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When can I ask for a divorce?

By: Steven Benmor, B.Sc., LL.B., Family Lawyer

Jurisdiction: Ontario (Canada)

“When can I ask for a divorce?” As soon as 1 of the following 3 circumstances has occurred;

  • the other spouse has committed adultery, or
  • the other spouse has committed cruelty, or
  • the spouses have separated.

As soon as one of these circumstances has occurred, a spouse can commence a Petition for Divorce.

If separation is used as the ground to obtain a divorce, the spouses need to have been separated for at least 1 year before a Judge will grant a Divorce Judgment.

Steven Benmor

About the author: Steven Benmor practices Family Law in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Visit Steven Benmor’s online Family Law Resource Center for concise answers to many more frequently asked Family law questions, feature articles on Family law topics, dozens of links to other Family law websites, and more at The information on this page is for discussion purposes only. It is by no means legal advice or even a statement of the law on this subject. Please do not rely on the accuracy or completeness of this information. Any question or concern elicited by the information on this page should be taken to a lawyer who will consider the facts of each case and the legal remedies available.