Divorce and Separation – Litigation

May 25, 2016

Once you or your spouse/partner have decided to divorce or separate, and resolving your family law issues through a separation agreement will not work in your situation, the next step is to commence family law proceedings in the appropriate court.

Deciding where to bring your family law litigation action is based on the factors below, as well as additional factors.  It is important to consult a family law lawyer who can assist you in properly determine where to file your family law application.

Divorce Proceedings

Consider bringing divorce proceedings if:

  • You are currently married, but separated or thinking about separation
  • You have children, and there are issues relating to:
    • who will be making major decisions (custody)
    • when each child will reside or visit with each parent (access)
    • questions of who is going to pay for the children’s general needs or special expenses
  • You require additional funds from your spouse to support yourself (spousal support)
  • You have joint family assets or debts that need to be divided


Common-Law Partners

If you are not married to your partner, or do not yet wish to be divorced, you can still ask the court for assistance in dealing with your family-related matters.

The law also treats common law spouses differently from married spouses for the purposes of property division, but the courts are available to make decisions relating to parenting (custody or access), child support, or support for yourself or your ex-partner.


A family law lawyer can help you navigate the court system and to understand your rights and entitlements on separation.