An Overview Of A Simple Divorce In Ontario
Most people who have gone through a divorce would agree it is never a simple or an easy process. Even in cases where the couple agrees on most issues of the divorce, there are still challenges and difficult decisions involved.
In Ontario, it is possible for a couple to utilize a simple divorce process. This is a process where the couple is not required to appear before the court, there is no divorce trial, and the issues or the specifics of the divorce are agreed upon by the couple, eliminating the need for a more adversarial and time-consuming process.
People married outside of Canada or in other Canadian provinces or territories can divorce in Ontario provided you have lived in the province for at least one year (12 months) before filing, and you meet the criteria for a divorce as outlined in the Divorce Act. You can review the text of the Divorce Act for your information.
It is essential to keep in mind that divorce in Canada is a legal process. Some religions may require a religious divorce in addition to a legal divorce. A religious divorce is only available through a religious denomination and cannot be provided through the courts.
Is a Simple Divorce an Uncontested Divorce?
A simple divorce is often called an uncontested divorce. This occurs when one party files the application for divorce, and the other party either signs the paperwork or simply does not reply in the specified time of 30 days from the service.
A simple or uncontested divorce is not the same as a joint divorce, where both parties file for divorce mutually. It is also not a contested divorce where one party files for divorce and the other party file an Answer within 30 days that argues the information provided on the Application for Divorce filed by the originating spouse or makes additional claims.
In general, a simple divorce is a low-conflict type of divorce. It is a good option when there is an agreement of the division of all issues related to the marriage, or when one party to the divorce would prefer to let the other person manage the legal issues and documentation required.
Grounds For Divorce in Ontario
As with all divorces in Ontario, there are three grounds for divorce. These include separation for at least a year, and there is no expectation for the marriage to reconcile, if there is adultery in the marriage and you do not forgive the spouse, or if there is physical or mental cruelty in the relationship. These issues must be proven if the divorce is contested.
It is important to note that information on the division of property as well as any child support, custody and access agreements, or spousal support agreed upon by the couple must be filed on the respective Forms when filing the simple divorce Application.
Where can I File a Simple Divorce in Ontario?
The Family Law Rules in Ontario provide information on all aspects of divorce in the Province of Ontario. This is a complex area of the law, and working with an experienced family lawyer is the most recommended option.
Errors on any documents or filing can not only delay the divorce, but they can cause additional costs and issues to correct. At the very least, having a Divorce Go Family Lawyer provide Independent Legal Advice after completing documents is the best way to ensure the Applications and filings are done correctly and in your best interests.
There are two options for selecting where to file for divorce in Ontario. The most common is where the person filing has lived for at least a year. If there are children, the municipality where the children currently live can also be used as the location to file the Application for Divorce.
What Documents are Required to file a Simple Divorce in Ontario?
The 8A Divorce Application
The initial documents to start the process include the Application for Divorce and an Affidavit of Service. The Application for Divorce is Form 8A, and it needs to be completed in detail. It is important to use the legal names for the parties to the divorce as they are written on the marriage certificate. Do not use abbreviated names or nicknames; use legal names only.
When filing the Application for Divorce at the court office, the person filing the application should bring a marriage certificate or a marriage registration. The fee for the filing must be paid at that time. Court offices accept cheques, cash, or money orders.
Registration of Divorce Proceedings Form
You will be required to complete a Registration of Divorce Proceeding form at the time of filing the Application for Divorce. This is used to ensure there is no other divorce proceeding for the same couple filed elsewhere in the country. Once this is confirmed by the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings issues what is known as a Certificate of Clearing. This is an internal document to the court, and you will not be provided with a copy.
Serving the Application of Divorce
Talk to our Divorce Go Family Lawyer in advance about the best way to serve the Application for Divorce to the other spouse. A specific type of Form is required for each option. The options can include serving by mail, service in person, or serving through the respondent’s lawyer.
The respondent has 30 days to respond or 60 days if they are served in any country outside of Canada or the USA. When they do not respond during this period, the next set of documents can be filed with the court.
Obtaining a Divorce Order
At this time, the individual filing the Application for divorce now files an Affidavit for Divorce. This includes a copy of the separation agreement, information on issues pertaining to child support and custody arrangements, as well as information on both parties to the divorce, their lawyers, as well as information about the children.
In addition, the draft Divorce Order, which is provided by the lawyer, a copy of the Application for divorce, the Affidavit of Service, marriage certificate, and an envelope addressed and stamped for each party to the divorce will be required at the time of filing.
If support is involved in the Divorce Order, the respective forms must also be provided, and these forms are also required to be filed with the Family Responsibility Office. The lawyer handling your case can arrange for these filings to be completed and the correct forms and number of copies provided to the court and the respective other offices involved.
There is an additional filing fee required at this time. As these fees can change, if you are filing on your own, always check the court website to verify fees before going in to file the documentation.
Obtaining a Certificate of Divorce
Once the judge has completed a review of the documents and issued the Divorce Order, it is mailed to the parties in the self-addressed envelopes provided. After 31 days from the date the Divorce Order was granted, the divorce is considered in effect. The time this process takes depends on the judge, the court, and if there are any omissions or errors in the documentation submitted to the court.
Once the divorce is in effect, each individual can apply to the court for a Certificate of Divorce. This cannot be applied for or granted prior to this time. It is not necessary to apply for a Certificate of Divorce in Ontario but will be required if you submit an application for marriage at any time in the future.