The decision to legally end a marriage is often an emotional upheaval- the legal complexities of the divorce process can also prove to be just as draining, especially when you’re short of the proper counsel. Filing for divorce is more extensive than just paperwork and court appearances; preliminaries like criteria eligibility, legal grounds, and cost of the divorce are some of the I’s and t’s you’ll have to dot and cross. The Canadian Family Law Act is expansive; therefore, there is a lot of fundamental ground to cover before setting up that meeting with your divorce attorney. These are some of the prerequisites you will want to look into before applying for a divorce.
- Your eligibility to apply for a divorce
The divorce eligibility criteria in Ontario are pretty straightforward; primarily, one has to be legally married. You can also apply for a divorce if you see no possibility of reconciliation between you and your partner. You and your partner need to be Ontario residents for at least a year before filing for the divorce.
- Legally acceptable grounds for the divorce
Legal termination of marriage in Ontario requires one to satisfy at least one of the following grounds- A year’s separation between the parties before the divorce file, adultery, and provable physical and emotional cruelty of your spouse. Conversely, both infidelity and cruelty take at least a year to prove. Separation is, therefore, the best option for you and your partner if there is urgency in the process.
Simple steps to follow when filing for a divorce
Admittedly most partners are inclined to attempt an out-of-court settlement. However, if bothers parties can not agree upon property division, spousal support, and other sensitive matters, filling out a divorce form is the only way to go. One can opt to follow through with the divorce with a legal attorney assistant or represent themselves throughout the whole process- however, it is advisable to seek out Family and Divorce Lawyers when filing for the divorce. With all the requirements covered, one can proceed to get started on their marriage termination process. Here is a comprehensive guide to applying for a divorce.
- Filling out the divorce application form
The Ontario ordinance provides different application forms for different types of divorce. Ideally, there are three types of divorce applications in Ontario, each catering to various needs. A joint and straightforward divorce is considered uncontested; the form used in an uncontested divorce is form 8A. Additionally, uncontested divorce provides a swift and affordable option to get divorced in Ontario. For a joint divorce, often known as a contested divorce, the application is filled out in Form 8. Divorce applications form readily available at courthouses, book stores, and the official website or provincial Ministry of Justice offices near you.
- Forward your application to an Ontario courthouse
Since the divorce application forms are simple, it is easy to follow through with the fill-out process. The official website of the Ontario Ministry of Justice also provides live chat assistance for online users. Conversely, even after successfully filling out your divorce application form, it is always advisable to run it through a lawyer to avoid the risk of being rejected. Ordinarily, your lawyer or a court clerk can make this application submission to the Municipal Court.
- Cover the required court fees
The divorce cost in Ontario tallies up to roughly $632 exclusive of the lawyer’s fees if you hired one – the mentioned estimate can, however, vary depending on variables like a child and spousal support. For starters, the divorce application fee in Ontario is $157; then, a search registry fee and process server fee of $10 and $ 64, respectively. Other additional charges are the motion for judgment fee at $ 280 and a court clerk fee of $53.50. Upon the divorce finalization, there will be an optional $ 19.00 fee for your Final Certificate of Divorce.
- Follow the court rules and procedures prescribed
The divorce applicant and the resident rely entirely on the Court’s orders from this point. Both parties are waiting on the Court’s final decisions, which can take four weeks to a little over a year, depending on the case’s complexity. This phase of the divorce process mainly involves court appearances as loose ends like decision making, parenting time, and referrals to community sources before the final decision. One can opt to have their lawyer represent them at this point of the process or show up in Court and follow any given procedures.
Divorce is more often than not a painful process. From the moment one file for a divorce to the point where you receive your final divorce certificate, you are bound to encounter many challenges. Besides the emotional distress, it is possible to experience a physical drain and psychological strain from the lengthy process, not to mention the financial pinch. Ultimately, hiring legal counsel can help ease you through the whole process. Finding the right lawyer to represent you will help take a lot off your plate.