Do it Yourself Divorce in Ontario

Many couples whose marriage has reached the end of the line decide on a DIY divorce and if both are in agreement regarding property and parenting; it can be a relatively straightforward, stress-free and cost-effective process with less money spent on legal fees and more left in the marital pot to be divided.

If you feel a Do it Yourself  Divorce in Ontario is an option for you, then the following is a brief overview of the process.

  1. Fill out a divorce application.

Divorce Application Form 8A is to be used if you are filing for Uncontested Simple Divorce or Uncontested Joint Divorce. Form 8 is to be used if you are filing for Divorce with other relief. Since those couples who decide to go for DIY Divorce, they tend to file for Uncontested
Divorce, therefore they would need to file Form 8A.

DIY Divorce can be done by one of the parties filling out and filing the divorce application with the courthouse which will then be “served” on the other party or couples can file a joint application. The Canadian no-fault divorce policy means that the only “grounds” required is the breakdown of the marriage and this can be met by fulfilling one of the following criteria:-

  • You have been living apart for at least 12 months with no chance of reconciliation.
  • Your partner has been cruel to you.
  • Your partner has cheated on you.
  1. Submit the application at a courthouse

This is known as filing, and this will usually be done at your local courthouse. If children are involved in the divorce, then the divorce should be started in the municipality where the children ordinarily live.

  1. Pay the required fee to the court

The fee for filing a divorce application is currently $447. Further fees are then involved for every subsequent step of the divorce process and details will be available from the courthouse involved. For this reason, it is advisable for divorcing couples to already try and reach agreement on major issues such as property, custody etc. If these decisions cannot be made, then the court can be asked to decide, but this could obviously involve considerable time, stress and cost to both parties. Learn More about Divorce in Ontario Costs

  1. Follow the subsequent rules/procedures given

You must follow the rules of the individual courthouse that is processing your divorce. The exact procedures will vary depending on whether it is a simple, straightforward divorce by couples wishing to act in an agreeable manner or whether it is fraught with “playing games” and the ensuing difficulties this can entail. Although you can consult a lawyer at any time or involve the services of a mediator; the Canadian legal system encourages couples to resolve their differences without actual court involvement as much as possible.

 

Should you REALLY opt for a DIY divorce?

There is little reason why most couples cannot apply for a DIY divorce as the divorce part itself; the actual legal ending of the marriage does not require the services of a divorce lawyer in Ontario. However; if there is anything other than the most straightforward matters to resolve regarding property, spousal support, and parenting plans, then you may wish to involve an Ontario divorce lawyer from the outset. This is because despite the best intentions; any divorce can quickly become an emotional and financial minefield and it would be extremely difficult to navigate any court proceedings without one.

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