Canada divorce: Is a reason needed to file?

Canada residents considering divorce usually have a lot of questions about family law issues. One of the most common family law questions we hear at Pierre J-L Plourde Barrister Solicitor & Notary Public is whether or not you need to have a reason in order to get a divorce. Furthermore, if that is the case, what is generally considered to be an acceptable reason for divorce?

While it is true that in Canada you do need to have a reason for your divorce, the fact of the matter is that the simple reason of having a broken down marriage is enough to get your divorce granted. Generally, courts will accept the reasoning of a broken down marriages if a couple has been living apart from one another for a year or more. It might even be considered that a particular couple qualifies as living apart, even if they are still sharing the same home. If it can be shown that you have not been living with your spouse as a couple for over a year, it will be sufficient.

Furthermore, a marriage can be proven to be broken without a year of separation if one of the following reasons exist:

1) Your spouse has been mentally or physically cruel to you; and/or

2) Your spouse has committed adultery and you have neither forgiven, nor lived with your spouse for over 90 days following your discovery of the adultery.

Typically, the best avenue for divorce in Canada is the first reason of living apart for over a year because the above two reasons for a divorce tend to end in more costly and drawn out divorce proceedings.

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