Q: What is a Divorce?

A: The word “Divorce” is loaded word that means different things to different people depending on your personal values and beliefs. Some people imagine a magic piece of paper that they can claim as their proof of freedom. Others imagine that the divorce is relatively simple and will happen quickly. Many people believe that asking for a divorce is the end of a marriage when the truth is that asking for a divorce is the beginning of a series of important points on the way to a divorce.


Inside the legal community we refer to that initial “I want a divorce” moment to be the Date of Separation. It is the moment that you are no longer living in a marriage-like relationship and have indicated that you (or the other person) wants out. Depending on whether you were officially married or living common-law and a few other factors such as dates and circumstances, there are different time restrictions for the next steps.


An order for divorce under the Divorce Act does two things: It allows a person to re-marry and it starts a two-year limitation period to make a claim for property division and spousal support. Therefore, it is important to file a claim for property division, spousal support, and other relief before agreeing to a divorce. That is why a divorce order is not usually issued until after people have resolved property division and spousal support, or at least made a claim. As you can imagine it may take a while to unravel all the other terms of a marriage before a divorce will be granted by the Supreme Court of BC.


Here at Swiftsure Law we are skilled at obtaining closure for our clients and this most certainly includes the official Divorce Order. It is often the final step to full resolution so our clients can move on with the rest of their lives with confidence.


*Any guidance provided is not covered by solicitor client privilege, nor is it taking into consideration all of the facts of your matter beyond those in the question. The legal information is specific to British Columbia Law. If you want a more thorough and case-specific analysis of your legal matter please CONTACT US to arrange a consultation.