In order to legally end your marriage, you must apply to the court for a divorce. For more information on the divorce application process and the documents that must be filed, see A Guide to Family Procedures at the Do it yourself divorce ontario Court of Justice or the Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice.
A divorce will not be granted unless you have been separated from your spouse for at least one year or you have established one of the other bases for a breakdown of the marriage adultery or mental or physical cruelty. If you have already been separated for at least a year, an application for divorce that does not include other claims, such as custody or access, support or division of property, can usually be completed within four to six months.
If your application includes other claims, the time that it takes to complete the case will depend on how complicated the issues are and whether the parties can agree on all or some of the issues. Court fees may be paid by cash, cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance. If you are unable to pay the court fees, you may qualify for a fee waiver. While you are able to file an application for divorce on your own, you should consult a lawyer before doing so.
A lawyer can help you understand the issues that may be involved in your case and the effects that a divorce may have on your rights and obligations.
In most cases, in order for a divorce to be granted, you must have lived separate and apart
Do it yourself divorce ontario your spouse for at least one year. While you can begin the divorce process before this period has passed, it cannot be completed until the year has passed.
Where another basis for the breakdown of the marriage has been established, such as adultery or mental or physical cruelty, the court Do it yourself divorce ontario grant the divorce at any time, although additional steps will be necessary.
You should speak with a lawyer for more information regarding the process for obtaining a divorce on one of these bases. You may be considered to be living separate and apart while continuing to live in the same home, although it will depend on the facts in your case.
Generally, the courts require clear evidence that spouses are no longer living together in a spousal relationship when they continue to live in the home. If you are not sure about whether you would be considered separated in your circumstances, you should speak with a lawyer.
You can ask the court for a divorce before the other issues have been decided by either starting an application for divorce or, if one has already been started, bringing a motion to ask for a divorce order. However, the court may not grant the divorce before other issues have been decided. For example, if you have children, a court will not grant a divorce until you have shown that you have made adequate child support arrangements.
Click here for more information about child support obligations. A simple divorce is a request for a divorce only, with no other claims such as custody, access or support. It can be prepared either by one
Do it yourself divorce ontario alone or by both spouses as a joint application.
If an application is prepared by only one spouse, it must be served on the other spouse after it has been issued by the court.
A joint application for divorce is a request that is made by both spouses for a divorce order, with or without other terms for example agreed upon child support payments. With a joint application, both spouses must complete the documents that are necessary in order to obtain the divorce.
No, only married spouses need a divorce. People who have lived together may, however, have other issues that Do it yourself divorce ontario to be decided, including custody and access, support and division of jointly owned property.
These rights and obligations are not always the same as they are for married spouses, particularly in relation to rights to property. You should speak to a lawyer about your rights and obligations arising from your relationship. If claims will be made for custody of, or access to children, you should start the case in the municipality where the children ordinarily live. Otherwise, it can be started in the municipality where either party lives. For a complete listing of the court addresses in Ontario, click here.
If there is both an Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice in the municipality, you must start your case in the court that can decide your issues. Many family law cases can be started in the Ontario Court of Justice.
However, if claims are being made about property including a matrimonial home or divorce, the case must be started in the Superior Court of Justice. For more information about which claims are heard in Do it yourself divorce ontario of these courts, click here.
If you do not file an answer, the applicant can ask the court for an order, based on the claims in the application, without hearing from you and you are not entitled to participate in the case any further. For more information on how to respond to an application, see the Guide to Family Court Procedures for the court where your case was started. Click on the court below to be taken directly to the appropriate Guide to Family Procedures:. These guides explain the steps in the court process and the documents that need to be served on the other party and filed with the court at each step.
You should choose the guide for the court where your case was started. You can also visit a Family Law Information Centre for more information about the family court process. If you qualify, Legal Aid Ontario can help you pay for a
Do it yourself divorce ontario. More information about Legal Aid Ontario can be found at www. An Advice Lawyer can provide general legal information to anyone who comes to the FLIC for help, as well as legal advice to parties who qualify for further assistance.
To find out when an Advice Lawyer is available, contact the family law office at your local courthouse. Duty Counsel may also be available, on the day that family cases are heard, to assist parties without lawyers in the courtroom. The Family Law Rules set out the steps in the family court process.
In most cases, the parties meet with a judge at least once at the beginning of the process to discuss the issues in dispute and how they can be resolved, and the steps that should be taken for the case to proceed for example ensuring that financial information has been exchanged. This meeting is called a case conference. Following the case conference, either party may bring a motion for a temporary order for for exclusive possession of a matrimonial home, custody of children or support.