“My spouse doesn’t want to get divorced. Does that mean the judge will refuse to grant me a Divorce Order?”
In Canada, the majority of divorces are granted on a no-fault basis, on the grounds that the parties have been living separate and apart for a minimum of 1 year. In very rare cases, a judge may refuse to grant a divorce if it becomes clear that one or both of the spouses have deceived the court in some way. The following are acceptable reasons for a judge to refuse to grant a divorce:
Collusion: When you work with your spouse to lie to the court, either in an affidavit or through your testimony. For example, if a couple agrees that they will lie about the date of separation to speed up the divorce.
Connivance: When one spouse encourages the other spouse to commit adultery or tricks the other spouse into committing adultery to speed up the divorce.
Condonation: When you have forgiven your spouse for his or her adultery or cruelty. If you have forgiven your spouse, you cannot later use your spouse’s adultery or cruelty to claim a divorce.
Insufficient Child Support: Before granting a divorce, the judge must be satisfied that appropriate arrangements have been made for the financial support of the children.
(If you haven’t already done so, be sure to read our post on child support and why you should ALWAYS pay it!)
Instances of a judge refusing to grant a divorce are few and far between. Generally, as long as you and your spouse have satisfied the 1 year separation requirement, there is little that can stop your divorce from being granted.
For more information on separation, divorce, and other family law matters, please visit MyOntarioDivorce.com.