Divorce in Canada



Divorce in Canada can occur in many ways and reasons. In most cases, it occurs when a couple have irreconcilable differences, or when the two feel it’s time to quit the marriage. There is a process to follow in case you feel divorce is the right decision. Below we take you through what is needed for you to be granted divorce in Canada.

Reasons why divorce should happen in Canada

For you to initiate divorce process, the following must happen:

  1. The first reason why divorce can be granted in Canada is when a couple can prove that they have been living separately for at least one year, especially after having irreconcilable differences. In this case, the court can allow you to continue with the divorce process.

Also, a Divorce can be granted without the one year of separation if you can prove that your marriage has broken down for either of the following reasons:


  1. If your spouse committed adultery while in narriage, and you did not forgive the adultery or live together for more than 90 days after finding out;

Or your spouse was physically or mentally cruel.

Generally it is not recommended that couples apply for Divorce under the 2 above grounds, as these Divorces tend to be longer and more costly.

  1. Treated the other spouse with physical or mental cruelty of such a kind as to render intolerable the continued cohabitation of the spouses


The first thing to do is to look for a lawyer who will argue your case—an experienced lawyer will help you win against your spouse.

Who can apply for a Divorce in Canada?

When seeking divorce you do not have to be a Canadian citizen, you simply use the grounds listed above to launch your case.


You can apply for a Divorce if:

you were legally married in Canada or in any other country;

you intend to separate permanently from your spouse and believe there is no chance you will get back together, or you have already left your spouse and do not intend to get back together; and

if either or both of you have lived in a Canadian province or territory for at least one year immediately before applying for a Divorce.

During divorce, child custody is catered for and if you have a child, this is how the court will rule.


When dealing with Child Custody in Canada our courts focus on one thing: The best interest of the children. Many people falsely believe that when a couple Divorces the children will automatically be placed with the mother. This is not true.

Some of the important factors that a court considers when determining custody are:

  • First and foremost the best interest of the children.
  • The parent-child relationship and bonding.
  • Parenting abilities of each individual.
  • Each parents mental, physical and emotional health.
  • The parents and the children’s schedules.
  • Available support systems of each parent (for example, help and involvement of grandparents or other close relatives).
  • Sibling issues. Generally, brothers and sisters will be kept together, but under some circumstances it may be necessary to consider separating them.
  • Care arrangements before the separation. Who was the primary care giver?
  • The child’s wishes.

If a child is less than 18 years, the mother is allowed to live with the child while the father is allowed to visit them periodically. Someone above 18 is allowed to choose who to live with.