Family law in Canada: How will I know when I’m divorced?

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Family Law on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

When couple separate, they may be so involved in the process of uncoupling that they don’t realize or don’t actually know when they have legally become single again. Divorce is part of the family law process in Canada, although some couples may not have any idea when during that process they are actually considered divorced. And there are certain things that could come into play that make a divorce questionable.

For instance, if one spouse asks for a divorce, what happens if the other spouse objects? The one who is against divorcing may ask that the divorce be stayed or put on hold and that could potentially mean indefinitely. There was such a case before the court in a Canadian province where the husband wanted a divorce, but the wife didn’t, so the divorce was stayed. During the time of the stay, the husband died.

Did the marriage end in death or divorce, then? The man’s kids from another marriage asked the court to order the divorce valid, but the woman wanted the court to declare that the marriage ended when her spouse died. But, since the divorce was stayed when the husband died, the court ruled the two were never divorced.

There are many erroneous areas when it comes to these kinds of family law solutions. Residents of Canada may not be knowledgeable when it comes to all the legalities around family law and how different scenarios might play out under the family law umbrella. Getting the input of experienced legal counsel when it comes to areas that are uncertain may save much time and stress for family law clients.

Source:, “When does a divorce come into effect?”, Miriam Yosowich, Accessed on Feb. 26, 2018

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