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Best Ways for Opposing a Divorce in Canada 2023

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

Opposing a Divorce in Canada: Is It Possible?: When a marriage breaks down, everyone involved faces a challenging time, but if one person in the relationship doesn’t want a divorce when the other one does, it’s even more difficult.

It’s always best if both people in the marriage can come to an agreement regarding divorce, but if your partner is adamant about getting a divorce and you’re just as adamant about not getting one, is there anything you can do to keep it from happening? The family law experts at Costa Law Firm have the answer.

Opposing a Divorce in Canada

In Canada, there is no law that says both partners must agree to a divorce to get one. One spouse can initiate the divorce process and even if the other person doesn’t want the divorce, it will still happen.

No matter how much you oppose the divorce, it only takes one person to file and there isn’t much you can do about it legally.

Even if you simply don’t sign the divorce papers when you are served, your spouse can request the judge grant the divorce based on the non-response.

This doesn’t mean the judge will automatically grant the divorce, though. If there are children involved, and child support issues have not been resolved, the court will not grant the divorce.

However, this will only anger the judge and cause things to be more difficult for you throughout the process.

If one person is adamant about a divorce, and you’ve tried to convince them to wait or undergo counseling, it’s better to consent to the divorce and do it amicably, especially if children are involved.

One-Sided Divorce

If children are not involved in a divorce, one spouse can be granted a one-sided divorce without any involvement from the other spouse if one of three conditions are present.

Divorce in Canada
Divorce in Canada

The first is that the spouse can prove adultery or infidelity. They can’t just have a suspicion that adultery or infidelity occurred.

They must have concrete evidence to be granted a divorce on these grounds.

The second is that the spouse can prove that cruelty occurred during the marriage. Cruelty can take the form of physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, humiliation, or threats of violence.

If one spouse has constantly been given STDs by the other spouse, this can also be grounds for cruelty. The spouse does have to prove that cruelty existed during the marriage to be granted a one-sided divorce.

The final way a spouse can get a one-sided divorce without involvement from the other spouse is by being separated for a full year.

This is the option that most people who want or have to get a one-sided divorce choose because there is no proof involved except providing evidence that their separation was in place for 12 months or longer.

Options to Stop a Divorce

As you can see, there isn’t much you can do if your spouse wants a divorce, but if your partner is in any way open to saving the marriage, the best option is to get into marriage counselling as soon as possible.

Even if you’re not able to save your marriage, counselling may help you come to the point of acceptance, which can make the process easier.


Since there is no way to oppose a divorce in Canada, your best bet is to try to save the marriage through counselling.

If this isn’t possible because your spouse has made up their mind, it may be time to speak with a lawyer to help you through this challenging time.

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