Prior to filing for a divorce, it is important for an individual to feel knowledgeable and confident with the timeline and process of obtaining a divorce and protecting one's rights. Keep reading to learn the 3 questions you should ask before filing for divorce.

Can a Canadian Judge Refuse to Grant me a Divorce?

In order to obtain a divorce, the judge will need to be convinced that child support has been determined for the child, and that it is in accordance with the federal child support guidelines, which has tables for each province setting out monthly child support that is payable based on the payers income. If there is no agreement or order setting out monthly child support, you will be barred from the divorce when the application is before the judge. Separate and above from monthly child support, the court will also want to know whether there are any special or additional expenses for any child from the marriage, such as medical costs, insurance coverage or extracurricular expenses. In order to ascertain appropriate child support per the guideline tables, your spouse and you will need to exchange proof of income, such as most recent payslips and tax returns. If a party does not voluntarily disclose proof of income, the court will be prepared to make an order for financial disclosure on an application.

How Can I Make Sure my Rights are Protected Before Getting a Divorce?

Before you file for divorce, you'll want to meet with a lawyer for independent legal advice about your rights upon separation. For instance, perhaps you or your spouse's net worth increased during the course of your relationship. In this case, you'll want an agreement or order with respect to division of property and division of family debt, before applying for the divorce. This is because upon divorce, the clock starts ticking and there's a two-year limitation period during which time you're required to make an application for division of property and debt. Issues that should be addressed soon after separation include child support and spousal support. Orders for retroactive child and spousal support are awarded by judges on a discretionary basis and therefore they are never guaranteed. Legal strategy aside, it is always best to try to resolve sooner rather than later as an earlier resolution reduces conflict between the parties and it is in everyone's best interest, especially the children who are involved.

How Soon After Separation Can I Get a Divorce in Canada?

A judge in a Canadian court won't grant you a divorce unless you've lived separately and apart from your spouse for a continuous period of one year. There are two other bases under the divorce act, however those are rarely utilized in Canadian courts. You can live separately and apart from your spouse while in the same residence. In this case, it is necessary for one party to have expressed his or her wish to end the relationship and there needs to have been some action taken to show that the lifestyle is no longer marriage-like.

If you are looking to file for divorce, it is crucial to be properly informed and prepared for the process ahead. Hire a lawyer to help walk you through the process and find the best approach for your situation. Legal aid will provide the information and guidance that you need to understand your rights and obligations under the law, as well as necessary advice in making decisions.

Monica Rudd is one of CBM's Associates who specializes in Family Law. Reach out to Monica or a member of our team to learn how we can help you. Contact Us Today!