Canada Divorce Act
In Canada, divorce is governed federally by the Divorce Act which dictates when a marriage breakdown has occurred. According to the Divorce Act marriage breakdown has occurred if:
- you and your spouse have lived “separate and apart” for one year
- your spouse has committed adultery
- your spouse has been physically or mentally cruel to you.
In Canada, most divorces are based on a year of separation which doesn’t mean living in different houses. You can be legally separated and still living in the same home, which often happens due to parenting or financial reasons.
The Divorce Process
Filing a Claim for Divorce
Your divorce process begins when one party files a Statement of Claim for Divorce. If you are filing for divorce in Alberta, at least one party must be a resident of Alberta. If neither party resides in Alberta, you will need to file for divorce in the jurisdiction where you or your spouse live. When the Statement of Claim is filed, you can also file for a division of matrimonial property, propose custody and parenting for any children of the marriage, and/or child support or spousal support. The filed claim is then served on the other spouse.
Receiving a Claim for Divorce
When the responding spouse receives the State of Claim for Divorce they may file a demand of notice if they agree with the claim. If they do not agree with the claim they may file a Statement of Defence. Alternately, the served partner can file a Counterclaim which introduces a separate proposal with respect to property, support or parenting, which would then be served on the other spouse.
Filing for a Certificate of Divorce
Once both parties have agreed on a settlement agreement in respect to property, parenting of children, and payment of child support or spousal support, they may apply for the divorce to be final. A Divorce Judgement is forwarded to the court and 30 days after the Divorce Judgement has been signed the parties may file for a Certification of Divorce.
When Can I Remarry After Divorce?
You cannot remarry until the Certificate of Divorce is obtained.
Getting divorced is an intricate process that is best navigated with the assistance of a specialized divorce lawyer. Contact Richmond Tymchuk Family Law today to help make your divorce as painless as efficient as possible.