If you are thinking about a divorce, you should know some basic facts.

    In Canada, there are three grounds for divorce: living separate and apart for one year; adultery; and physical and mental cruelty. If you can satisfy one of these three grounds for divorce, you can obtain a divorce.

    The easiest way to obtain a divorce is to live separate and apart for one year. Please note that you can still be living under the same roof with your spouse and be considered "separate and apart". What matters is whether the marriage was over even though cohabitation continued. A number of factors would need to be considered and the lack of sexual relations is not the most important, or tell tale sign that a marriage is over. It is however one factor that would be considered.

    In order to obtain a divorce on the grounds of adultery, your spouse would have to agree that he/she committed adultery. If not, you would have to prove the adultery in order to obtain your divorce.

    In respect to physical and mental cruelty, you must meet both requirements: that you have been subjected to both physical and mental cruelty. So, if your spouse only verbally abused you, you would not be able to satisfY the requirement of physical cruelty.

    In addition, if you have any minor children, before the court grants a divorce, it must ensure that adequate child support arrangements are in place. In other words, if you only have a verbal agreement or arrangement with your spouse about child support, that would not be sufficient. You need either a formal written agreement or court order regarding child support.

    All divorce actions must be commenced in the superior court of justice: not the ontario court of justice.

    You will al so need an original copy of your marriage certificate or licence, that gets filed with the court before your divorce can be granted.

    In Peel, it takes at least 60 days to obtain a divorce order, from start to finish, assuming your spouse does not defend. If there is a defense, the time frame cannot be predicted.

    For divorce actions, the other spouse has 30 days to reply to the divorce. If he or she does not, you can then file your final documents requesting the divorce order.

    As there are limitation periods that effect your rights, once a divorce is granted, it would be advisable to consult with a lawyer before obtaining your divorce.

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