Nobody likes to talk about divorce. It’s one of the most difficult social experiences people encounter in their lives. Divorces break up families, create grief and heartache, and can be a source of indescribable anxiety. However, the fact of the matter is that divorce is a reality in today’s society, and laws do exist to protect the interests of everyone involved, and create clear rules and guidelines that everyone can understand and abide by.
This doesn’t mean that everyone should know divorce law in Canada. That’s what family and divorce lawyers are for. However, some basic knowledge of divorce law can help anyone navigate an otherwise difficult and complicate subject matter. First, as with many jurisdictions in Canada — such as health and safety, or education and training — family and divorce law contains two components: federal law, which applies to people across Canada; and provincial law, which can be different in each province.
Let’s quickly examine both jurisdictions. At the federal level, across Canada, the primary piece of applicable legislation is the Divorce Act, which establishes who can actually divorce in Canada (only legally married couples), what constitutes grounds for divorce, rules for child support in the event of divorce, as well as any ensuing custody and parenting issues.
Federal versus provincial jurisdiction
These are the basic rules governing divorce in Canada. However, the process by which married couples actually get a divorce falls under provincial jurisdiction. Also falling under provincial jurisdiction are the specific laws governing not just divorce, but separation: of married and unmarried couples. Provincial jurisdiction is responsible for the administration of legal proceedings, rules overseeing shared property and family services that involve mediation and parental education.
Specifically, in Ontario, laws dealing with family and divorce include: the Child and Family Services Act, which governs children’s aid societies and rules for adopting children; and the Family Law Act, which governs child and spousal support, as well as property division, including the status of the matrimonial home. The Canadian and provincial governments provide citizens with specific information within the relevant jurisdictions. These informational resources can be of use before, during or after having obtained the formal services of a family/divorce lawyer.
If you need a professional advice on family law, or if you’re thinking of divorce, please phone us here at Hosseini Law Firm (HLF) for a 15 minute free consultation: 416-628-4635, or please use the contact form provided on this page.