In Canada, most divorces are granted on a no-fault basis. This means that a judge may grant you a divorce without you having to prove that your spouse violated the marriage contract, leading to the breakdown of the marriage.
A no-fault divorce is quicker, easier, and less expensive than a fault-based divorce. This is why the majority of divorces are granted on the grounds of the spouses living separate and apart for 1 year, as opposed to the fault-based grounds of adultery or cruelty. A no-fault divorce system allows you and your spouse to apply together to have the court declare the breakdown of the marriage without having to present evidence (or worse, pay lawyers thousands of dollars to present evidence).
The no-fault system severely limits the ability of a Respondent spouse to challenge the Application. If you’re the Applicant, this is good for you because once you have satisfied the court that you have established grounds for divorce by living apart for 1 year, your spouse cannot stop you from obtaining a divorce. On the other hand, if your spouse is the Applicant and you want to reconcile, there may not be anything you can do to stop the divorce from being granted.
It is always preferable to resolve as many issues as you can with your spouse before resorting to litigation. Work with your spouse to create a comprehensive Separation Agreement that addresses custody, property, and support issues (try our FREE Separation Agreement software at MyOntarioDivorce.com), then apply to obtain a simple divorce. Take advantage of the no-fault system and save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustration.
For more information on separation, divorce, and other family law matters, please visit MyOntarioDivorce.com.
Robert Berman B.C.L, LL.B
Founder & Family Lawyer