What Is Uncontested Divorce Toronto, Ontario
There are two type of applications for obtaining an uncontested divorce in Toronto, Ontario. At Simple Divorce we offer uncontested ‘sole’ and ‘joint’ divorce services. Before getting into details about each, let’s define ‘uncontested divorce’ first.
An uncontested divorce is a court proceeding where both parties have a mutual agreement on all of the issues related to their divorce including property division, child custody and spousal support, parenting time, alimony and other financial matters. An uncontested ‘sole’ divorce is when one party initiates the divorce process, the other spouse is served/notified of the divorce application, and your spouse does not contest the divorce or raise any issues regarding the divorce. In a joint divorce you do not initiate any action against each other. Rather, both spouses attend our office to sign the required divorce paperwork informing the court of their intention to divorce.
Requirements for Uncontested Divorce
There are various requirements you and your spouse will have to meet in order to use our uncontested divorce service. Listed below are the mandatory requirements and information about the process:
- As noted above, the uncontested divorce service is for clients who are seeking only a divorce (i.e. marital status change). If you require legal advice regarding division of property, custody, or child/spousal support, contact us to arrange a consultation with one of our divorce lawyers.
- Please make sure that your spouse will not contest the divorce (i.e. make claims against you). If there are any outstanding issues relating to custody, support or division of property between you and your spouse, contact us now to obtain a consultation about your potential rights/obligations and options.
- According to Ontario law, your spouse must be served with the divorce documents (this step does not apply for joint divorces). Your spouse may be served with the divorce application by mail or in person. Our firm will arrange service for your spouse. Please note that your spouse’s cooperation in service is important to ensure that the uncontested divorce process runs smoothly. If your spouse’s whereabouts are unknown we can still assist in obtaining the Divorce.
- Since residency in Ontario is a requirement under the Divorce Act, either you or your spouse must have resided in Ontario for at least 12 months before the commencement of the uncontested divorce process. Either you or your spouse must also continue to live in Ontario throughout the divorce process. You do not have to be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident to obtain a divorce in Ontario.
- Child support must be being paid (or agreed to be paid) in accordance with the Federal Child Support Guidelines. There is no requirement that a formal written agreement or court order be in place addressing child support. However, you will be required to sign an affidavit (sworn statement) that details the child support arrangement in place.
- There are two fees relating to an uncontested divorce. One is our legal fee and the other is the government fee. Our legal fee for an uncontested divorce is $850 plus HST. The government filing fee is $632.
- It typically takes 4 months to have an uncontested divorce granted in Ontario. Please note that if you intend on remarrying, you must wait 31 days after the divorce has been granted to remarry.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Uncontested Divorce
What Are the Benefits of Getting an Uncontested Divorce in Ontario?
An uncontested divorce is faster, has significantly lower costs, and is less stressful. You and your former spouse do not appear before the court. There are no disputes between parties, and the likelihood of an uncontested divorce being challenged at a later date is lower. Fewer details of the marriage are also published in court documents, upholding privacy if that is a concern for either party. Needless to say, an uncontested divorce is much easier on every involved and allows both parties to move forward amicably. It is often preferred when there are children involved.
What Are the Drawbacks of Getting an Uncontested Divorce in Ontario?
The difficulty with an uncontested divorce is that you’re giving up some things. If the relationship was abusive, an uncontested divorce does not put that on record and could give the abuser an unfair advantage. If you’re using an uncontested divorce as a way to avoid disagreements, you may be avoiding important matters that you will eventually have to address. If you do not have a thorough understanding of the law or your spouse is having difficulty completing the divorce paperwork on their own, an uncontested divorce may also not be the best option to move forward with.
How To Apply For Uncontested Divorce in Ontario
There are several types of divorce forms in Ontario, but they fall into two categories – uncontested and contested. Assuming you are moving forward with an uncontested divorce application in Ontario, the Uncontested Divorce – Divorce Form 8A needs to be filled. This form indicates that the responding party is not opposed to the claim for Divorce or any relief claimed in the document. If, however, there is disagreement on things like child custody, child support, spousal support, and/or division of property, and there isn’t an agreement on the terms of the separation, it’s no longer an uncontested divorce, and therefore different forms need to be filled out.
With Divorce Application Form 8A, the only relief you are seeking from the court is the dissolution of marriage. Form 8A will assume other matters – such as custody, support, and property – are either settled through a separation agreement or don’t apply. When both spouses are filling out Form 8A, it’s called a Joint Uncontested Divorce; however, you don’t need both spouses to fill out Form 8A to proceed. When only one spouse is filling out the form, this is a Simple Uncontested Divorce. The divorce application is then served to the other party who can choose to respond, but even if they do not respond, the Divorce Application is allowed to proceed after a certain time period. That’s how to apply for an uncontested divorce in Ontario.
The Procedure of Uncontested Divorce in Ontario
With an uncontested divorce in Ontario, you have to come to the courts with an agreement in place, all outstanding issues settled, and all the necessary documentation. Form 8A is a start. You also need your Marriage Certificate. If you don’t have the original certificate, it can be ordered online, or you may have to collect it in person, depending on the jurisdiction in which you were married.
There are two prerequisites that the courts require before granting an uncontested divorce in Ontario. The first is you or your former spouse must have lived in Ontario for at least one year. You and your spouse also must be separated for a minimum of one (1) year prior to filing. There is no other way to get an uncontested divorce in Ontario. You must be a confirmed resident and be separated long enough for the courts to proceed.
Once you have assembled the correct documents, you have to file and apply to the courthouse in the municipality you live in. At this point, there is a fee of $212 to start an uncontested divorce. This can be paid in cash, cheques, or money order payable to the Minister of Finance. If you cannot afford this fee, you can ask the court to waive the fee by filling out a Fee Waiver Request Form.
Your former spouse needs to be made aware that you are proceeding with a simple divorce application. If they haven’t completed the form with you, they will need to be served a copy of your Divorce Application. You also need evidence they’ve seen the application. Your ex has 30 days to respond from the day they’ve been served. If they do not file a response, after 30 days have passed, you can proceed with your application, and the divorce can be finalized.
Bring a self-addressed stamp envelope and the relevant documents to the Superior Court of Justice courthouse you originally filed at. This envelope will be used to mail you your divorce order once it has been processed. There will be another fee when you head into the courthouse for what will hopefully be the last time, this time of $420. This is a requirement before the court can review the divorce.
How long does it take to get an uncontested divorce in Ontario?
Assuming everything has been done correctly and there isn’t any missing documentation, your divorce will go before a judge, and they will sign a divorce order. As mentioned, this divorce order will be mailed to you. Your divorce will take effect on the 31st day after the divorce order is signed by the judge. At that time, you are officially and legally divorced.
If you wish, you can return to the Superior Court of Justice and receive a Certificate of Divorce. There is a fee of $24 for this certificate. Although you do not need a Certificate of Divorce, it is required if you intend to remarry. Fortunately, it can also be ordered at any time. Therefore, if you do not have an immediate need for it, you can procure it at a later date.
Is It Possible For Uncontested Divorce Become Contested?
An uncontested divorce in Ontario can become contested very easily. If one spouse tries to proceed with a simple divorce and the respondent files their answer with additional claims, you then move your application into being a contested divorce. Things like child custody, spousal support, and division of property are all common areas where disputes and claims are made. It is best to approach the court with a separation agreement beforehand. This way, matters such as those mentioned and others are fully settled. If this isn’t possible, there is a risk that should your former spouse desire; the uncontested divorce could become contested.
It is never a bad thing to have some guidance on how to get an uncontested divorce in Ontario and to get questions answered. A divorce lawyer in Ontario at Simple Divorce can help you prepare for divorce and ensure your application is filled out and filed. They can also offer input on how to proceed with a former spouse who may cause trouble or how to resolve difficult issues with a separation agreement. For legal help with your uncontested divorce in Ontario, speak with a representative at Simple Divorce today.