Is It Possible to Get a Divorce Without Consent of My Spouse?

For many spouses, the thought of a divorce is a very unsettling experience. In many cases, it may be difficult to get that spouse’s consent to a divorce. 

So is it possible to get a divorce without the consent of my spouse in Canada? 

Under Canadian law, you do not need your spouse’s consent to get a divorce. There are also very few ways your spouse can block you from getting a divorce. 

Read below to read what the grounds are for getting a divorce and when a judge will not grant a divorce. 

Three Grounds For Divorce In Canada

For much of Canada’s history, there was no codified law of divorce. Because of this, when a spouse wanted to get divorced, they would have to petition Parliament and get them to grant a divorce by passing a special piece of legislation.

It wasn’t until 1968 that Canada introduced the Divorce Act, which is used today to uniform the divorce process across the country.

Here are the current three grounds for divorce in Canada.

  1. Living separate and apart for at least one year;
  2. Cruelty, and;
  3. Adultery.

Separation is the most commonly used ground for divorce. This is due to the fact that the grounds of cruelty or adultery are more difficult to prove. 

Once one of these events has occurred, either spouse may apply for a divorce. 

Three Reasons Why a Judge Cannot Grant a Divorce

  1. A child is not being properly financially supported: According to section 11(1)(b) of the Divorce Act, a judge must be satisfied “that reasonable arrangements have been made for the support of any children of the marriage, having regard to the applicable guidelines” before granting a divorce.
  2. At-Fault Divorce: This is where one spouse claims the breakdown of the relationship is the other spouse’s fault for reasons such as cruelty or adultery. It is important to know that you need enough evidence to claim these allegations and these allegations will be adjudicated at a trial. 
  3. Using Your Divorce to Your Advantage: Fraud is one of the most uncommon reasons for your divorce to be denied. However, if a judge thinks you and your spouse are conspiring to obtain a divorce for your advantage, the divorce may be rejected. 


Thinking of getting a divorce, but dealing with a spouse that is not willing to cooperate? If this is you, feel free to call our office today to book a free 30-minute consultation.

Although you might feel like you don’t need a lawyer for your divorce, it’s best to connect with a one to ensure that you aren’t subject to any legal implications if a spouse does not sign divorce papers. 

This blog is made available by the law firm publisher, Epstein & Associates, for educational purposes. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law but does not provide specific legal advice. Any specific questions about your legal concerns please contact us now and speak to an expert today.