Uncontested Divorce in Ontario
You Must Know
& Divorce in Ontario costs
Whilst a vast majority of people enter into marriage with the best of intentions to make a lifelong commitment to their partner, the sad reality is that almost 40% of marriages will end in divorce. Although a couple may choose to separate and live individual lives, a marriage is not officially over until they are formally divorced.
Whilst some couples will accept that their relationship has run its course and agree to divorce amicably, other people will feel animosity and resentment towards their spouse and challenge the terms of the separation through to the bitter end.
The difference in these two attitudes is the reason that some divorces are straightforward uncontested affairs whilst others battle their way through the legal system. In this Article, we will seek to provide tips to help the general public get through one of the most difficult times in their life.
Tip 1. Know The Difference.
Types of Divorce in Ontario
There are three types of Divorce in Ontario.
1. Simple Divorce (Uncontested)
2. Joint Divorce (Uncontested)
3. Divorce (Contested).
A Simple Divorce (Uncontested Divorce) means where the party filing the Divorce is only asking for Divorce and no other relief from the Court.
In a Simple Divorce in Ontario, only one party files a divorce application and serves or sends the Divorce Application by a process server to the other party, who is expected to respond within a specified time, failing which Divorce Application will proceed in his/her absence.
A Joint Divorce (Uncontested Divorce) means where both spouses Jointly agree to file for divorce only. In some cases, both parties file a separation agreement concerning all issues including division of property, support for children & Spouse, custody and access along with their Divorce Application.
It is referred to as Joint Divorce because both parties are jointly filing the Divorce Application and therefore the need or the formal step to serve a copy of the Divorce Application can be skipped.
Divorce (Contested) If the parties are seeking for relief in addition to Divorces such as Child Custody, Child Support, Spousal Support or Division of Property and they do not have an agreement as to the terms of their separation, then the Divorce Application is referred as Contested Divorce in Ontario.
What is the Difference between Simple Divorce and Joint Divorce
A Simple Divorce in Ontario is basically an Uncontested Divorce filed by one party only, whereas Joint Uncontested Divorce is signed and filed by both parties jointly as an applicant to the Divorce Application.
A Simple Divorce in Ontario is filed in circumstances where co-operation to sign the Joint Divorce Application is perhaps not feasible and convenient such as lack of communication or non-cooperation to pay the legal and court fees.
Joint Divorce in Ontario is commonly filed where both spouses are cooperative with each other and are in communication with each other.
Generally speaking, Joint Divorce Applications are granted earlier than Simple Divorce in Ontario, since the time to serve the other party is not required.
What is the difference between Contested and Uncontested
Hence a contested divorce is filed where the parties are not in agreement with the terms of separation and are seeking different objectives for child custody, support, and division of property.
For example, if the applicant requests sole custody of the children but the other partner wants joint custody then they are likely to take the applicant to court over the disagreement. Contested divorces can be lengthy and expensive.
Often a contested divorce can be avoided if the couple is prepared to cooperate and negotiate the terms before by entering into a separation agreement prior to filing the application for divorce or even make a joint application.
Tip 2. Know the Timeline.
How Long does a Divorce take in Ontario?
The timeline for a Divorce could vary depending on an individual file. However, based on our experience we can suggest that on average an Uncontested Divorce in Ontario would take between four to six months to be finalized.
All divorce proceedings in Canada must obtain Clearance Certificate from the Divorce Registry in Ottawa which usually takes 6 to 8 weeks before a Divorce application is set down for hearing before a judge.
This process could take between 2 to 4 weeks from the date the matter is set down for a hearing until a Divorce Order is processed. Divorce in Ontario would only be finalized once the Divorce Certificate is issued which take 30 days from the date of Divorce Order.
The above timelines are estimates only and it is not guaranteed that Divorce would be finalized within six months.
Tip 3. Do It Yourself Divorce in Ontario?
Uncontested Divorce Application Without a Lawyer?
Yes, Do it yourself Divorce in Ontario is possible and Yes it is possible to file a divorce application without a lawyer.
Everything is possible including Divorce if a person wants to do it yourself. The key question is whether it is worth taking the stress and putting the effort to complete the Divorce Application, waiting in line for hours to file Divorce Application in Court, finding process servers to serve court documents, making sure the affidavit of service was correctly drafted and sworn.
Getting a lawyer or notary to commission your affidavits, visit court multiple times, responding to any rejections from judge and correcting errors in your Divorce Application.
Although it is theoretically possible to complete an uncontested divorce in Ontario without a Lawyer, we strongly suggest that parties should seek legal assistance in completing their Divorce Application.
Lawyers have access to relevant resources, training and possess the necessary expertise to navigate the complicated legal system and ensure that your rights are protected, and your needs are met.
A lawyer will be able to identify any situation in which your Divorce application will be rejected or returned. If there is an objection to the Divorce Application, your Lawyer will ensure that the objection is removed.
There is no denying that the legal paperwork when getting a divorce can become complicated and confusing, as well as time-consuming.
Retaining a lawyer will certainly ensure that your divorce is more time efficient, which for many people is crucial when they are keen to finalize the separation and get on with their life as a single person.
At Shaikh Law, we offer competitive fees and convenience to complete the Divorce Application process. Family law courts regularly see couples who have made poor homemade Divorce Applications without the assistance of a lawyer.
Although a DIY divorce may seem cheaper in the short-term, it can become significantly more costly long term if you need to correct the problems that were not finalized properly in the first instance.
Tip 4. Know the Law
The Grounds for Divorce in Canada are;
- Separation for a minimum of a Year; or
- Adultery; or
The most common ground to file for Divorce in Canada is Separation for a minimum of one year on the date of Divorce Hearing.
People still file divorce under the ground for adultery and cruelty but they do not appreciate that if they plead adultery or cruelty then they would have to prove such allegations resulting in extensive litigation for more than a year.
It is important to note that Divorce proceedings can be commenced before completion of the one-year separation. It is common for parties to commence Divorce proceedings six months before completion of one year of separation date.
We get several phone calls requesting to file for an annulment because the spouse does not want to wait for one-year separation.
Parties should understand that they need to establish grounds for annulment before it can be filed, for more information, please visit our page, Divorce Vs. Annulment.
If you have decided to file Divorce in Ontario without a lawyer then you should take the time to read the following Statutes and Rules
Tip 5. Get Legal Advice
It is always a wise decision to speak to a Lawyer about your situation, even if you end up filing a Divorce without a lawyer.
You will get good legal advice from a Lawyer tailored to your circumstances as opposed to doing basic research online.
Divorce Lawyers are trained and have a depth of knowledge about Divorce Laws in Ontario. At Shaikh Law we provide free legal consultation over the phone for the first 15 minutes, call us now and we would be more than happy to guide you on how to navigate through difficult times.