While we hope that marriages are forever, that isn’t always the case. A marriage can end for any number of reasons, and the separation can happen any number of ways. In any divorce situation, the priority for all parties should be reaching a solution in the best interests of everyone involved. While divorces can be messy, and lead to litigation, that isn’t always the case – many divorces are settled quite amicably. No matter the circumstances leading to your divorce, Right Legal can help you find a lawyer knowledgeable about your issues and committed to your interests.
What is divorce law?
When two married people want to separate or end their marriage, there are two legal mechanisms through which they can do so. Annulment is a declaration by the court that a marriage is void – that is to say, that the marriage never happened in the first place. Only a limited number of circumstances can give rise to a marriage annulment, including the following: if one of the partners was already married or has some sort of mental incapacity, or if the partners are closely related, a marriage can be annulled. Annulment is not legally different from divorce in terms of outcomes – child support and spousal support will generally still be payable.
Where annulment is the ending of a marriage for a narrow set of specific reasons, divorce is a procedure through which a marriage can be ended for any reason. Some divorces will be uncontested, where both partners agree that a divorce is the way to proceed, and can fairly agree on the distribution of assets from the marriage. An uncontested divorce can happen quickly and painlessly for both parties, as the Canadian divorce system is set up to quickly process uncontested divorces. In many cases, the parties will not even need to involve lawyers.
However, if any aspect of the divorce is contested – such as division of property, child support, or child visitation rights – then the divorce process (see divorce lawyers in Edmonton) will likely involve a lengthy legal battle, inside and outside of the courtroom. Both parties will have to file statements of claim with the courts indicating their positions on all issues in the divorce. The divorce will then involve extended negotiations between the two sides, which may have to be settled by a judge if the parties cannot reach an agreement. Divorce cases are often extremely expensive for this reason.
What laws govern divorce in Canada?
The ability to file or “sue” for divorce is set out in each province’s Acts relating to the provincial court system. This process varies by province, but must always be in compliance with the federal Divorce Act, which governs custody arrangements and spousal support. The Divorce Act further provides that partners may only apply for a divorce once they have been separated and apart for at least one year, or where there has been adultery (cheating) or cruelty or abuse. The federal Child Support Guidelines establish the rules that can be used in calculating payable child support.
Provinces have the power to govern the conditions of marriage and separation under their individual Marriage Acts, as well as legislation relating to the division of property when couples separate, such as the Matrimonial Property Act.
What sort of work would a divorce lawyer do?
A divorce lawyer’s role is to represent his or her client. In contested divorces, this will involve filing statements with the court and fighting the case for their client’s interests. A divorce trial in court will likely involve witnesses and extensive arguments relating to the character of the separated partners.
Points of Interest
The law of divorce in Canada considers the interests of children to be paramount.