Separation and divorce are emotionally difficult processes. Separating couples often don’t know where to start. Clients at Holam Law PC can be assured that our legal team can help them navigate through the often confusing technical requirements to obtain a divorce in Ontario, while also helping them to prioritize and resolve other paramount concerns, such as child custody and parenting schedules for their children, child and spousal support and property division. Often, the practical realities of how separating couples will move forward with their daily lives, such as parent their children and continue to pay bills are issues at the forefront of clients’ concerns. We can help alleviate your stress by guiding you through the legal process with compassion and personalized service.
Separation vs. Divorce
Separating couples are often unable to accurately differentiate between the terms “separation” and “divorce”. Separation applies to both married couples and common-law couples. Divorce only pertains to married couples. In Ontario family law they have distinct definitions, both of which are obviously important when a client wishes to obtain a divorce.
Separation refers to the physical and emotional act of separating from a spouse, that is the actual breakdown of your marriage or relationship. The date of separation refers to the date of the breakdown of your marriage or relationship, which involves the parties making it known to their family, friends and general public that they have ended the marriage or relationship, with no further opportunity to reconcile that relationship. Parties can mutually agree on the date of separation. However, when spouses cannot agree, this becomes a legal issue and the legal reasons for divorce must be determined, in such situations it is crucial to seek the advice of an experienced family law lawyer. The date of separation can affect other legal issues, such as property division and spousal support and even your Canada Pension Plan credits.
Divorce is the formal dissolution of the marriage and must be pronounced by the Ontario Court. In Ontario, a separated couple can obtain a divorce one year after their date of separation, without having to specify the reason for the divorce. This is why in the general public, Ontario is known as a non-fault based jurisdiction. However, in some circumstances, a spouse may wish to obtain a divorce before one year has elapsed from the date of separation. In such cases, the spouse who makes a claim for divorce must also specify the reason for seeking this relief, as being either adultery and/or cruelty, and must prove on a balance of probabilities that he or she was subjected to adultery and/or cruelty. This is a legal threshold that must be met. It is therefore highly recommended that advice from and representation by an experienced family law lawyer is sought before embarking on this process.
Opinion of Foreign Divorce
Separation and divorce can often bring new beginnings. When parties wish to remarry in Ontario but obtained a divorce in a foreign jurisdiction, they might find themselves in a position where a legal opinion on the validity of their foreign divorce is required before they can apply for a marriage licence in Ontario. Our team at Holam Law PC can assist you with any legal opinion required.
What are the Legal Reasons for Divorce?
In Canada, there are three legal reasons or grounds for divorce, namely cruelty, adultery, and separation.
Cruelty: Cruelty must be proven on a balance of probabilities, meaning a party must produce evidence of cruelty in the marriage necessitating a divorce. If proven in Court, a party can obtain a divorce less than twelve months from the date of separation. If you believe that there may be grounds for a divorce based on cruelty, you should consult with a divorce lawyer in Ontario.
Adultery: Adultery must be proven on a balance of probabilities, meaning a party must produce evidence of adultery in the marriage necessitating a divorce. If proven in Court, a party is able to obtain a divorce less than twelve months from the date of separation. If you believe that there may be grounds for a divorce based on adultery, you should consult with a divorce lawyer in Ontario.
Separation: If you and your spouse have been separated for a period of 12 months or more, you can obtain a divorce on the grounds of separation. Separation means your marriage has ended with no possibility of reconciliation. Spouses can live separate and apart in their matrimonial home or reside in separate residences. Living arrangements do not affect a party’s ability to obtain a divorce on the basis of separation. However, some spouses cannot agree on the date of separation, which then becomes a fact that must be proven on the balance of probabilities. If there is a dispute on your date of separation, you should consult with a divorce lawyer in Ontario.
Generally, even the best divorce lawyers in Markham and Ontario will advise that a party is unlikely to admit in Court that he or she engaged in cruelty or adultery, which means the grounds are often opposed, and can result in increased legal fees to prove the claim in addition to drawn-out litigation. Most parties wishing to obtain a divorce will rely on separation only as grounds for divorce and wait the requisite 12-month period from the date of separation to obtain a divorce order.
How to Obtain a Divorce in Markham
The process to obtain a divorce in Ontario can be complex, especially if there is a dispute as to whether there are grounds based on cruelty, adultery or where there is no consensus on the date of separation. In addition, if there are any corollary claims involved, such parenting issues, child support, spousal support and property division and equalization, then the parties must also apply for a divorce in the correct Ontario jurisdiction.
Divorce Lawyer Markham / Divorce Lawyer Ontario
Hence, it is imperative that you consult with not just the best divorce lawyers in Markham but with those in your applicable jurisdiction.
Contact Holam Law PC Today
If you are considering separating from your spouse and wish to obtain a divorce, whether you have already resolved all other corollary issues in your separation and require a divorce as the last step in your legal process, or whether you require a legal opinion regarding a foreign divorce, or legal reasons for divorce we at Holam Law PC can expertly assist you.
Contact us today at (365) 608-6161 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.