Defining Divorce: Domestic Laws in Ontario

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If you live in Ontario and you and your spouse are considering a divorce, you may have questions about your eligibility and the required process for applying. Divorce law is part of the domestic law umbrella in Ontario, and the laws for separation and divorce are much the same here as they are throughout the rest of Canada.

Domestic Law

According to domestic law statutes, you do not have to be a Canadian citizen to apply for a divorce in Ontario. The three criteria for eligibility include:

  1. You were legally married, whether in Canada or another country.
  2. You intend to separate or are already living apart from your spouse, and do not intend to reunite.
  3. You and your spouse have been living in Ontario for a minimum of the last 12 months.

If you are not legally married, then Canadian divorce law does not apply. Furthermore, you may be asked to provide evidence that your marriage is permanently broken. Canadian domestic law asks that one of these scenarios applies during a divorce:

  1. You have lived apart from your spouse for 12 months or more and consider your marriage over.
  2. One or both spouses have committed adultery.
  3. There are cases of domestic violence and/or abuse that make living together intolerable.

While this is a very simplified version of the domestic law statutes surrounding separation and divorce, the truth is that divorce can be complicated and difficult. One of the best things you can do for yourself during this process is seek legal advice from experienced and knowledgeable lawyers. At Collaborative Divorce Waterloo Region, we can put together a team of legal, financial, and family professionals who can apply the collaborative law process to help you reach a fair agreement during divorce. Contact us today to learn more.