The process of getting a divorce can be a very substantial upheaval in one’s life. In order to escape the stress or emotional turbulence, it could be possible to consider the possibility of simply moving far away and completing a long distance divorce.
But is this even legally possible, or are there restrictions on where, when and how you can apply for a divorce to end a troubled relationship?
This situation is covered clearly in Canada’s Divorce Act where it says that you must live in the province where the divorce application is commenced for at least one full year prior to submitting your request for a divorce.
However, once the application is submitted then you would be free to move and live in another province while the case is ongoing, assuming that you are not moving with children
If you want to move with a child after filing for divorce, the process is more complicated. As with all other aspects of the case, all decisions must be made in accordance with the children’s best interests.
If the courts can determine that the children could receive better care and support as the result of a move, it may be approved. This might happen in situations where a family is getting divorced because of an abusive or negligent parent. This may also be the case where there is an employment opportunity for a parent in a different jurisdiction, or the child needs of a special program or care that is not available where the parties separated.
However, the court has the right to deny your right to move with your children. If this happens, you will need to wait until the end of the trial and the final deliberations dealing with child custody and visitation before moving.