you wish to speak to one of our family lawyers or book a free consultation please call:  (905) 237-5548