Does a Calgary Divorce Require Consent From Your Spouse?

August 23, 2016

Here at GDE Family Law, one of Calgary's leading divorce and family law firms, we're dedicated to helping our clients and everyone going through a divorce get the information they need to make effective decisions. Divorces are stressful enough without all of the uncertainty and legal questions, so we try to eliminate those uncertainties as much as possible by carefully answering our clients' specific questions and by providing general information here.

One question we are frequently confronted with by individuals considering a divorce is, "does my spouse have to agree to a divorce?" In past eras, it was sometimes necessary for both spouses to agree to a divorce before a divorce would be granted by the Court, and individuals could be trapped in marriages they no longer wished to be a part of. Canada's Divorce Act does not require both spouses to agree to a divorce, however, and anyone can file for a divorce when they feel their marriage has come to an end.

There are a few provisions in the Divorce Act that impose limits on when a divorce can be sought, however, and it's important to understand these limits if you're planning on filing for a divorce.

Calgary Divorces Require a "Breakdown of the Marriage"

Though the Divorce Act doesn't require both spouses to agree to a divorce before granting one, the law doesn't require that a judge ascertain that a "breakdown of the marriage" has occurred. This is often accomplished through a legal separation, generally defined as living apart for a year, though if you and your ex-spouse are required to remain at the same residence due to financial constraints it is still possible to meet this criteria.

Adultery and "intolerable cruelty" are also considered evidence that the marriage has broken down, according to the Divorce Act, and these can also be used to establish grounds for a divorce.

While the law allows anyone in a marriage to file for divorce, the "breakdown of the marriage" limitation can lead to complexities. That is why we strongly advise anyone in Calgary considering a divorce to meet with an experienced divorce lawyer prior to moving out of a jointly-owned home, filing for a divorce, and/or taking any other action related to your divorce. Make use of a legal professional's knowledge, and start your new life in the best manner possible.

Contact a Calgary Divorce Lawyer Today

If you are considering a divorce, chances are you have questions about your unique situation. We can provide plenty of general advice here on our website, but that might not answer questions pertinent to your specific divorce. Get the help you need today—contact our offices and speak with an experience Calgary divorce lawyer.

This entry was posted in Blog, tagged Divorce Law and posted on August 23, 2016

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