How long do I have to wait to get a divorce? If I legally separate from my spouse, do I have to divorce?
You generally must wait one year from separation before a divorce is granted. There are two cases in which you do not need to wait the year before being granted a divorce. (1) If your spouse has had sexual intercourse with someone else during your marriage and you did not forgive this adultery or live together more than 90 days after finding out; (2) your spouse was physically or mentally cruel to you.
If I separate from my spouse, do I have to divorce? Some people want to get divorced as soon as possible, for symbolic or personal reasons. One symbolic value served by initiating a divorce is to show your spouse (especially if the spouse left you) that you are in control of your life, and you are taking steps toward greater independence. One personal ground for going forward with the divorce is to become eligible for remarriage. If, on the other hand, neither husband or wife wants to go through the formal steps of obtaining an absolute divorce, there is no requirement that either party does so. This is true no matter whether the parties have been separated just over a year or for many years. One potential disadvantage to getting a divorce is that a spouse will no longer be continued indefinitely as a dependent on medical insurance coverage or on a Canada Pension Plan. Before you divorce, you can apply to CPP to get a “division of unadjusted pensionable earnings” (DUPE). This will divide the pension benefits you and your spouse earned while you were married, add them up and then split them evenly.