First off, you do not need to show that the other person was at “fault”, so long as you have been living separate and apart and there is no possibility of reconciliation, you can apply for a divorce.
A divorce most commonly requires a year of separation before it can be granted however, the application process may start before the year is up. Exceptions to this rule require exceptional circumstances such as adultery or physical/mental abuse or cruelty.
Even if the exemption does not apply to you, you may start the application for divorce before the year is up. This approach still requires a year wait, but effectively cuts down waiting time once the year is up.
A divorce may be contested or uncontested. With the uncontested divorce process, the affected parties generally agree upon the terms of divorce, and reach consensus without the need for a trial or extensive court processes. With the co-operative nature of uncontested divorces, it is cheaper and faster than contested divorces.
The contested divorce process essentially exists in opposition to uncontested divorces. Complex legal issues, financial issues and increased layers of court
proceedings all commonly arise in contested divorces. In both scenarios, it is wise to seek legal counsel to inform an involved party of their rights, possible strategies and experienced advice.
Notable Steps in the Process:
Divorce requires an Application to an appropriate court. The Application will need to be served on the other partner and any other parties involved. Proof of Service also needs to be filed with the court. The person bringing the application is called the Applicant and the spouse is called the Respondent.
The Respondent has 30 days to serve and file an Answer. Should the Respondent not do this, the process may continue with documents that may still satisfy a judge’s criteria for divorce.
Approximate Length of Divorce Process:
The court process may take roughly 3 – 4 months in uncontested divorces.
Several factors may affect the length of time of divorces in general. These factors include the spouses’ location, ability to cooperate, the court in which the Application is filed, division of property issues, child custody and access, as well as any issues related to support.
For further information regarding a the divorce process in Ontario, do not hesitate to contact us.
Legislative Provision – Section 8 of the Divorce Act
- 8. (1) A court of competent jurisdiction may, on application by either or both spouses, grant a divorce to the spouse or spouses on the ground that there has been a breakdown of their marriage.
- Breakdown of marriage
(2) Breakdown of a marriage is established only if
- (a) the spouses have lived separate and apart for at least one year immediately preceding the determination of the divorce proceeding and were living separate and apart at the commencement of the proceeding; or
- (b) the spouse against whom the divorce proceeding is brought has, since celebration of the marriage,
- (i) committed adultery, or
- (ii) treated the other spouse with physical or mental cruelty of such a kind as to render intolerable the continued cohabitation of the spouses