If you’ve made the realization that your marriage has gone beyond salvaging, then the first step is to figure out how and where you can actually apply for a divorce.
To some it can seem like a very intimidating process, but it is actually quite simple to do.
Do it myself? Fill out an application yourself at a courthouse
The first option is to download a divorce application form online. Make sure it is for your region and reflects the type of divorce that you are seeking. You will need to fill out information about yourself and your spouse, as well as information about your relationship and others that will be affected by the divorce, such as your children.
Take this form and issue it at an Ontario courthouse. There will be some required court fees that you will need to pay. You can also talk with the clerk who helps you with this process and they will set out any rules or guidelines that you will need to keep in mind. You will need to serve the application and file proof of service with the courthouse in order for the paperwork to be processed.
Get assistance from a lawyer? Avoid filing issues
If you have questions about the process, or want to make sure that you are doing everything correctly, it makes sense to sit down with a family lawyer. They will be extremely familiar with the process and will be able to guide you through all the steps. This will ensure that there is no delay in the parties obtaining their divorce order.
Make sure you are eligible
Maybe it goes without saying, but you can only apply for a divorce in Ontario if you are eligible.
The conditions of eligibility are:
- You must be legally married. This can be legal in Canada or any other country — it is not required that you are a Canadian citizen to get a divorce in Ontario.
- You must have the intention of getting a permanent separation and have no plans of getting back together.
- You must have lived in Ontario for at least 12 months prior to applying for divorce.
In addition, it needs to be clear that the marriage has broken down. This may be shown if:
- You have lived separately for over one year and both parties consider the marriage to be over.
- There is evidence of adultery with no desire for reconciliation.
- There is evidence of physical or mental cruelty.
Where to start
When in doubt, take a visit to your local family lawyer office to get started. Epstein & Associates has a dependable and experienced legal team that can answer your questions and put your concerns at ease. It’s easy to get in touch and set up your free initial consultation!