The Role of Religion in Divorce and Separation

The Role of Religion in Divorce and Separation


The Religious doctrine may influence a person’s individual beliefs and family practices, including the availability of divorce. In Canada, either spouse can apply for a legal divorce or legal separation regardless of whether their religion permits divorce or separation.

Moreover, courts can grant you a legal divorce if all requirements are met and decide on corollary matters including custody, access, child and spousal support.

A legally divorced individual would be free to remarry in a civil ceremony, but Canadian courts cannot grant a religious divorce. Ontario court of justice assists spouses in facing certain barriers to religious remarriage. A family lawyer in Toronto will help you navigate through this difficult period in your life so that everything can be handled properly from start to finish. 



Removing Religious Bars to Remarriage

Under the federal Divorce Act, a court can refuse to grant a civil divorce if the spouse requesting the divorce is refusing to remove religious barriers to the remarriage of their spouse. For example, under Jewish law where divorce is permitted, a husband must grant his wife a get and the wife must accept it. If the husband refuses to give a get, his ex-spouse could not remarry according to Jewish law.

Furthermore, a spouse could file an affidavit with the court and the accused spouse describing the hurdles. The offending spouse within fifteen days would need to remove those barriers. If the spouse has a legitimate basis, the court will not exercise its power.

Under provincial legislation, Ontario’s Family Law Act, a court has the power to set aside all or part of a separation agreement if there are barriers to the spouse’s remarriage. A spouse will have 10 days to remove all bars within their control.

Finally, a court can only enforce the removal of physical barriers within the control of a spouse. Get help from experienced Mississauga family law firms.



Religion and Corollary Matters

A parent with no religious beliefs stands in an equal position as a parent with a religious association. Courts will consider only the best interest of the child when making custody and access decisions. Courts will decide on property division, child support and spousal support payments regardless of one’s faith.

Religion can present a complication to people who are splitting up. If religion is influencing your divorce proceedings or separation, do not hesitate to contact us. Our Family Lawyers can discuss your legal matter in more detail over a free consultation.

You can reach our office at 905-366-0202 or contact us through our website here.

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