ClickCease Breakdown: Steps to getting a divorce in Ontario – SplitEasy

Breakdown: Steps to getting a divorce in Ontario

Breakdown: Steps to getting a divorce in Ontario

The process for getting a divorce in Ontario entails specific steps to follow and conditions to meet. Until married couples get a divorce, the law still considers them to be married, even if they live separately and apart. This stipulation may have implications on spouses' estate rights and entitlements to benefits and life insurance policies. Before seeking a divorce, it is essential to obtain advice on how these rights may be affected. A divorce requires standardized court forms to be signed by a judge. If you want a divorce, the court process is unavoidable.

The Difference Between Separation & Divorce

Divorce is the dissolution of the marital bond contracted between two parties in a way that unbinds their legal ties so that spouses are free to remarry if they wish. The minimum legal requirement for divorce is that a minimum of three months has elapsed from the time the marriage was constituted. With a divorce, both parties lose the rights and obligations generated when they had formed a union between them. 

Conversely, separation implies the effective cessation of the cohabitation of both spouses and therefore has both patrimonial and personal consequences. For the separation to have legal effects, a judicial procedure must be instigated before the court. If a judicial procedure is not initiated, they will be before a de facto separation in which only the cessation of their cohabitation takes place, but without producing the legal effects against third parties.

How can I get a divorce in Ontario?

If you want an Ontario court to end your marriage officially, you can apply for a divorce if you meet these three eligibility criteria:

  1. You were legally married in Canada or any other country.
  2. You intend to separate permanently from your spouse or have already separated with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.
  3. You or your spouse have lived in Ontario for at least the 12 months preceding your application for divorce.

If you meet these requirements, you can proceed with the divorce process. The basic steps are as follows:

  • Fill out the appropriate divorce forms.
  • The Ministry of the Attorney General apprises that you submit your divorce application and other forms at an Ontario courthouse.
  • Pay all necessary court fees.
  • Follow the rules and procedures given by the court.
How can I get a divorce in Ontario

How to Legally End a Marriage

To legally end your marriage, you will need a divorce, an order signed by a judge under the federal Divorce Act. A court may only grant a divorce to parties where there has been a breakdown of the marriage, which proves that the parties have been separated for a minimum of one year or where the party filing the application proves that their spouse has committed adultery or cruelty. When a couple experiences a breakdown of their marriage, either of the spouses may bring an application for divorce under section 8(1) of the Act to the Superior Court of Justice or the Unified Family Court.

Divorce Proceedings

The spouse seeking divorce will prepare an application for the divorce proceedings. The particular forms to be used will depend on whether any corollary issues arise from the separation, such as property division, spousal support, and child support. Judges are prohibited from granting a divorce order unless reasonable arrangements have been made to support the children. They may also refuse to grant a divorce unless there is satisfactory evidence that the remaining issues are resolved – often, this is shown by way of a valid separation agreement. If corollary issues are in play, the Applicant will begin with a Form 08—Application (General). If no corollary issues are present, the Applicant will use a Form 08A—Application (Divorce) to start the proceedings.

If you have filed for a sole divorce and served your spouse with a divorce application, you must wait at least 30 days before filing the final documents. After 30 days are up, if your spouse files no answer, you can then set down your divorce with the court by submitting an affidavit for Divorce, Divorce Order, and Clerk's Certificate. Once you submit the final documents to the courthouse, you will wait for the decision on your file. The judge will either grant your divorce or reject your application due to some error made. The decision typically takes about 6 to 8 weeks from the time you file your final documents. A copy of the divorce order will be sent directly to your mailing address. The day the judge signs the divorce order triggers a final 30-day waiting period, after which the divorce takes effect. In the eyes of the law, the spouses' marriage is then dissolved.

 For help choosing and completing the divorce forms you need,  contact Split Easy today.