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Marriage can be terminated in how many ways in Ontario? What are they?
  • Annulment
  • Divorce
  • Death of a spouse 
Which of the methods of terminating a marriage is rarely used?
Annulment: only takes a year to get divorce, which is not nearly as difficult as it was historically. Also, grounds for annulment are more difficult to achieve.
What is an annulment?
An annulment is a judgement that declares that a marriage is void. A marriage may be void ab initio or it may be voidable.
What is void ab initio?
Void ab initio is as if the marriage had never taken place. It means one of the parties did not have the legal capacity to marry.

(due to one or more of: age, mental capacity, consent, consanguinity, marital status)
What is a voidable marriage?
A voidable marriage is where one of the parties is unable to consummate the marriage at the time of the ceremony. Inability may be physical or mental, a simple refusal of intercourse is not enough.
What is the effect of an annulment?
void ab initio: The parties are considered to never have been married. They are parties to a void marriage.

voidable: continues to be valid until a decree from the court invalidates marriage, then nullifies marriage as if had never taken place.
What are the rights of the parties of an annulled marriage?
Under s. 1(1) of the Family Law Act, the definition of "spouse" includes either of to persons who entered into a voidable or void marriage who did so in good faith. They can assert the same property and support claims as a person who is validly married.
What type of proceeding is required to obtain an annulment?
A party wishing to annul a marriage may do so by way of application to Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice or in the Superior Court of Justice.

A proceeding for an annulment may include what types of claims?
Proceeding may include claims for custody, support, and property rights.
What statutes govern annulment in Ontario?
  • Family Law Act
  • Marriage Act 
A valid marriage may be terminated in how many ways? What are they?
  • death of spouse
  • divorce 
Is divorce covered by provincial or federal jurisdiction, and which statutes(s)?
Federal, the Divorce Act, which was originally put in place in 1968.
Once dicorce proceedings begin, which issues relating to the breakdown of a marriage fall under the scope of federal jurisdiction?
  • spousal support
  • child support
  • custody
How long does a spouse have to be resident of a province for the court of that province to have jurisdiction for the divorce proceedings?
The spouse must have ordinarily been resident in the province for one year preceding the application for divorce.
What happens if two spouses live in different provinces, both for over a year, and each files for divorce? Which province is deemed to have jurisdiction?
The court that received the first application is deemed to continue, the other is deemed to discontinue.
Which court in Ontario has jurisdiction over divorce actions?
The Superior Court of Justice (including the Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice) has jurisdiction over divorce actions.
How many ways are there to establish a marriage breakdown in Ontario for a divorce?

One is No-Fault.
Two are Fault.
What is a "No-Fault Ground" of divorce?
Spouses may divorce on the ground of separation. This ground involves no allegation of fault against either party.

The spouses must have lived separate and apart fo 1 year prior to preceding.
What is intention to be separate?
When two parties in a marriage are separated and live apart, for purposes of establishing the one year they have to have intention to be separated and not remain married.

example: if they are separate due to work, or illness - that is not for the purpose of the breakdown of the marriage and does not count
There are two "fault grounds" for divorce in Ontario, what are they?
  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
What are "bars to divorce" and how many of them are they?
  • collusion
  • condonation
  • connivance 
What is collusion?
Collusion is one of the "bars to divorce". a circumstance in which the court will not grant a divorce. It is an agreement or conspiracy to which an applicant for divorce makes attempt to deceive the courts in some way related to the divorce.
What is connivance?
Connivance is one of the "bars to divorce". a circumstance in which the court will not grant a divorce. It is when a spouse encourages the other spouse to commit a matrimonial offense so that there are grounds for a divorce.
What is condonation?
Condonation is one of the "bars to divorce". a circumstance in which the court will not grant a divorce. It applies only to the fault divorce of cruelty or adultery, and takes place when a spouse with knowledge of the offense, forgives the offense and continues or resumes cohabitation with the guilty spouse.
Which two "bars to divorce" are not absolute, and why?
Condonation and connivance are not asolute bars to a divorce. The court may grant a divorce if it is of the opinion that the public interest would be better served by granting the divorce.
What is reconciliation?
When two parties who have separated make attempts to reconcile their marriage.
The Divorce Act encourages reconciliation. What are two examples related to time?
* the one year period of separation is not interrupted by a resumption of cohabitation, with reconciliation as its primary purpose, for a [period of no more than 90 days.

* resumption of cohabitation with reconciliation as its primary purpose for not more than 90 days does not constitute condonation.
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