Marrying A Canadian Citizen And Divorce: What The Rest Of The World Needs To Know

Marrying A Canadian Citizen And Divorce: What The Rest Of The World Needs To Know

16 February 2018
 Categories: Law, Blog

If you marry a Canadian citizen, do you know what happens if you pursue divorce? What about an annulment? In Canada, these mean very different things than they do in the United States, or in any other country for that matter. If you are engaged to a Canadian citizen, you should educate yourself on all of the following.


Annulment is only granted on the grounds of an illegitimate or unrecognized marriage, or when one partner is unable to consummate the marriage. For example, if you accidentally marry your long-lost half sister and you did not realize it until after you were married, Canada does not recognize this marriage as you share too much familial DNA. Even if you had consummated the marriage, you would need to end the marriage for legal reasons. Because Canadian family law states that yours was not a legitimate marriage, the marriage is annulled, rather than filing for divorce.


Ask any family lawyer in Canada about a quick divorce, and he or she will laugh at you. That is because there are no such divorces in Canada. You and your soon-to-be-ex partner are required to live apart for at least one year. The courts view this separation period as a time to regroup, reconsider breaking up your family unit, and possibly reconciling. Even if you know for a fact that you are going to get a divorce, you have to follow the "year apart rule" before you can file officially for a divorce.


Divorce in Canada is a very difficult thing to accomplish. First there is a required year of total separation. Then you have to prove infidelity/adultery and/or physical abuse. If you cannot prove either of these extreme issues, your lawyer has to show some other valid reason why you should be granted a divorce.

As long as you have followed the "one year apart" rule, and no one has spent more than a couple hours at the other's residence, it may be a little easier to get a divorce. However, if you have spent any greater amount of time living together or sleeping together out of convenience, the court considers you and your partner reconciled, and you may have your application for divorce thrown out.

Division of Property

In Canada, unless you sign a prenuptial agreement, ALL of your property is equally divided at the time of separation. This includes selling the home to split any profits, leaving the two of you to find other lodgings. Even if the home was yours before the marriage, you may lost it under this division of property law.

For more information, contact companies like Assiniboia Law Offices.