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How Easy Is It To Get a Divorce In Ontario?

Posted on September 20, 2019

Divorce can be as easy or as complicated as both parties choose for it to be.

In the case of a joint divorce, for example, both spouses agree on all matters of the divorce and do not need to go to court.

However, in less amicable or agreeable situations, lawyers and mediators may be required to determine the rights of each party.

Below are the seven steps it takes to obtain a simple, ‘easy’ divorce in Ontario.

1. Decide Your Marriage Is Over

Often, the hardest part is deciding it’s really over. You’ve tried, you’ve struggled and there’s just no saving what has been lost. And that’s okay. Brighter days are on the horizon.

If you want to end your marriage legally with a divorce, you must meet one of the grounds being, that have been separated from your spouse for at least 12 months – which is the most common, there was abuse in the relationship0 or adultery. The latter of these two grounds must be proven in court.

2. Contact Epstein Lawyers

It’s always best to speak with a trusted divorce lawyer before filing a divorce application, no matter which province or territory you live in.

Lawyers are the best equipped to answer all of your questions, offer support, and protect your best interests.

Eligibility For Divorce

If you are looking for a simple and easy divorce process in Ontario, you must meet the following criteria:

– You and your spouse were legally married.
– You and your legal spouse lived in Ontario for at least a year (12 months) prior to applying for your divorce.
– You and your legal spouse intend to separate permanently (or have already done so) and you believe there is no possibility of marriage reconciliation.

Valid Reasons For Divorce

In Canada, the following reasons are deemed legally acceptable for divorce:

– Your legal spouse has been mentally and/or physically abusive or cruel towards you.
– Your legal spouse committed adultery.
– You and your legal spouse have lived separately for one year and consider your marriage over.

Please note that in the case that you accuse your spouse of cruelty, abuse, or adultery, you will need to prove these occurrences, in which case your divorce will not be a ‘simple’ one.

The team at Epstein Law will be able to support and guide you throughout this process.

3. Fill Out The Divorce Application

In Ontario, you can file for a joint or simple divorce online. However, if your divorce does not qualify as a joint or simple divorce, you will need to proceed through the court system.

Joint Divorce: You and your spouse apply for a divorce together. You both agree to the divorce and on all family matters.

Simple Divorce: You apply for a divorce on your own because you and your spouse can’t agree. You’re not asking for any other court orders.

Ontario Divorce Application Forms

4. Submit The Divorce Application

It takes an average of 30 minutes to complete the online application. You may also want to file other documents with your joint divorce application, such as:

  • Separation agreement
  • Minutes of settlement
  • Prior court orders, etc.

File Your Application

5. Pay Divorce Court Fees

“In total, court fees are $632 to obtain a divorce in Ontario. The first payment of $212 is due when the application for divorce is filed which includes court fees of $202 and $10 that is collected for the federal Department of Justice. Additional court fees of $420 are paid before the divorce is reviewed by the court. Court fees may be paid by cash, cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance. If you are unable to pay the court fees, you may qualify for a fee waiver.”

– Ministry of the Attorney General

For more information about the cost of divorce, read ‘How much does a divorce cost?’ on the website of the Ministry of the Attorney General.

6. Follow Court Rules & Procedures as Instructed

The court will provide you and/or your lawyer with specific rules and procedures of how to move forward. Follow along with their requests, provide all necessary documents, and attend all required meetings, if necessary.

7. Move Forward

While this three to four-month process may feel drawn out, you will be able to finally move forward as a single person. Be sure to take care of yourself, and to embrace life to the fullest.

Additional Divorce Resources

  • What can I expect in a court case when getting a divorce?
  • What happens in divorce if you commit adultery?
  • What can you do if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers?
  • How soon can I divorce after marriage?

Have questions? Contact us to schedule your free consultation.


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