Questions about Separation and Divorce in Ontario
Below you will find answers to some common questions that arise with regards to divorce in Ontario. Please do not interpret the information on this page as legal advice. If you need legal advice, we recommend that you contact our office and book a free consultation with one of our Lawyers.
Who Can Use Your Service?
We are a full-service Firm practicing exclusively in the area of Family Law. Our services include separation agreements, marriage contracts, simple/uncontested divorce, contested divorce, negotiations and litigation. Almost everyone can use our firm and we offer a free consultation to discuss your case options.
How much it will cost?
Our Ontario Divorce Office completes your divorce forms based on the information you provide, for an affordable rates, also offering payment plans to help you. Please refer to our fees page for our current rate. Please keep in mind that in Ontario, the government charges $632 in “court fees” in order to process your divorce. This government fee is included in our flat rate service but may be waived if you meet the financial threshold.
How long does the divorce process take?
The time frame for a divorce application being granted varies from city to city. It usually depends on how busy your local court house is with the number of applications being processed at any given time. However, as a general time frame, uncontested divorce cases are simple and usually take between 3 and 5 months to be processed and finalized. If someone promises to process and complete your case in less than about 3 months, they are not being sincere since the current government process makes this an impossibility.
What is uncontested divorce?
This means that both you and your spouse agree on all the terms of the divorce and you simply want the divorce to be granted through the legal court system. This information is available on the Law Society website here.
Will i have to attend court?
For an uncontested divorce case, you will not have to “attend” court because you are not required to appear in front of a judge or court. We will make trips to your local court on your behalf in order to file the the application, affidavits, divorce orders and certificates. This is commonly done by many other process serving companies.
What if i cant find my spouse?
You may still use our service. We will make efforts to locate your spouse through our network of investigators and through social media searched. In the end, if we are unable to locate your spouse, we will proceed with a “motion to dispense” with service in court and once this is granted, we can move forward and finalize your divorce case without the need to serve your spouse.
Can I use your service if I have children?
Yes. You can file for an uncontested divorce even if you have children. However, the court requires some information regarding the payment of child support and living/custody arrangements. We would need to file this information with the affidavits in court. It is a good idea to consult with our Family Lawyer for advice in this situation.
What documents do I need?
Original Certificate of Marriage. You will need your original Certificate of Marriage or certified copy of the Registration of Marriage from Vital Statistics. The certificate you received at the church (or any other place you were married) will not be accepted by the Divorce Registry.
We can obtain your Certificate of Marriage for you. Please contact us for more details.
If you were married in another country, you need to apply for your original Certificate of Marriage or certified copy of the Registration of Marriage from the equivalent of Vital Statistics in that place.
If your Certificate of Marriage is not in English, you will need to have it translated. Each province has it’s own requirements for how the Certificate of Marriage is to be translated. Check with your local Court Registry or contact us for more information.
Separation Agreement or Court Order (if any). If you have a separation agreement, any court orders or any other written agreements, which sets out the particulars of your separation or any children of the marriage, you may want to forward us a copy. Please do not send us the original. These will assist us in preparing your divorce documents.
What is a joint divorce?
When both you and your spouse are in agreement and you both are willing to sign the divorce documents, then some provinces allow you to proceed with a joint divorce. This eliminates the need for service of the documents upon your spouse and can save you time and money.
Please keep in mind that you both must be willing to sign the divorce documents. If one spouse changes his or her mind after the initial joint divorce documents are signed and filed, then it can be costly and time consuming to continue.
What is an uncontested (sole) divorce?
An uncontested, or sole divorce, is also known as an undefended divorce. This is where one spouse is the Plaintiff (or Petitioner) and the other spouse is the Defendant (or Respondent). The documents are signed and filed by the Plaintiff and served upon the Defendant. The Defendant has a period of time to respond to, or defend, the divorce action. If the Defendant does not respond to the divorce action, then the divorce is considered to be uncontested.
Please note that we can only assist couples seeking a joint divorce or uncontested divorce and therefore, if your divorce action becomes contested, then we cannot assist you and will recommend that you seek the advice of a family lawyer.
What are the grounds for divorce?
Our service is available only if you want to proceed with a divorce based on a one year separation. This means that you and your spouse have been living separate and apart. Please keep in mind that you and your spouse may still be considered separated if you were living in the same dwelling due to financial or other reasons but were not in a relationship.
Does my spouse need to sign the documents?
No. If both you and your spouse are willing to sign the documents, it is considered a joint divorce which means that you will not need to “serve” the divorce documents on each other. However, both spouses do not need to sign the document. For an uncontested divorce, one spouse can sign the document and serve the document on the other spouse.
Do I need a separation agreement?
You do not need a separation agreement in order to file a divorce in Canada. However, if you think that you may benefit from drafting an agreement, you should consult an attorney for legal advice. You can gain more information about the benefits of a separation agreement here.