FAQ - Galbraith Family Law

Roughly half of all marriages end in divorce, and the rate is even higher with subsequent marriages. Statistics aside, however, divorce cases are as unique as the people involved. No matter what your situation, you probably have questions. Below, we have attempted to answer some common questions about divorce and family law issues; contact an experienced divorce lawyer for more information and to discuss your particular situation.

Who is eligible for divorce in Ontario?

You can apply if you and your spouse have lived in Ontario for a period of at least one year prior to starting the process. Divorce is available if you are legally married to your spouse, but have been living apart from your spouse with no intention of reconciling, or if you plan to permanently separate from your spouse with the belief that there is no chance for reconciliation.

What are legal grounds for ending a marriage?

The governing statute is the Divorce Act, and it allows courts to grant divorce decrees on the ground that there has been a breakdown in the marriage. Marriage breakdown occurs when the spouses have lived apart for at least a year before the judgment is obtained, or when one spouse has committed adultery or treated the other spouse with physical or mental cruelty so as to make it impossible for the two to continue living together.  Most divorce cases in Ontario are based on the grounds of a one-year separation. Grounds of adultery and cruelty require proof of a specific act of adultery or cruelty; under these grounds, parties need not wait for the one-year period to elapse, but proving these claims in court can be challenging.

What is legal separation?

Legal separation occurs when spouses begin to live apart from each other with no intention of resuming cohabitation. A separation agreement is a legal document designed to specify and enforce each party’s responsibilities when it comes to finances, division of marital property, spousal support, and other issues pertaining to the end of the marriage. Keep in mind that separation or a separation agreement does not by itself mean that the marriage is terminated; only a judgment of the court under the Canada Divorce Act can legally end a marriage.

How are matters such as spousal support, child custody and support dealt with in divorce cases?

If the spouses cannot reach an agreement on their own regarding these issues, then a court will decide how these issues are to be handled. Spousal support is not always granted, but may be determined based on a number of factors including the need of the recipient, the other spouse’s ability to pay, and the couple’s standard of living at the time of the separation. Child custody and support decisions are based solely on the best interests of the child.

Divorce lawyers are well versed in these and other complex legal issues pertaining to divorce cases, and a family law firm should be your first call when separation and divorce become the final, regrettable option. Ending a marriage is difficult, but with an experienced lawyer on your side, you can achieve the best outcome for your family and move forward with your life.

Galbraith Family Law: Resolving Family Conflict With Heart

The Barrie law firm of Galbraith Family Law is committed to providing superior legal services for every client. The firm helps clients resolve issues related to separation and divorce, including custody, access, child support, spousal support, equalization and division of property. They are experienced in many types of approaches to family law matters, from collaborative practice to litigation. Brian Galbraith brings more than 20 years of legal experience to his cases, and has earned a reputation in the Ontario legal community as a lawyer of honesty, integrity, and passion—qualities his clients need and appreciate. He understands first-hand the uncertainty and upheaval a divorce can cause, and is committed to providing his clients with sound legal advice during difficult times in their lives. Brian Galbraith’s office is located at 124 Dunlop St. West, Barrie, Ontario L4N 1B1 or he can be reached by calling (705) 999-8957.