Can my request for a divorce be denied?

Some divorces are the result of a mutual agreement between married partners — but others may come as a shock and a surprise. The one who is being served divorce papers may not agree that the relationship is lost and could consider making an attempt to save their marriage by blocking the divorce. In other situations, a party may attempt to delay the divorce until the financial issues are resolved.

But is this even possible? What options are available for preventing a divorce from carrying through?

Evidence of fraud or lying

A divorcing partner who is looking to get a very favourable agreement might be tempted to fudge the numbers or to falsify a story to make themselves look better. If they file for an “at fault” divorce with various allegations they will be expected to provide evidence.

If the defence can prove that these claims are false, it may result in the divorce being denied. However, this is often only a temporary solution, since a new divorce can be filed right away for a “no-fault” divorce due to the length of the separation (in Ontario, parties who are separate for a year are entitled to a divorce). This is the closest legal action to saying, “The marriage simply doesn’t work anymore” and it is very unlikely and rare for a court to rule that a marriage can be saved if a spouse files this.

Acting in the Best Interests of the Children

A divorce may be delayed or denied if carrying it out would be harmful to the best interests of children involved in the family unit. All issues pertaining to custody and support of children are handled as part of final divorce terms. There are situations where the parties may agree that child support will not be payable but the Court will not accept their position and therefore deny a divorce until child support is accounted for.

Procedural Mishaps

One of the more straightforward reasons for why a divorce may be denied would be if the applicant skips necessary steps or files incorrectly. There are no long-term implications of this; it is possible to reapply afterwards, perhaps with the help of a family lawyer who can make sure that all the “T”s are crossed and all the “I”s are dotted.


Another possible reason for why a divorce could be denied is if it can be proven that the couple is working together to get a divorce improperly for their own advantage. This can only be determined if a judge deems the divorce suspicious — it cannot be used by one of the spouses as a way of trying to stop the divorce.

Religious Issues

If someone has the religious belief that a person should not be allowed to get divorced or remarried, this does not influence whether or not a divorce can be carried out. From a legal perspective, a divorce order only means that a person has the legal right to remarry. Having said that, there are situations where a Court will apply cost consequences against a party who is refusing to cooperate in the completion of a religious divorce.

For more questions or to get valuable legal advice that can be a difference maker in your divorce case, contact Epstein & Associates today. Our team of experienced legal professional can help guide you through the process, backed by our years of experience dealing with family law cases so that you ensure that your interests are protected.