Understanding Calgary Divorce Law: Part 2

November 16, 2015

While divorce is never easy, as a leading Calgary law firm dedicated to the practice of family law, we're committed to making the process as transparent, straightforward, and stress-free as possible, not only for each of our clients but for everyone in the Greater Calgary Area going through a divorce. To that end, we've begun publishing articles here on our website meant to provide general information that can educate those considering a divorce or in the midst of a divorce process.

In Part 1, you read Section 8 of the Divorce Act, which is the foundational law governing all divorces that take place in Canada. Section 8 specifically outlines the legal grounds to sue for divorce, which were discussed in general terms in the previous article. Here, we'll be taking a look at the most commonly-used grounds for divorce in greater detail.

Separation Prior to Divorce Eases the Process in the Calgary Courts

The first legal basis for a divorce listed in the Divorce Act is a separation of at least one year prior to filing for divorce. A marriage is considered to have suffered a "breakdown" if:

  • the spouses have lived separate and apart for at least one year immediately preceding the determination of the divorce proceeding and were living separate and apart at the commencement of the proceeding

While many separations involve living entirely apart in separate residences, the courts recognize that this is not a practical or financial possibility in all cases. It is possible for a married couple to share the same Calgary home or apartment and still be considered "living apart" when they do not share a bedroom and all intimate relations have ceased, and when neither spouse performs basic household duties (e.g. cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.) for the other.

Essentially, if you and your spouse have been living more like roommates than a couple, and if one or both of you has the intention of legally separating or eventually filing for divorce while these circumstances persist, the courts will usually consider you as having separated from the date these circumstances began. Though it can be emotionally difficult to continue sharing a home with a spouse from whom you wish to be divorced, especially for a full year, when practical necessities demand the law will allow for it.

Contact a Calgary Family Law Lawyer for Your Divorce Eligibility

We are only able to provide general advice in these articles; every case is unique, and there may be additional circumstances in your situation that can affect the way the law interprets your case. If you're uncertain whether or not you and your spouse have undergone a legal separation, or if you have other questions regarding a divorce proceeding in Calgary, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer with experience in handling family law cases.

To get the answers and the help you need today, please contact our offices to schedule an initial consultation.


This entry was posted in Blog, tagged Divorce Law and posted on November 16, 2015


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