DIVORCE LAWYER TORONTO
Whether it has been a long time coming, or a sudden end to a marriage, there is no denying what an emotionally difficult the process of getting a divorce can be.
Without proper legal representation, the process of getting a divorce can also be mentally and physically draining. This is where AP Lawyers can help you.
Only a court of competent jurisdiction can grant your divorce
You need to know you cannot negotiate a divorce. You can negotiate and reach an agreement on the corollary issues such as: Parenting, Child support, Spousal Support and Equalization however, your actual divorce must be granted by a court.
Also, divorce can only be issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. What that means is, a divorce cannot be obtained in certain courts. So, your application must be filed in the right place.
By saying your divorce must be issued by the courts, does not mean it has to be a contentious divorce. Whether it is a contentious divorce, or an amicable/ uncontested divorce, the courts are still the only forum for you to get your divorce order.
Breakdown of the marriage
To be eligible for a divorce, there must be a breakdown of the marriage. There is a breakdown of the marriage if:
- (a) You and your spouse have been separated for at least one year.
- (b) Your spouse committed adultery
- (c) Your spouse treated you with physical or mental cruelty
Joint vs. Simple Divorce Application
You have options in the way you choose to file your divorce application. You can prepare your application by way of a:
- (a) Simple divorce application; or
- (b) Joint divorce application
How do you decide which option to is best for your situation? Well, our team starts by asking you a few questions such as:
- Do you have a decent relationship with the other party?
- Is the other party going to be willing to sign the divorce application?
- Do you even have an address for the other party or would alternative options for serving the other party be required. In other words, would we need an order for substituted service to serve the other party by email, or even social media for example?
- Do you have other issues outstanding?
- Is there an existing separation agreement between the parties and what does it say?
- Is the process likely to be contested by the other party?
- What are the grounds for divorce?
It is important to get started with the right process so you can save time and money.
What many people do not recognize is that the court has to satisfy itself that there is no possibility of reconciliation between the spouses. If it appears that reconciliation is a possibility, based on the evidence or attitude of either or both parties, the court will stop the process to allow the parties to explore the possibility of reconciliation.
If the parties agree, or at the court’s discretion, a marriage counsellor may be nominated to assist the parties to achieve reconciliation.
This adjournment to explore reconciliation is only for a short time. After fourteen days, the court will resume the proceedings.
Some other important factors the court considers before granting a divorce:
- I. That there is no conspiracy to deceive the court or subvert the administration of justice.
- II. If there are any children of the marriage, the court will ensure that there have been reasonable arrangements made for the support of the children. If no arrangements have been made or having regard to the child support guidelines, if the court does not believe the support arrangements are reasonable, the court will delay granting the divorce until reasonable arrangements have been made.
- III. If you are seeking a divorce on the grounds of adultery or cruelty, the court would also ensure that there has been no condonation or connivance on the part of the party who is seeking the divorce on those grounds. If the court believes you permitted these behaviors or were willing to forgive it, the court can dismiss the Application for Divorce.
How long does it take?
This will depend on process used. Generally joint divorces can be issued anywhere from 3 to 6 months.
The simple divorce process involves you first getting the Application issued and served.
Depending on where the other party was served, they have anywhere from 30 – 60 days to file an Answer. How long it will take to finalize the process after the time required to file an Answer has passed, depends on whether the Respondent files a response at all or raises other claims in their Answer.
If other claims such as support and equalization are raised, then those can even extend the matter for years, except the parties negotiate and settle those issues, or the parties agree to sever the divorce from the other claims.
Severing the Divorce
Under the Family Law Rules, you can ask a judge to split the divorce from the other claims on your family law matter so that your divorce can be issued prior to settling any other outstanding issues. Prior to granting an order splitting the divorce from the other issues, the court will consider if the other party will be disadvantaged by a splitting of the divorce and, whether reasonable arrangements have been made for the support of any children of the marriage.
Certificate of Divorce
After your divorce order takes effect, which is generally thirty-one days after the divorce order is issued, you can request that the court grant you a certificate of divorce. This is not provided automatically, and you will need the divorce certificate when you want to get remarried.