In Canada, either spouse can choose to end a marriage, whether or not the other spouse agrees. There are several different ways to legally end a marriage; they include judicial separation, divorce, or annulment. Each way of ending a marriage has different legal requirements. Decisions on the division of property, custody of the children, visiting rights, and child and spousal support payments must be made. You may have an informal understanding with your spouse or a written legal document called a Separation Agreement. If you and your spouse do not agree on the terms of separation, you may take the issue to mediation or to court where a judge will decide these matters.
The Need for Legal Advice
It is best to see a lawyer to get advice about your rights and the choices available to you when you are ending a marriage. It is best to have a lawyer: to prepare a Separation Agreement (although this is not required to get a divorce), to apply for a divorce, annulment or judicial separation. It is also optimal to consult a lawyer about: custody, access, financial support, and matrimonial property issues, and in some cases, to have a lawyer settle these matters with you.