Canadian Divorce Procedures

Divorce is often a reality in Canada. There is a well-established procedure that must be followed to be granted a legal divorce. In Canada, the procedures are covered by the federal Divorce Act. The method used to administer a divorce, the documents required as well as procedures that must be followed, vary between Canadian provinces. The law doesn't require a person in Canada to have a divorce lawyer. It is highly recommended individuals considering a divorce consult with one.

Decide To Divorce And Live Separately
Couples must live separately for at least one year. The time requirement can be reduced if a person can prove their spouse committed adultery, and they did not forgive the adulterous activity. This can also change if the couple lived together over 90 days after the discovery of the adultery. Another reason the time can be decreased is if one spouse can prove the other was mentally or physically cruel.

Obtain Divorce Application And Determine Grounds For Divorce
Each Canadian province has their own specific set of forms that must be used. A no-fault divorce only requires a couple complete a year separation and fill out a form. A fault divorce can be filed using grounds such as cruelty or adultery. In these situations, a person will need to provide evidence that their claim is true. Experts agree a person should retain a divorce lawyer if they are filing a fault divorce.

Determine Type Of Divorce And Parenting Agreement
An uncontested divorce is where both partners agree to the terms and reasons for the divorce. This will only require the right application form to be completed. A contested divorce is when one spouse does not agree with the terms and reasons. Each spouse, in this case, must file their own individual divorce application. If children are involved, a parenting agreement must be completed. For a contested divorce each spouse must make their preferences known in writing.

File Divorce Application
The divorce application has to be filed with the courthouse in the province where the spouse resides. This can be done by their divorce lawyer. Each province and territory have their own fee structure. Some may have additional requirements to complete the filing process. The clerk at the courthouse will know the procedure that must be followed.

The next step is to wait for clearance from the Ottawa Divorce Registry. Once a spouse has been served with divorce papers, they have 30 days to respond. If there is no response after 30 days, a person can complete their divorce by submitting an Affidavit for Divorce as well as a Divorce Order and a Court Clerk’s Certificate to the court.

Certificate of Divorce
A certificate of divorce will be issued 30 days after a divorce order is granted. At this time, a person will be legally divorced and able to remarry.

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