Courtney Dawson



Courtney Dawson


Separation And Uncontested Divorce

Separation And Uncontested Divorce

3 mins

The law governing divorce in Ontario is the same as everywhere else in Canada. Therefore, legal processes and requirements are similar in the whole country. This article and subsequent ones will discuss basic information you need to know about divorce in Canada.

One key element to take note of is that there is a huge difference between separation and divorce. Separation happens when one or both spouses decide to live apart from the other with the intention of not living together again. Once a couple has separated, they may need to discuss custody, access, and child support. In addition, they may also need to work out issues relating to spousal support and property. Such issues can be resolved in different ways. Some examples of how to resolve these issues include the following:

Negotiating a separation agreement - a separation agreement is a legal document that is signed by both spouses detailing the arrangements they have agreed upon. Some jurisdictions require that independent legal advice is taken in order to make the document legally binding.

Court applications - spouses have the option of making a court application to set up custody, access, support, and property arrangements under the provincial or territorial laws applicable to them.

Informal agreements - spouses can come to an informal agreement on issues relating to their separation. However, if one party decides not to honor the agreement the other party has no legal protection.

A divorce, on the other hand, is legally ending your marriage. A divorce is an order signed by a judge under the federal law called the Divorce Act; this order legally ends your marriage.

A term that is commonly thrown around and used casually is that of "uncontested divorce". Unfortunately, while the term is commonly used it is often one that is not well understood by most people. 

It must be noted that in Canada the law sets out that to get a divorce, certain criteria are met showing a broken down in the marriage. The law provides only three grounds for divorce:

You and your spouse have lived separate and apart for one year with the idea that your marriage is over,

Your spouse has committed adultery and you have not forgiven them, or

Your spouse has been physically or mentally cruel to you, making it unbearable to continue living together.

However, in situations where both spouses are "on the same page" and do not dispute the need for divorce; this constitutes what can be referred to as an uncontested divorce.

When this is the case, this is a relatively straight forward procedure for spouses to obtain a divorce. The basic procedure entails the following:

You file an application for divorce with the court located in the municipality you have lived at for at least one year

Your file, serve and register the application

Child support arrangements conform to the Child Support Guidelines 

A draft Divorce Order is included in your documentation

The process seems pretty straightforward; however, it involves a lot of detail. As such you will need to find the best family lawyer in Toronto : to assist.

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