The Canadian legal system takes divorce very seriously, and with good reason: a divorce is a legally binding process that can involve a great deal of time and effort for not only both parties, but for the courts as well. Hearings, disputes over assets, negotiations over child and spousal support, and custody and visitation discussions add up, and the courts want to make sure that you don’t go through the process unless both parties are absolutely certain it’s what they want.
To ensure that couples aren’t divorcing on a whim, there are guidelines which your Toronto family lawyer can help you to navigate.
Minimum Separation Periods
Simply put, the courts have a mandate that states that, in most cases, a couple cannot file for divorce until they have been separated for at leastone year. This separation usually involves one party moving out of the home, but it can also include separations under the same roof, provided that both parties have been living as though separated for the requisite period (for example, having separate sleeping arrangements, making minimal social contact, abiding to a separation agreement, and so on).
Exceptions to the Rule
While the one-year separation rule applies to most cases, there are several instances in which a divorce can be filed immediately, such as cases in which the reasons for separation include adultery or cruelty. If an exception is to be made, the filing party must provide evidence of their claims.
It should be noted that the standard of proof does not require the offending party to be ‘caught in the act’; speculative evidence such as written affidavits from witnesses or offending parties will often suffice for bypassing the rule to acquire an immediate divorce.
The Quickest Path to Divorce is with OB Law Toronto Family Lawyers
Quite often, couples are both able to agree that they would like a divorce as soon as the one-year separation period has lapsed. To ensure that you are ready to file the final paperwork, talk to your Toronto family lawyer as soon as you separate. We will help you to draw up a separation agreement, divide your assets and see that child care and visitation is worked out before the divorce, and make certain that you are ready to file the paperwork without delay or interruption when the period has lapsed.
To schedule an appointment with a Toronto family lawyer or divorce lawyer, give us a call. If you have any questions about family law, or any other type of law, please feel free to submit a question through our Ask A Lawyer.