Divorce laws are contained within the Divorce Act of Canada. While these provide a general guideline of the divorce process, the exact divorce processes and procedures can and do vary by territory or province. As such, it is best to consult with a qualified divorce lawyer in Ottawa to learn about specific processes that could occur based on your circumstances.
Keeping this in mind, the following is a step-by-step general overview of filing for divorce in Ottawa.
Step 1: Separate from your spouse.
You must live apart and separate from your spouse for a period of at least one (1) year to qualify for a divorce. This does not mean you have to move out of the marital home. However, each of you must be living as individuals with separate lives.
Step 2: Consult with a divorce lawyer.
To initiate the divorce process, your next step is to speak to a divorce lawyer. Your lawyer will advise on specific details, processes, and procedures. Your lawyer will also help you determine the grounds on which you want to file the divorce such as for example, irreconcilable differences with no hope of reconciliation.
Step 3: Evaluate whether you could be looking at an amicable or contentious divorce proceeding.
An amicable divorce proceeding is also called an uncontested divorce. It means both parties are willing to negotiate and work on reaching various agreements required to obtain the divorce.
A contentious divorce proceeding is also called a contested divorce. It means one or both parties are not in agreement and there will be difficulties in reaching various agreements to obtain the divorce.
Step 4: Review what is in the best interest of your minor children.
When children are involved in the divorce, processes establishing a parenting agreement and child support are needed. These are essential to ensure the children receive the parental and financial support they deserve. Financial support for the children is child support. This is determined based on the relationship, the parenting arrangement in place and the parties’ incomes.
Step 5: Determine if you are entitled to spousal support.
Your divorce lawyer will help you determine if you should receive spousal support as part of your divorce proceeding. Spousal support is money paid from one party to the other and is dependent on various circumstances including length of the relationship (cohabitation and marriage), and roles of the parties during the relationship, among other.
Step 6: File the divorce application with the appropriate family court.
Your lawyer will file the divorce application with a copy of the marriage certificate any other required documentation, to initiate the divorce process.
Step 7: Wait for divorce papers to be served on your spouse.
Your spouse will have 30 days to file a response to the papers they are served through the court. If they fail to respond, your lawyer will file the appropriate documentation with the court so the divorce can proceed.
Step 8: Finalize the various agreements required to complete the divorce.
Your lawyer will assist you with this process depending on whether you have an amicable or contentious divorce proceeding. Once the agreements are finalized, your lawyer files them with the court.
Step 9: What for the court to accept the agreements and grant the divorce.
A judge will review the agreements and if everything is in order, will issue a Divorce Order. This order is needed to dissolve the marriage. However, you must wait another 30 days after the Order is issued to obtain your Certificate of Divorce to be formally and legally divorced. If you have further questions about the divorce process or if you want to consult with a family lawyer, contact Davies Law Firm at (613) 688-0462 today, for the legal advice and guidance you need, to protect your interests.