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In Canada, the only way to legally end your marriage is by obtaining a divorce.  The laws regulating divorce are governed by the Divorce Act.  A divorce is a court Order simply outlining that you and your spouse are no longer legally married.

The primary prerequisite for obtaining a divorce is to show the court that you and your spouse have been separated for at least one year.  If you and your spouse have child(ren), there is an additional requirement to show the court that you have both made a plan for the care of your child(ren).  Further, frequently the issues of custody, access, support and division of property can be resolved in advance of a divorce.

It is also important to note that a divorce can proceed on a contested or uncontested basis. In an “uncontested divorce”, after one spouse requests a divorce and files an Application, the responding spouse does not contest any of the issues, and the divorce becomes an uncontested divorce.  Frequently, in cases where the parties have been able to resolve their other issues, the matter can proceed on an uncontested basis.  A “contested divorce” simply reflects that after one spouse serves the other, the other spouse will contest some or all of the issues.

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