In order to obtain a Divorce Order, you must first commence a court application in the jurisdiction where one or both spouses resides.
In the Divorce application, you must outline your ‘grounds’ for Divorce which includes:
- The spouses have lived separate and apart for at least one year preceding the Divorce application;
- A spouse committed adultery; or
- A spouse treated the other spouse with cruelty (physical or mental cruelty of such a kind as to make continued cohabitation intolerable).
A Divorce application can take several months to finalize, however, the actual Divorce will not be granted until the one-year period of separation has elapsed unless a spouse has committed adultery or cruelty against the other spouse.
Once the Divorce application is filed you must pay the required fees and follow all required court rules and procedures, all of which will vary depending on your situation.
Criteria To File For Divorce In Ontario
- You are legally married and that marriage is recognized by Canada
- You and/or your spouse have lived in Ontario for at least 12 months preceding your application
The Divorce Act is the federal law outlining how divorces are conducted in Canada.
How to File For Divorce in Canada
To file for divorce in Canada you must start with the separation. Once your separation is complete a divorce application is filed.
It is not a legal requirement to hire a lawyer to file a divorce application. It is, however, a difficult process. A lawyer is well versed in the requirements and can help support the process for you and your family.
Once the application is filed you need to pay the required fees and follow all required court rules and procedures. This will be different depending on your situation.
Benefits of Using a Lawyer
Understanding the Divorce Act can be difficult. While it is not legally required to use a lawyer to file for a Divorce it is highly recommended.
Lawyers are trained to ensure that your rights and responsibilities are explained. Legal advice makes certain that you understand how the law applies to your situation. Lawyers work with you in preparation of all the required documentation and ensure all fees and filings are on time.
Commonly Asked Questions About Divorce in Ontario
You can file for divorce at any time however, the court will not grant your divorce application until you have been separated for one year. In the case of adultery or cruelty, the one-year separation is waived.
You can legally divorce without a lawyer. Family law in Ontario can be difficult and it is not recommended to file without first speaking to a lawyer about your rights and the requirements for your case.
It is up to you and your spouse to define how you split the parenting time of your children during the holidays. Recommendations can be shared by your lawyer. If your matter is in Court proceeding a judge will make the final determination. Judges do their best to be fair and partial and put the needs of the children first.
Married couples divide the property of their relationship equally, subject to some exceptions.
If you are in a common-law Spouseship, it is common for assets and property to go to the person who owned it prior to the relationship. Anything purchased during the relationship is split evenly.
You are required to be separated for one full year before a divorce filing can be granted. Separation can be waved if a spouse has committed adultery or cruelty.