CanLaw Guide to Family Law
Separation - Divorce - Custody Access - Support - Child Support Paternity - Property Division
Five Simple Steps To An Uncontested Divorce in 60 Days
Do It Yourself: The Estimated Total Cost Is Usually About $500
It is a fact -
7 out 10 divorces in Canada do not need a lawyer.
Are You Eligible For An Uncontested Divorce?
Only if you can answer yes to ALL of these questions
- Have you and your spouse lived separate and apart for more than one year?
- Have either you or your spouse lived in your province continually for at least one year prior to starting the divorce process?
- Do you know the whereabouts of your spouse (for the purpose of serving documents)?
- Are you certain that no other divorce proceedings have been started by you or your spouse in any other place in Canada?
- Have ALL disputes between you and your spouse been agreed upon? This includes matters like:
- Division of family property
- Child custody and access
- Child support
- Spousal support
An Application For An Uncontested Divorce Can Be Brought In Three Ways:
- A Simple Application: This deals only with the application for divorce
- A General Application: This deals with a request for divorce, and other claims
- A Joint Application: This is brought by both spouses jointly and is on consent of both parties.
Obtain the Divorce Forms
Divorce Forms for all Provinces Obtain the appropriate divorce forms for your province here and read the instructions carefully.
Once the required forms are completed, you need to make two copies (plus your original) of the Application, including any and all attachments. Keep the originals of important documents yourself. Make copies for the others who need them.
One copy should be retained in your files and the other copy will need to be served on your spouse (the "respondent"). It is always a good idea to make an extra copy for yourself just in case you lose anything along the way.
Take the original and two copies of your documents to the court office along with your original marriage certificate for filing. At the court office, the staff will assign a file number to your case; put a court seal on the application; and, collect a filing fee.
Make sure you have inserted the court file number on your copies if the clerk does not do so.
Keep copies of all your documents, correspondence and forms. Keep them forever.
A Registration of Divorce Proceeding Form is used to notify the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings at the federal Department of Justice.
The Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings will check its database to see if either of the parties has registered any other divorce applications. If no other divorce applications appear on the Registry, a Clearance Certificate is issued to the Court.
Serving the Documents
Once the court staff has filed the Application, you must arrange to provide the respondent with a copy of the completed application, including all attachments. These documents must be handed personally to the respondent or to the respondent's lawyer or mailed with an Acknowledgement of Service Card. Once the application has been served on the respondent, the person who served it must complete an Affidavit of Service and the Affidavit of Service must be filed with the court office.
The respondent will then have an opportunity to file an Answer if he or she wishes to oppose the divorce. If no answer is served on you or filed at the court by the respondent within 30 days of service (60 days if served outside Canada or the United States), you can then proceed to apply to the court for a Divorce Order.
Completing the Second Set of Forms
If no answer has been served on you by the respondent, you are required to complete the following 2 forms in order to obtain a Divorce Order:
(Forms may have different names in different provinces.)
- An Affidavit for Divorce
- A Divorce Order
Once the second set of forms are complete, you must make one copy of the Affidavit for Divorce, including any attachments, and four copies of the Divorce Order.
One copy of the Affidavit of Divorce and draft Divorce Order should be kept in your file.
Three copies of the Draft Divorce, along with the original Affidavit of Divorce, must then be filed with the court and any applicable fees must be paid.
Review by a Judge
Your completed file is then sent to a judge to be reviewed. Neither you nor the respondent are required to appear before the judge. If the judge is satisfied with the material, he or she will grant the Divorce Order.
After the Judge approves, grants your divorce the court clerk will send your divorce order to you in the mail.
You are now divorced; simplified and safe.
There is usually a 30 day waiting period for the divorce to be made final. You cannot remarry until that time period has elapsed.
You have just saved thousands of dollars in legal fees.
The Certificate of Divorce is proof that the divorce has been granted. However, it is not automatically sent to you or the respondent, it must be requested from the court and an additional fee must be paid.
Once the court staff obtains the request, they will check the file to ensure that there has been no appeal of the Order. If everything is clear, the certificate is issued.
Coping While Getting Divorced
Shock. Denial. Anger. Resentment. Fear.
These are some of the emotions you will experience during your divorce. Don’t deny or bury these feelings; accept them and work to overcome them.
If you’re the talkative type, lean on a friend, family member or therapist. If you’re uncomfortable sharing these feelings with others, keep a journal. Finding an outlet for these emotions is an important part of the healing process.
Eventually the sun will shine again. It just takes time to get over a divorce, even if you are the one who actually wanted the divorce.
Divorce is still very much, not a death in the family, but the death of the family.
Find a lawyer referral service Click here CanLaw's lawyer referral service will help you find a divorce lawyer
CanLaw's Guide To The Law On Divorce, Separation, Custody, Access And Support Issues For The Layperson
"Always get married early in the morning. That way, if it doesn't work out, you haven't wasted a whole day." - Mickey Rooney