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Guide to Family Law & Divorce

Custody - Access - Support - Child Support - Property Division - Paternity Testing

Both parties should use this kit to draft and negotiate their  separation proposal


Is The Only Way To

Legally End Your Marriage


 Is The Only

 "Grounds For Divorce"

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is the fastest, simplest and cheapest way to get your divorce


Get divorced in about 60 days if uncontested

Marriage breakdown is based on any one of the following three "grounds."


  • Cruelty or
  • Adultery, or
  • Separation for one year.


You Only Need One Of The Three Grounds As A Reason To Get Your Divorce.

Adultery and Cruelty are difficult to prove and lead to expensive court battles.

Separation divorces are quick, easy cheap. Just prove you have been separated for a year and the divorce will be granted for that reason alone.

Separation for one year:

You have lived "separate and apart" for a year having decided the marriage is over. Living "separate and apart" does not necessarily mean living in separate homes. You can live separate and apart while sharing a home.

It is also possible to claim that although you only recently moved out and live in a different home, the marriage broke down and was essentially over at some time in the past, regardless of living arrangements

You do not need a separation agreement to prove separation, but it may useful if things get hostile.

However, A Separation Agreement Is Definitely Recommended. Separation agreement kit Click here Click Here To See The CanLaw Separation Agreement


Your spouse has had sexual intercourse with someone else and you are not going to forgive her for that. However you have to prove it and that is not easy. It is not clear if the many other forms of sex would apply or not. Is fellatio sexual intercourse? Many women do not regard fellatio as sex. You need to ask a lawyer what the courts think.   Find a lawyer referral service



"Cruelty" can mean just about what ever the woman wants it to mean. If she claims it is unbearable to continue living together, the courts will probably accept that. Cruelty may include physical or mental "abuse." The courts do not seem to care if the abuse is real or imagined. As long as she cries abuse, the courts will believe her regardless of the truth.

Unfortunately many women's groups coach women on how to manipulate the system by claiming abuse, whether it is true or not.

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CanLaw's lawyer referral service

will help you find a Family Law lawyer

There Are No Winners In Court:

Getting involved with the courts in a contested divorces is a lousy, destructive, enervating, expensive, frustrating, and time wasting nightmare that will last for years.

Do you know, for example, that a prolonged divorce or family court battle often will wipe out your resources completely? Can you afford to spend $50,000 or more on legal costs? How would that help your children? Or be in their "best interests?"

Dealing with divorce is very trying and hard on both parties. It is not just the divorce, it is also the custody and access and support battles that follow and drag on for years. Dealing with the many unknowns make it more upsetting.

It is well worth your time to review these pages and educate yourself on the rules, the process and the grounds for divorce, custody and support. It will give you a sense of control again and make life a little easier for you during the nightmare called divorce.

"Hell hath no fury like the

lawyer of a woman scorned"


Be smart and avoid court battles by doing your own divorce.

Do You Need To Divorce?

Reconciliation attempts are generally required. Consider marriage counselling, or even a trial separation before you take the final plunge.

 Proof of Divorce Certificate

Click here to get your official Divorce Order or Certificate of Divorce from the originating court.

A divorce is merely an order dissolving a marriage and signed by a judge under the federal law

known as the Divorce Act

  • Divorce, legal separation agreements, and annulment
  • Parental Alienation
  • Grandparent Rights
  • Same-sex couples
  • Common Law Spouses
  • Negotiation and Drafting of Agreements
  • Adoption
  • Family Mediation
  • Partition of the Family Patrimony and Matrimonial Regimes
  • Child Custody Law
  • Recognition of Paternity
  • Alimony
  • Private international law: foreign matrimonial regimes, foreign child custody and child support
  • Representation Before the Courts
  • Matrimonial Regimes of Quebec
  • Representation of Children Before the Courts by a Family Court Lawyer
  • Youth protection (DYP)
  • Family Residence

CanLaw's Guide To The Law On Divorce, Separation, Custody, Access And Support Issues For The Layperson


You Should Seriously Consider Using Separation As Your Ground For Divorce


Most divorces in Canada are based on the grounds of separation for a year or more. Proving cruelty or adultery will be expensive, slow, frustrating and very difficult.

This does not mean that you should not file for divorce on the grounds of cruelty or adultery, but why go to all the trouble?

Most People Find It Faster, Simpler And Much Less Expensive To Simply Separate For A Year And Then Plead Separation As The Grounds For Divorce.


Ask A Lawyer Before You Decide

If your divorce is simple and there are no major problems, you can do it yourself and seek an uncontested divorce with or without the help of a lawyer or paralegal.

BUT, regardless, it is prudent to spend a little money and consult with a divorce lawyer or paralegal and have your options explained before you act.

A lawyer will explain how the law applies in your situation and how to protect your rights. You can then choose the right course of action for your situation.

Find divorce legal information and resources including law firm, lawyer and attorney listings and reviews on

You can file for divorce with or without the involvement, consent or cooperation of your spouse.

A Separation Agreement Is Definitely Recommended.

Click Here To See The CanLaw Separation Agreement It only costs $55 but can save you thousands.

Your Separation Agreement will help you resolve property, custody and support matters. However you do not need a legal document that says you are separated, as there is no "legal separation" in Canada.

Divorce in Canada is controlled by the  Click here Divorce Act

However each province also has its own Family Law Acts, which will affect your divorce in some manner.

How Do You Determine When The One Year Waiting Period Started And Ends?

The clock starts running when you decide that the marriage is over and there can be no reconciliation. You do not have to be physically living in separate homes to be "separated."

Your separation can mean living in separate bedrooms, or as one of you moving out and living elsewhere.

A Long Separation

Doesn't Mean You're Divorced

Some uninformed people will say that if they are separated for a long period of time, say ten or twenty years, that their marriage is nullified. This is not true.

Marriages do not just dissolve or evaporate. A divorce granted by a judge is the only way that your marriage will be terminated under the eyes of the law.

Divorcing When You Didn't Marry In Canada

If you didn't marry in Canada, you can still legally get a divorce here. Divorce in Canada is based on residency, not the place of marriage. So, if you or your spouse has lived in Canada for at least one year you can obtain a divorce here.


You do not have to be a Canadian citizen to apply for a divorce in Canada, but you must reside here. Canadian Divorce Laws



Half of all marriages now end in divorce. Some 50% of Canadian children have had their fathers driven out of their lives by their own mothers.

Common Steps To Divorce.

Decide to Divorce.

Research the rules by browsing CanLaw; it is rich with free information.

Decide if you really need a lawyer to prepare your divorce documents. If both parties agree to an uncontested divorce you probably do not need a lawyer.

Actually read some of the how-to's and reports. 20 minutes of reading will save you thousands of dollars

Canada is a society in which the politically weak, (visible minorities and women) merely by being so, are automatically in the right.

‚Äč lawyer prepared prenuptial agreements customized for you, and independent legal advice.DO YOU NEED A  PRENUP?

Find Out How and Why You Should Have a Prenup


Talk to a Prenup Lawyer

 If Marriage in your future

Basic Types Of Divorce

How to Divorce

You do not need your spouse's permission or approval for divorce. It only takes one person to seek divorce

If divorce is in your future then you and your soon-to-be-ex must follow the rules.

Traditionally people used to turn to a lawyer. But - because all parties must follow the Divorce Act and the Child Support Guidelines you do not need to complicate things with the traditional adversarial approach of lawyers.

If children are involved the guidelines will dictate exactly how much child support you will get, or give. Divorcing couples can not make their own child support arrangements. .

The courts encourage you to come to terms about property and money. You can do this with a valid  Click here CanLaw Separation Agreement If you can not negotiate an agreement then the alternative is to abandon the hopes of having an agreement signed, or to seek legal counsel.

Stats Canada estimates that 90% of divorcing couples do not need a law firm to take control of their divorce and money.



How To File For A Divorce In Canada

There are only two ways to get a divorce


The easy way - Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorces can usually be completed in about 60 days for maybe $500 to $1000.00


You can even do your own "uncontested" divorce, using separation for one year as the reason.


The hard way - - Contested Divorce

CONTESTED DIVORCE? Waste $50,000.00

Battle it out in court for years and come out bankrupt


Click here Uncontested Divorce:

You file the forms for divorce and if your spouse does not file a response, then the divorce becomes uncontested.

You probably will not even have to appear in court. Usually a judge will just rubber stamp the divorce so long as there is no glaring unfairness or inequity in the proposed divorce arrangements.

If you and your spouse agree on most or all of the issues you have an uncontested joint divorce.

When both parties sign, and swear to the divorce papers the divorce is mutual and you are telling the court that you both want a divorce and agree on the terms you set up.

A Collaborative contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot agree on all of the issues, but are willing to negotiate through lawyers to solve all problems and all agree not to go to court.

A contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot agree on all of the issues. It can easily cost you $50,000 because this is where lawyers get involved in a lengthy court battle. A contested divorce will involve considerable time, money and frustration. They often turn into major battles and both parties end up losers.

The Steps To Take In Divorce

Each province has it's own way of doing things. Basically in each province the steps are:

  • File your first set of papers in the right court.
  • Wait for clearance from the Divorce Registry in Ottawa.
  • Wait the prescribed number of days and hope the other side does what you want.
  • File the second set of papers and your Affidavits.
  • File Motions and financial statements as requested.
  • Wait for a court decision
  • When Are You Divorced? Divorce becomes final 31 days after the judge signs the order.
  • Once the judgment is final you can apply for a certificate of divorce. You cannot remarry until you have that certificate. You will need proof of your Canadian Divorce.
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