All Divorce in Canada is governed by the Divorce Act, R.S.C 1985, c. 3 (2nd Supp.). This legislation applies nationally to all married couples who are divorced or who are in the process of divorcing. Divorce occurs when a court officially ends a marriage between a married couple. A married couple can be two heterosexual individuals or two same-sex individuals as section 2 of the Divorce Act was amended in 2005 to define a spouse as “either of two persons who are married to each other”.
In addition to granting a divorce, the Divorce Act deals with various other family law matters. The Divorce Act provides the law for divorced or divorcing couples on child support, spousal support, and custody of children.
The Divorce Act also deals with the law for recognizing foreign divorces in Canada. Generally a foreign divorce will be recognized in Canada if it was granted by a legitimate authority in keeping with the laws of that particular country.
Finally a Canadian divorce can be obtained by a couple in Canada who were married outside of Canada as long as they meet the residency requirement in the Divorce Act. To meet the residency requirement one of the individuals must have lived for one year in the Canadian province in which the divorce claim was initiated.