There are essentially two kinds of divorces possible under Canadian laws – Contested and Uncontested.
If there are contentious issues between the couple that cannot be resolved mutually prior to or connected with the granting of divorce by the court, this is known as a contested divorce.
For 90% of Canadians according to the latest statistics, uncontested divorce is the preferred option. It is perceived as one where the divorce claim is not contested or where one spouse doesn’t reply to the divorce notice.
However, it actually means that there are no unresolved issues in the matter.
There are three valid grounds for divorce: Adultery, Abuse/Cruelty or Separation. An experienced family lawyer or divorce lawyer can provide the right assistance.
Divorce In Canada
To be eligible for a divorce:
- It’s not necessary that both parties want the divorce. If one of them can prove that the marriage is beyond repair, divorce can be granted
- The couple has to be legally married, either in Canada or another country
- One/Both spouses should have lived in Canada for at least one year
- Twelve months should have elapsed since the date of separation
- The Federal Divorce Act governs Canadian divorces but provincial/territorial provisions may differ
Contested divorces happen due to dispute on several issues. They are more expensive and lengthier and require mediation/intervention by courts and lawyers, whereas in an uncontested divorce, the couple has arrived at a mutual agreement on terms. They can sign a Separation Agreement which sets out these terms and specifies that both parties agree to them. This is best done with the advice and assistance of an experienced separation lawyer.
Simple Application: Preparing For Uncontested Divorce
There are seven major steps in achieving an uncontested divorce in Canada when it is neither disputed nor defended.
- Reviewing the relevant legislation: The Divorce Act and Family Law Rules
- Jurisdiction: Determining where to start proceedings and current address of each party
- Preparation of documents
- Issuing Applications
- Serving Applications to all responding parties
- Filing documents to receive divorce order
- Obtaining divorce order and certificate of divorce
Divorce lawyers typically charge a flat fee plus disbursements for uncontested divorce. They explain these steps to the parties and ensure that the process is as smooth and swift as possible.
Ensuring A Hassle-Free Process
While uncontested divorces are assumed to be less acrimonious and contentious, there may be several issues that need to be clarified, regarding support, child custody, property-division, etc. Each divorce is as unique as the couple involved. They may be business-partners, or own property jointly and severally. Child rights, custody and support, spousal support etc may be sticking points. These issues are usually sorted out at the separation stage, with terms being made clear and firm in the Separation Agreement.
Your experienced and knowledgeable divorce lawyer can ensure that:
- Grounds for divorce are met
- Paperwork filed in correct jurisdiction
- Get necessary Clearance Certificate from court
- All orders and affidavits are prepared explained, filed and received correctly
- If there are other issues tied with the divorce, ensure that these are resolved
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