Once the couple has decided that staying together is no longer possible, they can decide to either stay apart in a separation situation or they can get a legal divorce.
Whatever the issues facing the couple, relationship breakdowns are as unique and individualistic as the people involved. If there are children, business and property involved, separation is never easy. The reasons for break-up may be one or several, but the pain, grief, confusion and loss are felt by both parties and others connected to them.
It’s important to make the process as swift, efficient, cost-effective and equitable as possible. An experienced family/divorce/separation lawyer can ensure that your rights and entitlements are protected. Your present and future spousal responsibilities spelled-out/borne, financial security and interests of children have to be safeguarded.
Divorce In Canada
In general, divorce proceedings in Canada are governed by federal, provincial and territorial laws. The Divorce Act is a federal law, but the processes may differ according to province and territory. Foreign divorces are recognized if it was valid under the laws of that country. If you divorce a spouse whom you sponsored to come to Canada, the sponsorship undertaking continues to be in effect till the sponsorship period is completed.
Following the Step-by-Step Process
Your divorce lawyer can guide you through the entire process so that you can get the divorce decree quickly and smoothly. A customized separation agreement made earlier will help to speed up the process.
In general, there are certain logical steps:
- Decision to divorce: The couple makes a serious, informed decision to get a divorce for a variety of reasons. Canada has no-fault divorce laws which means that the only grounds are the breakdown of marriage. This could be for reasons like adultery, physical/mental cruelty or living apart for more than one year.
- Contact a qualified, experienced divorce lawyer: This is not strictly necessary, but in the long run, it serves to avoid acrimony and stress.
- Getting the application forms: Your family lawyers can get these for you, help you complete them and file all the relevant documents and complete the paperwork accurately and in time. The correct forms for your jurisdiction are available at family law information centers, bookstores, court-offices etc
- Establish the grounds and determine whether the process will be contested or uncontested. Unless there are serious disputes, a majority of couples prefer uncontested divorces after the terms have been suitably worked out.
- Determine the child-custody/support terms
- File application in the right jurisdiction/court and pay the prescribed fees
- Clearance from Ottawa Divorce Registry is obtained
- Spouse must respond to service of divorce papers within 30 days, otherwise your lawyer will file the requisite affidavits in court
- Court will communicate its decision based on examination of documents submitted
- Divorce Order will be issued
- Certificate of divorce can be obtained 30 days later. Only after this you can be free to remarry
- The terms and conditions of the divorce order have to be followed
The time taken for completing the entire process can vary, based on the circumstances, issues involved. In general, an uncontested divorce in Canada may take between 4-6 months. The average legal fees may average around $1400 for uncontested divorces.
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