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A divorce, which only a court can grant, is necessary if you or your spouse would like to re-marry. Obtaining a divorce is also the only way to legally end your marriage. In order for a court to grant you a divorce, you must show one of three things:

  1. That you have been separated from your spouse for at least one year. In Canada there is no such thing as 'filing for legal separation' – when you are considered to have been legally separated depends upon the facts of your case. You are able to file documents with the court in order to obtain your divorce any time after you separated, however the court will not grant you your divorce before the one year period has elapsed.
  2. That your spouse has committed adultery.
  3. That your spouse has been mentally or physically cruel to you.

In most cases, aside from the divorce itself, there will be other issues that will need to be resolved. These may include division of property, child support, spousal support and custody of children. These issues can be resolved while you are waiting to obtain your divorce.

Obtaining a divorce may do more than just end your marriage. For example, it may impact upon the time you have to divide your property with your former spouse or your ability to be a beneficiary of a health insurance plan. It is therefore important to speak with a lawyer before obtaining your divorce.

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