DIVORCE

The breakdown of a marriage is the legal basis for obtaining a divorce and may be proven to the court in one of three ways:

(1)   The spouses have been living separate and apart for at least one year;

(2)  The spouse against whom the divorce is petitioned has committed adultery;

(3)  The spouse against whom the divorce is petitioned has treated the other with physical or mental cruelty.

If the grounds for the divorce is that the spouses have been living separately for over one year, they may apply for a joint divorce based on an agreement that amicably divides the family property and sets out the custody and support  for the children of the marriage.

If the spouses are unable to reach an agreement, either spouse may apply to the court for a divorce.

If one of the spouses accuses the other of adultery or physical or mental cruelty, only they can apply for the divorce against that spouse.  A spouse cannot allege their own infidelity or cruelty as a basis for a divorce.

The rights and obligations of parents towards their children are unaffected by divorce.  If the spouses cannot agree on the custody and support of their children, then they are required to attend a family mediation information session.  Couples with children are entitled to six free mediation sessions with a licensed family mediator.

If the spouses resume living together for a period of more than ninety days pursuant to the institution of proceedings, they are presumed to have reconciled and there is a basis for ending the proceedings.

A judgment that grants a divorce dissolves the marriage.  The effects of the divorce are retroactive to the date when proceedings were instituted, unless the court decides that they should be retroactive to the date on which the spouses stopped living together.

The above is intended to provide general information and is not to be taken as legal advice for a particular situation.  If you require a legal opinion, please contact an attorney.