We’re all familiar with these terms, but they also allow for a lot of gray area. We outlined a few of the key differences between separation, divorce and annulment.
All three of these acts begin with marriage, which is defined in Canada as the lawful union between two persons to the exclusion of all others. The most common way to end a marriage is separation. Separation usually means that you are living apart from your spouse, but that doesn’t have to mean in a different location. Separation can also be defined as two people who longer have a marriage-like relationship. This could mean you are not going to family events together, sharing meals and household responsibilities together or sleeping separately.
Most petitioners for divorce will be eligible for the divorce after a year of separation. Petitioners filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery or mental or physical cruelty do not have to be separated for a year. Petitioners who wish to be legally divorced as soon as their one-year separation is over can sign a separation agreement to speed up the process of divorce.
Divorce is defined as the permanent dissolution of a marriage. Common-law relationships do not need to end in divorce, but legal assistance may be required if either party feels that they are legally entitled to financial support or assets. Unlike divorce, an annulment is a court declaration that the marriage is void and never existed. The grounds for an annulment in Canada are that one party lacked the capacity to consent to a marriage due to age or diminished mental capacity. Annulments are very rare in Canada.
If you require assistance in divorce, separation agreements or division of assets, contact one of the Calgary Family Lawyers at Vogel LLP.
About Vogel LLP
Vogel LLP is a Calgary based law firm with expertise in Personal Injury, Family Law, and Estate Litigation. The lawyers at Vogel LLP are united by the common goal of delivering successful legal solutions to clients. Vogel LLP lawyers strive to solve their client’s problems in the most timely and effective way in accordance with the highest standards of practice and ethical conduct.