HOW TO FILE FOR DIVORCE IN ONTARIO
No one plans on getting divorced. The decision to file for divorce is not one that should be taken lightly. During this process, tensions are generally high and feelings of loss can be present. Oftentimes, there are many emotional factors at play. From the consideration of separate living and childcare arrangements to the division and maintenance of property, the process of filing for divorce can be daunting. The breakdown of a marriage can evoke personal conflicts and present financial challenges. Filing for divorce requires attention to the impending changes in your life, your child’s life, and the lives of close friends or relatives who are heavily involved with caring for your child.
Depending on a number of factors, filing for divorce can be simple or complex. Some divorces may start simple, but become complex as the case goes on.
DIVORCE LAW FIRM IN MISSISSAUGA
The Divorce Process
The divorce process usually takes the following form:
- Prior to filing for divorce, it is recommended that you seek legal counsel from a qualified family lawyer. Tailor Law prides itself on providing family law services of the highest quality.
- In determining whether or not divorce is right for you, you will need to figure out whether you are legally eligible to file for divorce. You are eligible to file for divorce if your situation meets any one of the following criteria:
- if you have been separated for at least one (1) year and there is no chance of reconciliation between you and your spouse; OR
- Your spouse was unfaithful to you; OR
- Your spouse has treated you cruelly (cruelty can include physical or verbal cruelty).
If your situation falls into one of the categories above, you would be eligible to file for divorce. Nowadays, however, nearly all divorces proceed under the first criterion.
- The third step in filing for a divorce involves the consideration of who will stay in the family home, how children and pets will be cared for, whether financial support from one spouse to another will be requested, and the division of property and other assets. These considerations should be finalized in a written plan.
- Your fourth step involves filing divorce papers with the court and serving those papers on your spouse.
As the process described above is general in nature, it is important to consult with experienced lawyers. Contact Tailor Law at 905-366-0202 any time for a free consultation.
In order to commence divorce proceedings you must first have a legally binding marriage. A religious ceremony without a recognized marriage certificate will not constitute a marriage under the Divorce Act. This goes for foreign marriages as well.
Obtaining a divorce will legally dissolve a valid marriage and will have effect across Canada. It is important to note that the divorce process is the same for both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.
An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which the parties agree on how to resolve parenting, support, financial matters, and debt issues. Because of this agreement on the issues, the parties can submit a divorce application jointly to the court, or can decide that one party will file for divorce under the agreed upon terms and the other party will not contest the terms. This type of divorce does not require that the parties actually appear in court. This type of divorce is less expensive and quicker to obtain. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to reach an agreement with one’s spouse regarding such sensitive topics. Sometimes, it is necessary to let the court decide.
A contested divorce occurs when the involved parties cannot agree on the terms of the divorce. A contested divorce can lead to bitter feelings, animosity and distrust of the other party, if these feelings are not already present. Contested divorces can cause additional stress, given the time and cost required to settle such disputes. However, if both parties cannot agree amicably to the terms of divorce, contested divorce is necessary. Taylor Law family lawyers are here to help you navigate this process and advocate on your behalf during this difficult time.
The issues that usually drive contested divorces are the division of property and debt, parenting time, spousal support, and other financial considerations. A contested divorce should not be confused with two parties disagreeing on whether the divorce should proceed or not. A contested divorce simply means that one party disagrees with the other party in regards to a family law issue. A divorce still proceeds even if it is contested, as it is not required that both parties actually want to end the marriage.
A contested divorce is usually discussed at a hearing prior to trial. If the parties cannot agree to the terms of the divorce, or if they do not agree on other issues, the divorce can proceed to trial. Generally speaking, most contested divorces are settled prior to trial due to the fact that trials are not cheap and not ideal from a timing perspective. While divorce trials are somewhat rare, Tailor Law is prepared to advocate for your interests to the very end if trial is needed. Contact us now for a free consultation.
What Does A Divorce In Ontario Cost?
As divorce can be a costly process, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as you are thinking of filing for divorce to ensure you fully understand what’s to come. Certain considerations may change the way you approach your divorce. Tailor Law assists clients in Mississauga, North York, Oakville, and throughout the GTA. Going through your divorce alone is not an option when financial support and custody matters are at stake.
The cost of a divorce can vary. There is no single estimate for the cost of a divorce in Ontario, given the unique issues that each divorce involves. Divorce costs can sometimes be expected to run in the thousands. If the divorce is amicable, this estimate can be slightly cheaper given the ease and simplicity of the proceedings. Contested divorces tend to be more costly, due to the time and effort required to resolve the issues. Lawyer fees are based on the amount of time spent on your case, correspondence made between the lawyers and other parties involved, filing fees, courier fees, and various other disbursement costs.
In addition to legal fees and expenses, the cost of divorce includes spousal support (if this payment is required by the court), child support, and the need for duplicate items for children when parenting time is split between parents. These items include things like clothing, transit passes, daycare costs, and toys/sources of entertainment.
Divorce Lawyers For Women
Divorce lawyers for women focus on the issues that women typically face in a divorce. Issues can include disputes related to child support, spousal support, the distribution of property, finances, and debt. The lawyers at Tailor Law offer a diversified staff of female lawyers to provide legal guidance for women during this difficult time.
Divorce Lawyers For Men
Divorce lawyers for men are lawyers who place emphasis on the issues that men face when resolving a family law issue. Issues can range from spousal support to child custody and the distribution of finances and debt. We understand that it may feel like the deck is stacked against fathers in family law matters, and we are committed to supporting fathers’ equal rights as parents.
The Divorce Lawyers at Tailor Law
At Tailor Law, we appreciate the sensitivity and care required in dealing with family matters. While circumstances involving family lawyers can create tense environments, we strive to ensure that family issues are dealt with efficiently and resourcefully. We are on your side.
The lawyers at Tailor Law are here to assist you by drafting and negotiating family settlements, child protection orders, divorce proceedings, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, separation agreements, custody agreements, and spousal support agreements. Get started today by booking a free consultation with one of our family lawyers.
Move Toward Your Resolution
If you are seeking a quick divorce but have corollary issues remaining, you may be permitted to sever the divorce from the other issues which allows the divorce to go forward while the other claims such as spousal support or custody remain outstanding. However, this is only available in cases where it will not disadvantage a spouse or where the court finds that reasonable arrangements have not been made.
Divorce starts with court forms. To begin the legal process of divorce you must serve and file an Application. It is important to note that once you have been served with an Application, you must move swiftly because you only have 30 days to serve and file your Answer with the court. The party serving the Application then has ten days to submit a Reply, if they choose.
Nothing happens right away in court. The amount of time it may take for a court to grant you a divorce will depend on your claim and complexity of your individual case. While you can do it on your own, it is beneficial to have a family lawyer as your representative to achieve the best possible outcome. At Tailor Law, our lawyers are experienced in family law matters and are committed to advancing your interests in a timely and cost effective manner. We understand that time is money, and work to provide the best value to our clients.
Forms and Other Resources for Local and Ontario Courts
There are a number of forms and resources for Ontario family law matters.
Family law covers a number of different areas:
- Child health, child welfare, child custody, and child access
- The distribution of matrimonial property
- Uncontested divorces and contested divorces
- Negotiation of spousal support (also known as alimony)
As family law is a diverse area of law, there are numerous resources available on the web to help you get started in researching your next step in a divorce or custody dispute. It’s helpful to be familiar with this information from the beginning.
One official government resource that provides detailed information to individuals who wish to understand custody issues and divorce processes in greater detail is the Ministry of the Attorney General website for Ontario. The Attorney General has produced a handbook on family law in Ontario which can be found here (https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/guides/fc/). The handbook outlines topics related to common law unions, going to court, choosing a lawyer, your legal rights and obligations with respect to children, and many other issues commonly involved found in family law proceedings.
‘Cleo’ (Community Legal Education Ontario) is another resource that can provide assistance with family law questions. Cleo publishes a number of up to date resources and publications on legal resources, including family law publications and tools. Cleo’s resources can be found here (https://www.cleo.on.ca/en).
As there are different levels of family law courts in Ontario, it is important to note that each family law court operates in a different manner. For instance, there are Superior Courts of Justice and the Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice. There are various family law courthouses in Toronto, Brampton, Oshawa, Whitby, and Newmarket.
Book your free family law consultation with a Tailor Law lawyer today by calling 905-366-0202. Our lawyers are waiting to assist you.