For many spouses, the prospect of a divorce is an unwelcome reality. Some refuse to accept that their relationship is over, while others view it as an affront to their religious beliefs. In such cases, it may be difficult to get that spouse’s consent to a divorce. However, under Canadian law, you do not need your spouse’s consent to get a divorce (although it usually makes it a lot simpler). There are also very few ways your spouse can block you getting a divorce.

For much of Canada’s history, there was no codified law of divorce. If a spouse wanted to get divorced, they would have to petition Parliament, who could grant a divorce by passing a special piece of legislation. In 1968, Canada introduced the Divorce Act, a uniform scheme for divorce across the country that continues to govern today.

Under section 8(2) of the Divorce Act, there are three grounds for divorce:

  • Living separate and apart for at least one year
  • Cruelty
  • Adultery

While any one of these grounds will entitle a spouse to a divorce, living separate and apart is for one year is the most common. Once one of these events has occurred, either spouse may apply for a divorce.

Click here to see ways your ex can try to block your divorce if he/she does not want it


John P. Schuman
Derry Smith Frank LLP

John is a Certified Specialist in Family Law. To learn more about John please click


8 Responses to “Can I Get A Divorce Without my Spouse’s Consent?”

  1. Lily

    My wife is in Indonesia and we have never lived together. I will not be sponsoring her to Canada and wants to get a divorce. We got married in Malaysia. What should I do?

  2. linda

    We are married 22 yrs and we been separated eight years. the cause of our separation he cheat on me and his woman lived with him and they have one child together.then he filed for divorce but im not willing to get question is what happen if i do not agree..and who pay the court.

    • Anonymous

      I am married 22 years. My husband is cheating with me.21 Dec 1918 he married another women in Bangladesh. I heard from my friends my husband is trying to divorce me .Is that really possible? My husband can issue a divorce letter on my name and hide that from me and after 90 day it will be automatically active? Even thow I do not want to break our marriage.

    • Amandeep

      I am living in Winnipeg and my husband also in Winnipeg but we r separate from 2018 November .I have a son 14 yrs .I wanna divorce from my husband .what should I do now

    • Marie

      Today I was granted divorce without consent. I was married for 5 months. My ex abused me and our son. We have had no contact since he was arrested for battery and cheated on me.I am in same situation as your ex. I have a child with my ex and a child with my partner of 10 years. My ex refuses contact with his son and refuses getting divorce to be dispiteful. Think about how unfair that is for yourself and for your ex child.

  3. Paul stone.

    During our 5 year marriage my partners step father made her a large gift of money which she invested.
    She has left me saying she misses her family to much to stay with me. If she divorces me am I entitled to half of the money her family gave her.

  4. Karen R Rymer

    I was searching for a proper explanation of common law in Manitoba. Thanks, admin, for sharing such wonderful content on this topic. Now I have got everything I need about it. Here’s another informative content on. Common Law in Manitoba You will get well researched information about it.


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