October 14, 2022 | Divorce

Blame Game Isn’t Necessary

No need to point fingers, accumulate evidence of cheating, or worse bruises in order to get a divorce. If there was domestic abuse that will be taken into account in some aspects of the divorce. That being said fault does not have to be proven. In order to divorce in Canada, you must meet certain criteria as per the Federal Divorce Act. Firstly, you and your spouse must be legally married. Your marriage must have broken down and cannot be repaired. Finally, you or your spouse must have been a resident of the province or territory where you are applying for divorce for at least a year.

You need to apply to a court to be granted a divorce. In Quebec, it is the Superior Court that has jurisdiction to deal with divorce. The province is divided into judicial districts including Montreal, Laval, Gatineau, St-Jérôme, etc. Each judicial district has a Superior Court. You can start a divorce action before the Superior Court of the district where either you or your spouse reside.

Canada has No-Fault Divorce. The ground for divorce is the breakdown of the marriage. There are three grounds for divorce:

(1) Proof that you have been living apart for over a year

(2) Your spouse has committed adultery

(3) Your spouse has been mentally or physically cruel to you

When you are filing a divorce application to the court, neither you nor your spouse needs to provide proof of the reason, other than alleging which article of Divorce Act it is under. Living separate and apart for at least 12 months and that there is no hope for resuming life together as a couple, are also sufficient. You are not required to prove that your spouse committed adultery or mental cruelty.

Unless your spouse committed adultery or cruelty, courts will not grant you a divorce until the one-year separation period has been completed. However, you can start the divorce application process as soon as you and your spouse are separated.

Furthermore, you and your spouse can live together for up to 90 days to try and reconcile while applying for a divorce on the basis of one-year separation. If you are unable to reconcile, you can move forward with your divorce without having to restart the 12-month separation period. If your reconciliation lasts more than 90 days and you separate again, the one-year period needs to be counted starting the date of the latest separation.

You can even be considered separated while living separate and apart under the same roof. This is often done for financial reasons. In this case, you must be able to prove that you are not living as a couple. In order to prove your separation is genuine, you should refrain from sexual relations and spending quality time together, that could be interpreted as reconciliation. The idea of the separation is that you are no longer sharing a common life and must be completely independent of each other.

No-Fault Divorce allows Canadians to apply for a divorce without having to prove anyone’s wrongdoing, which can help simplify the process.