The Legal Process Of Going Through A Divorce


All cases of divorce in Canada are governed by the federal Divorce Act. Keep in mind however that the specific procedures and documents pertaining to divorce will be different for each particular province or territory, so check the specifics in your jurisdiction.

Overview of the divorce process in Canada

Step 1

Make the decision to divorce and separate from your spouse.

Step 2

Obtain an application for divorce. Keep in mind that the necessary forms will be different for each province and territory. The proper forms for your jurisdiction may be obtained from a divorce lawyer or family lawyer in Toronto. They are also available in many bookstores, in court office, or from information centers dealing with family law.

Step 3

Determine the grounds for filing for a divorce, and decide whether it will be a no-fault or fault divorce. For no-fault divorces, a 1-year separation period will be required. The acceptable grounds for fault divorces are adultery and/or cruelty. With this particular type of divorce, the person applying for divorce will be required to provide evidence substantiating the claim. The services of a divorce lawyer are especially necessary for fault divorces.

Step 4

Determine if the divorce is of the contested or uncontested type, and specify this in the application form. In an uncontested divorce, the reasons and terms of the divorce is agreed upon by both parties. In such cases, only one application is necessary. In a contested divorce, the parties involved do not agree on the reasons for the divorce and/or on the terms. In such cases, each party is required to file a divorce application individually.

Step 5

In divorce procedures involving children, the parties involved will be required to submit a document outlining the terms of parenting, custody, and child support. In cases of contested divorce, each party will be required to submit a document outlining their preferences with regard to the above subjects. In cases of uncontested divorce, a single document outlining the agreed arrangements will be sufficient.

Step 6

File the divorce application or applications at the appropriate court office in your province or territory. Your divorce lawyer can also help facilitate this step of the procedure. Depending on the province or territory in question, you will have to pay a fee or submit additional documents. Assistance may be obtained from the court clerk or your divorce lawyer.

Step 7

Wait for the clearance document which will be provided by the Divorce Registry office in Ottawa. While awaiting this document, both parties should adhere to the rules and guidelines outlined by the court. Once the divorce papers have been served, the party in question will have to respond within 30 days.

Step 8

If, after 30 days, the party in question has not responded to the divorce, the applicant may submit the affidavit for divorce, divorce order and clerk’s certificate to the appropriate court office.

Step 9

Wait for the court to pass the decision granting the divorce. After a review of all the materials by a judge, a divorce order will be granted.

Step 10

The certificate of divorce can be obtained 30 days after the granting of the divorce order. At this time, both parties will be effectively divorced and legally entitled to marry again if they wish.

Although filing for a divorce in Canada can legally be done without a lawyer, hiring a family lawyer at will help ensure a smoother and more efficient process, with the rights of both parties and children addressed in the most favorable manner.

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