Divorce can be a difficult process, but understanding the legal grounds for it can make it easier. In this article, we will be exploring the two main grounds, which are separation for at least one year and adultery. We will also discuss what you need to know if you are considering it, such as residency requirements, filing a petition, and reaching an agreement on all issues related to your situation.
So, if you are considering a divorce in British Columbia, keep reading to learn more.
Grounds for Divorce in British Columbia
In British Columbia, there are only two grounds for divorce: separation for at least one year or adultery. The Divorce Act of Canada defines separation as living separate and apart for at least one year, with no chance of reconciliation. Adultery is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not their spouse.
One Year Separation
The most common ground for divorce in British Columbia is separation for at least one year. This means that you and your spouse have been living separately and apart for at least one year, with no chance of reconciliation. During this time, you must have lived in separate homes and not have had any sexual relations with your spouse.
It’s important to note that living separate and apart doesn’t necessarily mean living in different homes. You can still be living under the same roof but living separately and apart if you are not sharing a bedroom or any other aspects of a marital relationship.
Adultery is the only other ground for divorce in BC. It can be difficult to prove adultery, as you must show that your spouse had voluntary sexual intercourse with someone who is not their spouse. If you can prove adultery, it may affect the division of property and spousal support.
What You Need to Know
If you are considering a divorce in British Columbia, there are a few things you need to know. First, you must meet the residency requirements. At least one spouse must have lived in BC for at least one year before you can apply for a divorce in BC. If you have recently moved to BC, you may need to apply for a divorce in your previous jurisdiction.
Second, you must file a Petition for Divorce in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. This is a legal document that outlines the grounds for divorce and other relevant information, such as custody and access to children, division of property, and spousal support.
Third, you must serve your spouse with the Petition for Divorce. This means that you must give your spouse a copy of the document and file an affidavit of service with the court.
Fourth, you and your spouse must reach an agreement on all of the issues related to your divorce, such as custody, access, division of property, and spousal support. If you cannot reach an agreement, you may need to go to court and have a judge make a decision for you.
Fifth, you must wait at least one month after filing your Petition for Divorce before you can apply for a Divorce Order. This is a court order that officially ends your marriage.
Divorce is never an easy process, but understanding the legal grounds for divorce in British Columbia can help make it easier. If you are considering a divorce in BC, you must meet the residency requirements, file a Petition for Divorce, serve your spouse with the document, reach an agreement on all issues related to your divorce, and wait at least one month before applying for a Divorce Order. Remember that separation for at least one year, and adultery are the only grounds for divorce in BC.
If you are looking for divorce lawyers in Langley, look no further than our experienced practitioners here at Dreyer & Associates. We have a diverse array of experience across family law, wills and estates, and residential conveyancing; although, family law continues to be our focus, and we are committed to preserving the best interests of families across the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland. Call us today, and let us discuss all your current divorce options.