Simple Divorce in Toronto

Your Guide to a Hassle-Free Separation

What is a Simple Divorce?

A simple divorce, also known as an uncontested divorce, is where both parties agree on all major issues, including the division of property, debts, and if applicable, custody and support of children.

A simple divorce offers a streamlined and cost-effective route for couples to dissolve their marriage, in contrast to a contested divorce where disagreements on issues such as child custody, support, and asset division necessitate court involvement. Such disputes in contested divorces slow the process and increase expenses significantly.

Regardless of whether you were married in another country or a different Canadian province or territory, you’re eligible to file for divorce in Ontario if you’ve resided in the province for at least one year prior to filing. This eligibility aligns with the criteria set forth in the Divorce Act, which you can consult for detailed information.

One of the benefits of opting for a simple divorce is the ability to file online, eliminating the need for court appearances and further simplifying the process.

Understanding Simple Divorce Process

Here is a simpler way to understand what you need to do:

Step 1: Get Your Papers Ready

  1. First Paper (Continuing Record Cover Sheet): This is the first page of your court file. It keeps all your papers in one place at the court. You don’t need a court number yet; you’ll get one later. You are called the “applicant,” and your ex is the “respondent.”
  2. List of Papers (Table of Contents): Make a list of all the forms and papers you put in your court file, starting with your divorce application. Write down the dates you signed and filed them.
  3. Divorce Form (Form 8A): Fill in the parts that apply to you. You need to have been living apart from your ex for at least one year. Sign it, date it, and make a copy. Your ex doesn’t need to sign this.

Remember: It costs $224 to start (Filing an application: $214 + Registration of Divorce Proceedings: $10). If this is too much, you can ask the court to let you skip the fee.

Step 2: File Your Documents at Court

  1. Go to the court in your area. You can find out where it is online.
  2. At the court, take a number and wait for it to be called. Then give your papers to the clerk.
  3. Keep the copy of your application and any paper that says you don’t have to pay the fee safe.

Step 3: Give Your Ex the Papers (Serve Your Documents)

You need to give your ex a copy of your application and a blank form they can fill out if they want to respond. Someone else who is at least 18 years old must do this for you.

Step 4: Show Proof Your Ex Got the Papers

The person who gave your ex the papers has to fill out a form (Form 6B) to prove it. They need to sign it in front of a special official (like a notary) and then put it in your court file. Your ex doesn’t need to do anything here.

Step 5: Finalize Your Divorce

If your ex doesn’t respond in 30 days, you can move on to finish your divorce with these steps:

  1. Clerk’s Checklist (Form 36A): Fill in what you can, and the court clerk will help with the rest.
  2. Divorce Statement (Form 36): Attach your marriage certificate and make sure everything matches your application. You need to sign this in front of a notary too, which costs $21.
  3. Draft Divorce Order (Form 25A): This is a draft for the judge to sign. Make three copies – one for the court, one to be mailed to you, and one for your ex.

Note: There’s another fee of $445 before the court looks at your divorce. If paying is hard for you, you might not have to.

Step 6: Wait for the Official Divorce

Your divorce is official 31 days after the judge signs the order. You’ll get this in the mail.

After Everything

You can get your marriage certificate back and ask for a divorce certificate (you’ll need this if you want to get married again) from the court for $25.

separation agreement process

FAQs – Ontario Simple Divorce

Simplifying Your Path to a New Beginning – Ontario Simple Divorce FAQs

Q: How long does a simple divorce take in Ontario?

While times can vary, a simple divorce typically takes about four to six months to be finalized after the application is filed.

Q: Can we handle a simple divorce without a lawyer?

Yes, it’s possible to complete a simple divorce without legal representation, especially if both parties agree on all terms. However, consulting a family lawyer can ensure your rights are protected.

Q: What if we have children? Can we still have a simple divorce?

Yes, you can still proceed with a simple divorce if you have children, provided you and your spouse agree on custody, support, and visitation arrangements.

Q: How Much Does It Cost To Get a Simple Divorce In Ontario?

As of January 1, 2023, total court fees are $669, split into two payments: $224 when filing and $445 for the divorce hearing.

Q: Can you start the divorce process before one year of separation?

You can start the divorce application six months before completing a year of separation. However, a year must be completed by the hearing date. Consider the time for consulting a lawyer, drafting/filing the application, and serving the other party, which can take weeks or months. Obtaining a Divorce Clearance certificate takes 4 to 8 weeks, and the hearing is scheduled based on judge availability.

Q: Can an Uncontested Divorce Become Contested?

An uncontested simple divorce in Ontario, while usually straightforward, can turn contested if the respondent makes claims for child custody, spousal support, or property division. To prevent this, have a separation agreement before filing. This clarifies divorce terms and avoids later disputes, saving time and money. A qualified lawyer should review the agreement to ensure legality and prevent future issues.

Q: Simple vs. Joint Divorce: Understanding the Differences

In Simple Divorce, one party files, and the other doesn’t contest. It’s cost-effective and suitable if you agree on all divorce-related issues. Requires separation for at least one year. In Joint Divorce, both parties file together with a joint application. It’s faster and more efficient for couples agreeing on everything from the start.

The main difference is in the filing process. Simple divorce involves one filer; joint divorce requires both parties to file together.

Q: Do you need a Separation Agreement?

Essential for uncontested divorces, it resolves issues like child custody, support payments, and property division. It’s a legally binding document detailing your divorce settlement, ensuring clarity and preventing future disputes. Having one provides peace of mind and a smoother transition post-divorce.

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