Divorce and separation are undeniably the legal rights of any individual. However, they are not necessarily a desirable option. As family lawyers, we have resolved numerous family issues in Alberta in the past decade. Over the years, we saw many couples break or mend their relationships. While some marriages meet a pitifully sour end, some couples decide to remain friends after their divorce. Regardless of the case, we completely understand that no couple contemplates divorce when taking the “till death do us part” vow.
However, due to the diminishing tolerance level of people of the modern era and the work-life imbalance, most marriages do not make it to the ‘death do us part’ goal. Likewise, the Covid-19 pandemic made things even worse for couples who were trying to work out a solution for their deteriorating relationship. To be more precise, the pandemic acted as a catalyst in bringing the dormant and underlying family tensions to the surface.
Recently, CTV News reported a surge in angry and bitter divorces during the pandemic. As a result, we have witnessed a significant increase in the number of divorce queries. However, these queries made us realize that there are some matters that are not clearly understood by the public. For example, people are unsure of the steps to take when their partner does not consent to the divorce or is entirely absent from the scene.
In order to provide a better comprehension of the matter at hand, we shall present a systematic yet brief overview of the subject through this blog.
The Two Simplified Scenarios
Although divorce is not a desirable option, sometimes it is the right thing to do. Hence, it should not be looked down upon as a failure. After all, it is better to end a relationship that only puts you through mental torture and emotional pain. People often change, and your partner may also not remain the same loving and caring person you loved them for being. Thus, the best thing you two can do for each other is part ways.
However, what if your partner doesn’t want to consent to the divorce? What if they refuse to cooperate in the process? Or what if you can not get hold of them?
Through these questions, we can derive two main scenarios relevant to our topic:
- Getting a divorce when the other partner does not consent to it.
- Obtaining a divorce when you do not know your partner’s whereabouts.
Now let us discuss each case separately:
1. Can You Get A Divorce Even If Your Partner Does Not Consent To It?
Well, the answer to this question depends upon the cause that provoked you to file a divorce. If you have reasonable grounds that clearly demand marriage dissolution, you can get a divorce. In this regard, you will have to prove the breakdown of the marriage.
The court requires you to prove that your partner committed either of the following actions:
- They committed adultery.
- They put you through physical or mental torment.
- You have been staying separately for more than a year.
However, simply telling the judge that your spouse put you through any of the above will not be enough. You must provide solid evidence to support your case. Hence, to strengthen your case, ensure that the family lawyer by your side has the required qualities.
On the other hand, if you are the one who afflicted your other half with the above cruelties, you can not file a divorce to end the marriage. In this case, you must stay separate from each other for at least a year before filing an application.
2. What If You Do Not Know Where Your Partner Is But You Want A Divorce?
However, things become more complex when you want a divorce and do not know your partner’s whereabouts. The latter may result because you and your spouse may have opted to live separately and suspended all communications. When you file a divorce application, the court requires you to send a copy of the application to your spouse as well. This becomes a problem when you do not know where your partner is.
Nevertheless, you can still obtain a divorce even though the process will become slightly lengthier. First, you will need to take every possible step to find your spouse, such as searching for them on social media, trying their old contact number, contacting mutual friends, or filing a report with the police. If nothing works, you can apply to the court for a substituted service. Once the court is satisfied that you have tried everything to inform your partner of the divorce, you will be granted the decree.
About Peak Family Law
Through our unending dedication and unmatched profound expertise, Peak Family Law helps couples attain a smooth divorce with the least complications possible. Contact us to learn more.