What Do I Need to Know Before Getting A Divorce?
Divorce can be one of the most stressful situations for a family to endure. With proper information and support, you can get the situation under control and make it easier on everyone. The laws surrounding divorce in Ontario are the same as the rest of Canada. The Divorce Act is the federal law that deals with divorce matters nationwide. While the laws surrounding divorce are the same across all provinces, individual laws surrounding child support or common law may differ. Interestedly, you don’t need to be a Canadian citizen to apply for a divorce in Canada. In all cases there are certain criteria you must meet.
The criteria to be eligible for a divorce in Ontario are as follows:
- You must be legally married in Canada or any other country.
- You have left your spouse already or intend to separate permanently. There is no possibility that you will get back together.
- You and your spouse must have lived in Ontario for at least 12 months preceding your divorce application.
However, there may be an exception to this rule if you and your spouse both live outside of Canada and the country you reside in doesn’t recognize your Canadian marriage. In this case you would apply under the Civil Marriage Act with existing forms from the Ministry of the Attorney General.
If you and your spouse are not legally married, you wouldn’t divorce them. Instead, you would separate from them. The federal law doesn’t apply in this case. You can still negotiate an agreement should you want to make arrangements regarding child custody, access and support under Ontario laws.
What Legally Acceptable Reasons Are There for Divorce?
In order to get a divorce, you must be able to show that your marriage has broken down and you don’t intend to get back together. There are three eligible criteria for this:
- You and your spouse have lived apart for a year or more and both of you consider the marriage over. The application process can begin as soon as you separate from your spouse, but the court won’t grant the divorce until a full year has passed.
- Your spouse committed adultery and wasn’t forgiven for it upon its discovery. You are unable to request a divorce on the grounds of your own adultery. The adultery must include a physical sexual relationship. Emotional cheating doesn’t count.
- Your spouse has been physically or mentally abusive or cruel, making living together insufferable. You can’t request a divorce on the grounds of your own abuse.
In the case of adultery or physical or mental abuse, you must be able to prove it has happened in a court of law. These grounds are considered separately from decisions about child custody, support or other factors. The spouse who didn’t file for divorce will be served with divorce papers. They must respond within 30 days.
How Do I Proceed with the Divorce?
Before you proceed, it’s very important to consult a divorce lawyer. The divorce lawyer will inform you how the law applies to your unique circumstances and how to protect your rights.
It’s important to consider more factors than just getting the divorce. You have to consider what life is going to look like after the divorce is made official. This means considering how you’re going to support yourself and/or your family with only one income, helping your children through the change, and planning how you’re going to separate assets.
In order to process a divorce, you must:
- Fill out a divorce application.
- Submit the application at an Ontario courthouse.
- Pay the court fees.
- Follow any court procedures or rules given to you.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are several costs involved in getting a divorce in Ontario. There are two different types of divorce – contested or uncontested. A contested divorce is when your spouse disagrees either with getting a divorce in the first place, or some of the terms within the divorce. An uncontested divorce is much easier, as both parties agree to both the divorce and its terms. It’s a good idea to speak to a divorce lawyer before proceeding, in either case.
The eligibility for divorce remains the same in both cases. In Ontario, only one spouse needs to want the divorce and be able to prove grounds for it. A contested divorce is generally more expensive and takes longer to finalize.
Why You Should Choose De Rose Lawyers as Your Divorce Lawyer?
We work tirelessly and passionately with each and every one of our clients, earning us a sterling reputation among the legal community. Our team is dedicated to helping families.
We take a personal approach with every client and ensure your experience is a positive one. We empower our clients by providing them with flexible appointments, affordable legal fees, valuable tools and information every step of the way.