Understanding Calgary Divorce Law: Part 3
November 20, 2015
At GDE Family Law, we know there's no such thing as an easy divorce. Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful and emotionally trying experiences most people will ever endure, and we treat each of our clients in the Greater Calgary Area with the compassion and understanding they deserve.
As difficult as divorce can be, we know that professional, courteous, and experienced legal assistance can make the process much smoother, and can have it all over faster and with greater ease so you can start building your new future as soon as possible. We also know that having more information at your disposal can help you feel more in control of your divorce, and gives you the power to make more effective decisions on your behalf. That's why we're publishing this series of articles on understanding the typical progress of a divorce through the Calgary courts.
Parts 1 & 2 of this article gave you some information regarding the Divorce Act, the foundational law that governs all Calgary divorces. You learned that there are three listed grounds for a divorce: separation of at least a year, adultery, and mental or physical cruelty. We also went into some detail regarding separation, which is by far the most common grounds of divorce seen in the Calgary courts. Below, we take a look at the other grounds.
Calgary Divorces Involving Adultery or Cruelty
Separation is easier to prove and is better-defined in the Divorce Act than either adultery or cruelty, which is one of the reasons it is far and away the most common grounds for divorce in Calgary. Either spouse can take up a new residence (or, as seen in last week's article, even maintain the same residence in some instances) without the consent of the other spouse, marking the beginning to a separation. Documenting this tends to be very easy, giving the courts a clear way to ensure the law is being followed.
Accusations of adultery or cruelty are much harder to back up with evidence, and the law does not clearly define them. Adultery isn't defined in the Divorce Act at all, and though generally understood to mean any sexual acts that a spouse engages in with someone other than their marital partner, this definition is still nebulous. Cruelty, meanwhile, must be so extreme as to "render intolerable the continued cohabitation of the spouses"—a test that gives judges a lot of leeway even in instances of documented physical abuse.
Any relationship in which you are being hurt is one you should end immediately, and there are resources available that can help if you need. When it comes to divorce, the simple truth is that cruelty—like adultery—remains a difficult way to initiate a proceeding.
Personal and Compassionate Assistance for YOUR Calgary Divorce
If you are seeking a divorce for any reason, an experienced and compassionate legal team can provide the personal attention you need to see your case through with as little stress as possible. Contact GDE Family Law today and get the help you deserve.
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