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Automatic Divorce After Long Separation in Canada

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After a long separation from your married partner, you can claim divorce. The grounds of the long break with a spouse can be logical for claiming a rightful divorce.

According to the fundamental common law of Canada, any long separation doesn’t result in automatic divorce in Canada. However, there are some exceptions where a long break causes automatic divorce.

Well, maybe the whole complexation seems a little bit confusing to you. In this article, let’s clarify your confusion about the long separation divorce.

First Things First—Is Separation and Divorce the Same Thing in Canada

According to the law, divorce and separation are not the same concepts. You can be separated from your legal partners for many years, but that doesn’t mean you are now divorced. The marital status will remain the same for years to come.

On the other hand, divorce is a matter of court and law. As divorce is the formal way of breaking the marital status, you need to go for divorce officially in court.

Separation with legal partners can arise for many reasons. Moreover, the after-effect of separation is also huge. However, divorce helps you to cut your relationship with your legal partner.

Plus, the question of divorce comes when you are legally married to someone and want a legal ending.

According to Canada’s legal rules, the concept of separation and divorce is not the same thing.

Read Also: How to Get a Divorce in Saskatchewan?

Does Long Separation Results in Automatic Divorce in Canada?

Long separation or short separation doesn’t result in automatic divorce in Canada. As long as you are not applying for divorce to the court, divorce will not appear. Only official divorces are legal and effective in the eyes of the law.

Surprisingly, in some exceptional cases, separation results in automatic divorce. Let’s see the grounds for automatic divorce by the long break.

One-Year Long Separation

There are no exact time limits of separation that cause automatic divorce, you can use grounds of absenting 1 year to claim divorce with your married partner.

But you need to prove to the court that you are separated for at least one year with your partner. If spouses get back together for more than 90 days, the application for divorce processing with not affect.

This law provides the married couple with another chance not to apply for divorce. On the other hand, the absolute absence or separation of one partner for at least one year is a genuine ground for divorce. You can apply to the court to go for the rightful divorce claim.

Death of Married Partner

The death of a married person automatically results in divorce for his partner. This kind of separation only results in automatic divorce.

If one half-married partner is absent or hospitalized due to a severe mental disorder or injury, you can claim for rightful divorce. Here the separation can be used as a claim for rightful divorce.

Although the person has a slight or significant chance of getting back into regular life again, you don’t need to wait for him anymore.

In another way, long separation results in automatic divorce. If a legally married person gets absent for at least seven years without any contact, they will be considered permanently absent or departed. In that case, spouses will be automatically divorced.

Domestic Violence and Long Separation

Domestic violence is the beginning of all marital problems. If any domestic violence happens, the wife/husband can live separately. Later the long separation can be used as a legal ground for divorce. The domestic violence claim establishment also helps the partner to earn rightful compensation.

In case of any domestic violence, taking legal advice from a professional lawyer will be the better option.

Moreover, if the spouse claims to curtail any rights against the legal partner, they can live separately. Later they can apply to the court for a divorce.

So, it is clear that there are no definite time limits for separations that results in automatic divorce. However, if the grounds of separation ask for a divorce, you can establish your claim of rightful divorce for a long break.

Timelines for Divorce Proceedings in Canada

The timeline for divorce proceedings in Canada can vary depending on a number of factors, including whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, whether there are any children involved, and the complexity of the case. However, in general, an uncontested divorce can be completed in as little as 4 to 6 months, while a contested divorce can take up to 12 months or more.

Here is a general overview of the timeline for divorce proceedings in Canada:

Step 1: Separation

The first step in the divorce process is to separate from your spouse. This means that you and your spouse must live apart for at least one year. There is no requirement that you live in separate households during this time, but you must be living separately and apart from each other in every way.

Step 2: File for Divorce

Once you have been separated for at least one year, you can file for divorce. You will need to file a divorce petition with the court in the province or territory where you live. The petition will include information about your marriage, your separation, and your request for a divorce.

Step 3: Serve the Petition

Once you have filed your petition, you will need to serve it on your spouse. This means that you must give them a copy of the petition and a notice of hearing. You can serve the petition yourself or hire a process server to do it for you.

Step 4: Respond to the Petition

Your spouse has 30 days to respond to your petition. If they do not respond, you can ask the court to grant you a divorce without their consent. However, if your spouse does respond, you will need to negotiate with them or go to court to resolve any issues that are outstanding.

Step 5: Finalize the Divorce

Once all of the issues have been resolved, you will need to finalize your divorce. This will involve a hearing in front of a judge. At the hearing, the judge will review your case and make a decision about whether to grant your divorce.

Step 6: Receive Your Divorce Certificate

Once your divorce is finalized, you will receive a divorce certificate from the court. This certificate will confirm that your marriage is over and that you are now legally divorced.

It is important to note that these timelines are just estimates and may vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. If you have any questions about the divorce process, you should consult with an experienced family law lawyer.

Other Common Grounds for Divorce

Besides a long separation, other common causes of divorce can include:

  • Infidelity or cheating in marriage
  • Broken communication
  • Financial disagreements
  • Incompatibility or irreconcilable differences
  • Lack of intimacy or affection
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Domestic violence or abuse
  • Growing apart or drifting away from each other
  • Religious and cultural differences
  • Constant verbal and physical abuse


Automatic divorce after a long separation in Canada is not legally possible. However, separation for more than one year can be used as a legal ground for divorce. Divorce in Canada is only possible by the official procedure of the court.

If you are separated and want to get a divorce on legal grounds, then contact a divorce lawyer to complete all divorce proceedings.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following section listed the most frequently asked questions answered regarding the topic.

Can you get a divorce without the other person signing in Canada?

If there are genuine grounds for divorce, you don't need your spouse's signature on the divorce paper. According to Canadian law, the rightful claim of divorce any party's signature is enough to complete the divorce officially.

Is one-sided divorce possible?

One-sided divorce is possible in Canada. If one party has the legal reasons to establish the divorce claim, any husband/wife can go for a possible divorce. Here, other parties' consent isn't so mandatory. The opposite party will get a legal notice here.

Can I Get Divorce Within 3 Months of Marriage?

After one year of extended separation, you can apply for divorce. However, if any legal grounds for divorce arise, you can apply for civil divorce anytime. In that cases, only the legal matter will be judged. Getting a divorce within 3 months of marriage in Canada is tough. But if you have a lawful reason, you can claim divorce in civil court within 3 months.

Can Divorce Happen Without Mutual Consent?

Generally, both parties mutually apply for divorce. However, divorce can arise due to domestic violence and curtailing of rights. You may apply for a divorce without taking the spouse's consent in those circumstances. If there are any legal reasons, divorce can happen without mutual consent.

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