Divorce Guide

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Divorce cases in Canada


Divorce is not restricted to a particular country. It has spread at an alarming rate all over the globe. Canada is also not an exception to it. Similar to US, divorce rate in Canada is also increasing steadily. Most divorce cases in Canada are based on one year separation. The points related to a Canadian divorce are listed below which would help one to know about the divorce procedures in the country.

Rules governing divorce in Canada

Divorce Act governs divorce in Canada. To get a divorce in Canada, one needs to show that his/her marriage has broken down. According to the law, marriage breakdown occurs if:

  • Both the spouses live separately for one year
  • One spouse has committed adultery and the other spouse has not forgiven him/her
  • One of the spouses has been physically or mentally cruel to the other spouse, making it impossible to continue living together. Cruelty includes physical violence and those causing severe mental anguish

Who can apply for divorce in Canada

A person can apply for a divorce in Canada if:

  • He/she were legally married in Canada or in any other country
  • A person who intend to separate permanently from his/her spouse and believe there is no chance of them getting back together or a person has already left his/her spouse and don not intend to get back
  • Either or both the spouses have lived in a Canadian province or territory for at least one year before filing for a divorce

One doesn’t have to be a Canadian citizen to apply for a divorce in Canada.

Fault v/s No fault divorce

Divorce cases in Canada are fought under the Divorce Act. Under this Act a person doesn’t need to prove that his/her spouse was at fault to get a divorce in Canada. Either of them could request for a divorce, on the condition that their marriage has broken. The breakdown of the marriage should be shown by one year of separation. It doesn’t matter which spouse had decided to leave. In fact, the couple is given a choice of applying for a joint divorce by the law.

Process of filing divorce in Canada

While filing a divorce it is always good to consult a knowledgeable lawyer about the family law. A divorce lawyer could exactly explain about the law and how it applies to one’s situation. It could help one to know how to protect his/her rights.

To start a divorce application, one needs to fill out the appropriate forms for his/her province or territory. If a lawyer is hired, then he/she would be responsible to fill the forms and process the divorce. The forms are available at government bookstores, some private bookstores and, sometimes on the internet. In some jurisdictions, the forms are available in court offices and family law information centers.

There are some few things that should be included in the forms. If a child is born during marriage, then one needs to write down the parenting arrangements, including financial support. If there is a dispute in these arrangements, then one need to describe the arrangements that he/she is seeking.

In all the divorce cases in Canada, a certificate of divorce is a legal proof stating that a person is no longer married.


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