How Do Joint Divorces Work In Ontario?

If you and your spouse both agree that you want to obtain a divorce, you may be eligible for a joint divorce in Ontario.  A joint divorce can be relatively quick, easy and stress free.  You will not be required to attend court and you can even file all your paperwork online.  However, a joint divorce is not appropriate in every situation.  So how do you know if it’s right for you?

Are You Eligible For A Joint Divorce in Ontario?

Here are some factors that may make you eligible for a joint divorce in Ontario.

  1. Your marriage is over: In order to apply for a divorce, you need to show the court that your marriage is over.  The most common grounds for divorce is a claim that the spouses have lived separate and apart for at least one year. This often means that the spouses are living in different households for at least a year before applying for a joint divorce. There are some instances the courts may consider you separated even if you are living in the same house (due to financial reasons, etc.).
  2. You are married: In order to qualify for a divorce, you and your spouse must be legally married.  If you are not legally married, then you do not need a divorce.
  3. You live in Ontario: In order to be divorced in Ontario, either you or your spouse must have lived in Ontario for the past year.
  4. Support for the children: If you and your spouse have children, the court cannot grant your divorce until they are convinced that arrangements have been made for the financial support of those children.  If you have a court order or a written agreement that deals with child support, a copy can be attached to your joint divorce application.  The amount of child support in an agreement must conform with the Federal Child Support Guidelines.
  5. You agree to divorce: Lastly, in order to be eligible for a joint divorce, you and your spouse must agree that this is how you want to proceed.  You cannot force your spouse to file a joint divorce application with you.  If your spouse does not want a divorce, or does not want to file jointly with you, there are other options.  You can still get a divorce.

How Does A Joint Divorce Work in Ontario? 

Once you and your spouse have been separated for a year, you fill out the court form together and sign it.  If either of you have a lawyer, the lawyers need to sign the form too. You can then file the form, along with the required supporting documents, with the court.  Filing an application for a joint divorce in Ontario can now be done online but we recommend hiring a divorce lawyer if you have questions or are still unsure how this works.

A judge will review your application and decide if you meet the requirements for a divorce.  If you do, the judge will make the order as requested and you will be divorced. If your application is missing something or if you do not meet the requirements, the judge will let you know.

If you and your spouse require a court order dealing with other matters related to your separation, you may be able to deal with these at the same time, provided you and your spouse agree on everything.

Contact our Richmond Hill Divorce Lawyer For Legal Advice on Joint Divorces

Our Richmond Hill Divorce Lawyer can ensure that you meet all the requirements for a joint divorce in Ontario and help you through the process quickly and easily.  Call us today or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.

Disclaimer: Please note the content in this article is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute legal advice. For specific legal advice as it pertains to your case please consult with a divorce lawyer.