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How to Get a Divorce in Canada? | How Divorce works in Canada

How to Get a Divorce in Canada? | How Divorce works in Canada

Divorce is the best way of leaving toxic marriage but, going through a divorce can be traumatic, both physically and emotionally. During this stressful time, you often worry about how to get a divorce in Canada. Making objective decisions can be challenging, especially in this sensitive state of mind.

So, how divorce works in Canada?

Divorce means the legal termination of a legal marriage. A handful of procedures must be followed so the court grants the divorce. This includes filling out forms documents with the court and possibly going before a judge to solve challenging issues.

A divorce can take several months or sometimes years to complete. The process can be highly complicated as several complex issues may require resolution. It is in your best interest to take help from a Moose Jaw divorce lawyer during this challenging time.

Child custody, child support, and property settlement are a few issues that need to be resolved. A family lawyer would be enough to handle such matters. The lawyer will guide you with the steps to divorce. Also, this article will explain how to get a divorce in Canada. Let’s get started.

Different Types of Divorce in Canada

In the case of the divorce process, people often think of it as “one size fit for all .” In reality, there are several types of divorces. These types are actually several methods by which a divorcing couple chooses to reach an agreement.

A divorcing couple has to go through any of the following types when pursuing a divorce.

# Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce in Canada is also referred to as an amicable divorce. In such a type of divorce, a couple can amicably negotiate the material terms of the divorce, such as; who will have the child’s custody, how the property will be divided, and other support payments.

The procedure is quite simple. It is also called DIY divorce and you can get this divorce without lawyer in Canada . There is no need for a court to decide on property division, spousal assistance, or child custody. Once you file for a divorce with the court, no other activities are left except waiting.

You just have to wait until a judge has signed the divorce papers and give them back to you. Divorce laws allow special provisions to support children because the effect of divorce on children are serious. An uncontested divorce is sometimes referred to as a “friendly divorce.”

It is a good option for a number of reasons, such as;

  • Fast
  • Affordable
  • Amicable
  • Doesn’t require a divorce lawyer
  • Privacy

# Contested Divorce

When both spouses disagree on different terms of the divorce, they are likely to proceed with a contested divorce. They may eventually have to go to court to solve these issues and get a divorce in Canada.

In a contested divorce, both spouses require to be represented by mediating


. It makes the process more expensive than an uncontested divorce. There may be several court hearings in some cases, called motions.

Both spouses have to resolve temporary court hearings, like child custody, child support, and spousal support. There may be a trial to make a final decision on a matter that has not been agreed upon.

Contested divorces are:

  • Suitable for couples who are unable to agree on essential matters
  • Allows a judge to negotiate a marital settlement agreement

# At-Fault Divorce

In an at-fault divorce, one or both spouses want to get a divorce for committing apparent wrongdoing. Depending on situations, a judge may find one party or neither of the parties at fault.

If one party can successfully prove the other party’s fault, the judge will allocate a large portion of the property to the not-at-fault party. In an at-fault divorce, both parties can explain their complaints in court. So they can publicly validate their grounds for divorce.

# No Fault Divorce

A spouse can file for a divorce in a no-fault divorce even if another spouse is not in agreement. Here, you are able to get a divorce without a divorce lawyer. Also, it does not require a spouse to justify their grievance in court.

# Summary Dissolution

It’s an easier way to get divorced and end a marriage. Summary dissolution is a system of collaborative law. Like uncontested divorce, it requires a couple to work together. If needed, they can work with a team of professionals to end their marriage legally.


How to File for a Divorce?

Divorce in Canada is governed by the Federal Divorce Act. While filing for a divorce, the couple requires to apply for a divorce through a divorce application. The divorce application contains information about the couple.

It includes the grounds for the divorce and the marriage contract, equality of net family property, and child custody questions. The application may also have claims for spousal support.

Note that, a divorce application is a document that the judge considers while making a decision. Once a divorce application is filed, a divorce usually begins. One spouse or both can file for an application. Both spouses can only file together when they agree on important things.

Steps to Getting a Divorce in Canada

The Canadian divorce process can be different by province or territory. It includes how divorces are governed and the documents required to complete the process of a divorce. However, the steps to getting a divorce are pretty similar in each province.

  • Step 1: Deciding to get separated.
  • Step 2: Get an application for divorce. The divorce application is different in all territories and provinces. It can be obtained from the court office, from a divorce lawyer, or bookstore.
  • Step 3: What are the grounds you’re using to file the divorce? Is it an at-fault or no-fault divorce?
  • If it’s an at-fault divorce, it will be filed on the grounds of infidelity.
  • No-fault divorce requires separation for 1 year between the spouses.
  • Step 4: Will the divorce be uncontested or contested? Mention it in your divorce application and show to your lawyer Prenuptial agreement.
  • Step 5: When there are children involved, comprise a summary of your child custody, support, and other parenting agreements.
  • Step 6: You need to file the divorce application at the court in your territory or province. Or you can file through a lawyer. There may have different fees and formalities required to complete your application.
  • Step 7: After applying for a divorce, the Divorce Registry in Ottawa will provide clearance in some time. Meanwhile, manage yourself along with your services according to the rules of court procedure during this time. Once your spouse gets the divorce paper served, they get 30 days to respond.
  • Step 8: If there’s no response from the other spouse after 30 days, you can record your divorce at the court. You just need to submit your Divorce order, Divorce Affidavit, and Clerk’s certificate.
  • Step 9: Meanwhile, wait for the court decision and notice about your divorce. If the judge is satisfied with the material provided, you will get a divorce order issued.
  • Step 10: Obtain the Divorce Certificate after 30 days of the approval of the Divorce Order. You will be divorced legally and allowed to remarry after the Divorce Order is granted.

Conditions for a Divorce to be Granted

The Supreme Court grants your divorce, if;

  • You or your spouse have lived in a province for at least one year or more
  • You can prove that your marriage is broken
  • The court is pleased with the reasonable agreements you have made, such as child support.

The court will grant the divorce unless you have been separated for at least one year. A divorce will be granted automatically 31 days after the court grants a divorce order.


How long does it take to get a divorce in Canada?

If you have already been in separation for a year, you can complete the divorce application within 4-6 months. This time is required if the application doesn’t include claims like child custody, support, or property division.

How much does it cost to get a divorce in Canada?

The divorce application fees and court fees differ across Canada for the different provinces or territories. The cost to get a divorce also includes the lawyer’s fees.

An uncontested divorce may cost anything between $1006 to $2547. Conversely, a contested divorce can cost between $7000 to $74,000, with an average cost of $12000.

What are the rules for divorce in Canada?

For getting divorced in Canada, the couple needs to live separately for a year. After that, they can apply for divorce application. Then, they need to determine the grounds for divorce and proceed with it.

Is it easy to get divorced in Canada?

Divorce in Canada is somewhat more complex than in other countries. Only Canadian residents can apply for divorce in Canada. If you are not a Canadian resident, you can still get a divorce under Canada’s Divorce Act.

What is the simplest way to get a divorce?

Proceeding with an uncontested divorce is the easiest way to get a divorce. It takes minimum time because all of the significant issues are agreed upon by both spouses.

Final Words

Not everyone understands the process of how to get a divorce in Canada. In the Canadian divorce process, many people have issues concerning child support, custody, property division, etc.

Understanding the steps to get a divorce can help you proceed without a lawyer. Still, it is wise to contact a lawyer who specializes in family law. So, you can protect both you and your children’s rights and future appropriately.

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