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Divorce Procedure

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In Court Forms

For those spouses who are using family court, there are many different divorce forms and steps that must be taken to get through the court process.

Are you STARTING or RESPONDING?

STARTING: All cases start with pleadings, which are the divorce forms that frame the case. The spouse starting the court case is called the Applicant and that person completes the following forms:

RESPONDING: The person responding to that court case is called the Respondent. The Respondent completes the following forms:

After these court forms are completed, signed and served on the other spouse and filed in court, the spouses can attend court for a conference to meet with a judge.

There are 3 types of Conferences:

  1. A Case Conference is where the spouses meet with the judge for the first time and receive directions and recommendations.
  2. A Settlement Conference is scheduled after you have attended a Case Conference and it will typically be either the second or third time that you will appear before the judge to either settle or move your case forward.
  3. A Trial Management Conference is scheduled after you have attended a Settlement Conference and have not yet settled your case. The judge will either help you try to settle your case or schedule a trial date.

Depending on the type of Conference, each spouse must serve and file anyone of these court forms:

To obtain a temporary order, the court forms needed are:

To obtain an uncontested divorce order, the court forms needed are:

Out of Court Forms

Separation Agreement

In Ontario, a Separation Agreement is the equivalent of a court order. For those spouses who wish to resolve their separation out of court, they can reach terms of settlement through negotiation or mediation. The settlement terms must be contained in a domestic contract called a Separation Agreement.

The Separation Agreement is an all-encompassing, comprehensive legal contract that covers all settlement terms including parenting of the children, decision-making for the children, the parenting schedule, holidays and special days, travel, possession of the children’s legal identification, and many other parenting-related settlement terms.

The Separation Agreement also covers the subjects of child support, special and extraordinary expenses, spousal support, the matrimonial home and the division of property. There are many other settlement terms that are included in a Separation Agreement such as life insurance, releases and a dispute resolution process in case the spouses have future problems.

Each spouse also needs to complete, swear and exchange a Financial Statement to ensure that the settlement terms in the Separation Agreement are informed, valid and binding. After the spouses sign a Separation Agreement with independent legal advice, then either spouse may then apply to court for a divorce order on an uncontested basis.

Cohabitation Agreement

A cohabitation agreement is a written document that you and your common-law partner can make before or while you are living together. It is a type of domestic contract that says how you will deal with issues while you are together or at the end of your relationship.

Marriage Contract

A marriage contract is an agreement signed before or after a wedding that provides a private and custom-made set of rules for dividing the couple’s property should they separate and divorce or die. In fact, a marriage contract can overlap in many of its functions with a Will.

In Court Forms

For those spouses who are using family court, there are many different divorce forms and steps that must be taken to get through the court process.

Are you STARTING or RESPONDING?

STARTING: All cases start with pleadings, which are the divorce forms that frame the case. The spouse starting the court case is called the Applicant and that person completes the following forms:

RESPONDING: The person responding to that court case is called the Respondent. The Respondent completes the following forms:

After these court forms are completed, signed and served on the other spouse and filed in court, the spouses can attend court for a conference to meet with a judge.

There are 3 types of Conferences:

  1. A Case Conference is where the spouses meet with the judge for the first time and receive directions and recommendations.
  2. A Settlement Conference is scheduled after you have attended a Case Conference and it will typically be either the second or third time that you will appear before the judge to either settle or move your case forward.
  3. A Trial Management Conference is scheduled after you have attended a Settlement Conference and have not yet settled your case. The judge will either help you try to settle your case or schedule a trial date.

Depending on the type of Conference, each spouse must serve and file anyone of these court forms:

To obtain a temporary order, the court forms needed are:

To obtain an uncontested divorce order, the court forms needed are:

Out of Court Forms

Separation Agreement

In Ontario, a Separation Agreement is the equivalent of a court order. For those spouses who wish to resolve their separation out of court, they can reach terms of settlement through negotiation or mediation. The settlement terms must be contained in a domestic contract called a Separation Agreement.

The Separation Agreement is an all-encompassing, comprehensive legal contract that covers all settlement terms including parenting of the children, decision-making for the children, the parenting schedule, holidays and special days, travel, possession of the children’s legal identification, and many other parenting-related settlement terms.

The Separation Agreement also covers the subjects of child support, special and extraordinary expenses, spousal support, the matrimonial home and the division of property. There are many other settlement terms that are included in a Separation Agreement such as life insurance, releases and a dispute resolution process in case the spouses have future problems.

Each spouse also needs to complete, swear and exchange a Financial Statement to ensure that the settlement terms in the Separation Agreement are informed, valid and binding. After the spouses sign a Separation Agreement with independent legal advice, then either spouse may then apply to court for a divorce order on an uncontested basis.

Cohabitation Agreement

A cohabitation agreement is a written document that you and your common-law partner can make before or while you are living together. It is a type of domestic contract that says how you will deal with issues while you are together or at the end of your relationship.

Marriage Contract

A marriage contract is an agreement signed before or after a wedding that provides a private and custom-made set of rules for dividing the couple’s property should they separate and divorce or die. In fact, a marriage contract can overlap in many of its functions with a Will.