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What are the grounds for divorce in Toronto?

When a married couple decides to end their marriage, they will need to obtain a legal divorce. In Canada, including in Toronto, there are several grounds on which a divorce can be granted. These grounds are set out in the Divorce Act, which is federal legislation that governs divorce and other family law matters in Canada. It is important to understand the grounds for divorce in Toronto in order to determine whether you meet the requirements for obtaining a divorce in Canada.

1. No-fault Divorce:

The no-fault divorce option in Canada means that neither spouse has to prove the other is at fault for the marriage breakdown. The couple can file for divorce on the grounds of a breakdown of the marriage, which can be established in two ways. The first is that the spouses have lived separately and apart for at least one year before filing for divorce. The second is if the spouses have lived together but have been separated for at least one year before filing for divorce, with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.

2. Adultery

Adultery is a ground for divorce in Toronto, but it can be challenging to prove. In order to prove adultery, it must be shown that one spouse had sexual relations with someone other than their spouse. It must also be established that the accused spouse had the opportunity and inclination to engage in sexual relations with another person.

3. Cruelty

Cruelty is another ground for divorce in Toronto, and it can be physical or mental in nature. This can include abuse or threats of family violence towards the other spouse, their children, or other family members. In order to prove cruelty in Superior Court of Justice, the behavior of the accused spouse must be shown to be intolerable, making it impossible for the other spouse to continue living with them.

4. Separation

The separation ground for divorce in Toronto requires that the couple has been living apart continuously for at least one year, with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. The spouses can live apart under the same roof as long as they are not engaging in a marital relationship. In cases where the spouses have reconciled and resumed living together for any period, the one-year period must start over.

5. Desertion

Desertion means that one spouse has left the other without their consent and has been absent for at least one year. In order to establish desertion, it must be shown that the spouse who left had no intention of returning and that the other spouse did not consent to their leaving. The one-year period starts from the date of the desertion. It is also important to consider other options like meditation and negotiation.

6. Imprisonment

Imprisonment is a ground for divorce in Toronto if one spouse has been sentenced to imprisonment for at least one year. In order to use this ground, the spouse seeking the divorce must not have cohabitated with the imprisoned spouse after they were released from prison. If the imprisoned spouse has been released from prison for any length of time and the couple lived together during that time, the one-year period starts again.

7. Mental Illness

The ground for divorce on the basis of mental illness requires that one spouse has been institutionalized for mental illness for at least three years, and that there is no reasonable prospect of recovery. The mental illness must be shown to be of such a nature that it renders the spouse incapable of continuing in the marriage. The three-year period can be consecutive or accumulated over time, and it must have occurred within the three years preceding the filing of the divorce application.

In conclusion, understanding the grounds for divorce in Toronto is an important step in obtaining a legal divorce. Whether you are seeking a no-fault divorce, or a divorce on other grounds such as adultery or cruelty, TCZ Lawyer Eric Tianchuan Zhao will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the divorce process.