How to File for Divorce in Canada?

Let’s be honest. Divorce is not something pleasant. It can be very challenging both emotionally and legally. You have to deal with family and divorce law matters and make life-changing decisions during that difficult time.

And there is a certain divorce process in Canada regulated by the federal divorce act. If you want a divorce, you need to follow the process or hire a divorce lawyer.

In this article, we will give you a complete guide on how to file for divorce in Canada.

How to file for divorce in Canada?

Filing for a divorce in Canada can be slightly different in different provinces. However, the process is more or less the same. 

Here, you don’t have to be a Canadian citizen to apply for the divorce, but you have to meet three eligibility criteria to apply for the divorce in Canada.

First of all, you have to be legally married in Canada or any other country. Then, you must intend to separate permanently from your spouse, and you don’t think there is any possibility of getting back together.

And lastly, you or your spouse lived in Canada (in any province where you apply for your divorce) for the last 12 months immediately before applying for the divorce. 

After fulfilling these criteria, you need to follow the following steps to file for divorce:

Obtain a divorce application:

Every province has its type of form for divorce. You can get the form from your jurisdiction through a law information center, bookstore, or lawyer. First, you need to obtain that divorce application form.

Fill up the form:

After obtaining the application form, you must determine the ground for filing the divorce. A divorce can be no-fault or fault.

Here, no-fault divorce requires 1 year of separation. On the other hand, fault divorce is filed for adulty, cruelty, or any other reasonable purpose. After that, you need to determine whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.

An uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree to get divorced, and the contested divorce is vice versa. Here, it is notable that, in the case of a contested divorce, both spouses are required to file for a separate divorce.

In addition, you also need to include an outline of your parenting agreement, child support, child custody, etc.

Apply for the divorce:

After doing these, fill out the form according to the instructions and apply at the courthouse in the province. 

There may be some different formalities in different areas that must be completed. Here, a divorce lawyer can help you to guide you and thus hiring an experienced lawyer is worth it.

Send the divorce application to the spouse:

Once you have successfully applied, you have to send a copy to the court and another to your spouse or his/her legal representative.

Generally, a process server does this task on behalf of the applicant. You also have to file an Affidavit of Service with the court.

Case conference:

Now both parties and their lawyers meet before the judge. It is an informal court process where both parties’ judge and lawyers discuss the outstanding issues and try to resolve them. In the case conference, judges never make any substantive order in general. 

Discovery:

It is the process of exchanging information that supports or disproves the claim made by the parties. Generally, it includes exchanging financial documents like a bank statement, credit card, tax return, etc., assessment regarding custody issues, and a questioning process where each party can question other parties.

Settlement conference:

In a settlement conference, both parties and lawyers meet with a judge in an attempt to settle all arising issues from the separation. If you can come to a settlement, the agreement will be incorporated into an order.

Waiting for the court order:

If any settlement is not possible, the court will continue the subsequent trial procedures. If the court is satisfied with your documents, evidence, and all other issues, the judge will grant the divorce.

Conclusion

So, these are mainly the step-by-step process to file for divorce in Canada. When filing for divorce, you may face different types of issues like child custody, child support, property division, etc.

If you follow this guide given here, you will easily be able to resolve it. Even you can do it without hiring a lawyer if you want. However, in these types of cases, you should always consult your family lawyer before deciding.

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