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Separation & Divorce
In Canada, divorce is governed by the Divorce Act.
The current Divorce Act outlines that a divorce is granted on one ground only, being the breakdown of the marriage.
Breakdown of the marriage can be established in three ways. First, a married couple that has been separated for one year is entitled to a divorce. This is the primary ground that spouses use to establish that there has been a breakdown in the marriage. Adultery and cruelty are the two remaining grounds. If one spouse can prove that the other spouse has committed adultery or that their spouse has been cruel or abusive to him or her, he or she is entitled to a divorce (even if the parties have not been separated for one year). These two criteria rely on fault grounds, which are difficult as well as costly to prove, and, therefore, are rarely used today.