DIVORCE IN ONTARIO
INFORMATION ABOUT FILING FOR AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE IN ONTARIO
ezDivorce.ca prepares and files simple ‘sole/uncontested’ and simple joint Ontario divorces only. This is the ONLY type of divorce that we file. A ‘simple’ divorce means that you are only asking the court for a divorce and nothing else – you are not asking for any orders with respect to spousal support, child custody/access/support, division of property and/or debts, pensions, etc.
A sole/uncontested divorce is where you sue your spouse for divorce. After the papers are filed with the court, your spouse is served with a copy of the papers. He or she then has 30 days (60 if served outside of Canada or the USA) to contest (challenge) the divorce or make his or her own claim for things like support, division of property, etc. If your spouse does not contest the divorce within the required time period, the divorce will proceed as ‘uncontested’ and should be finalized by the court several weeks later.
In a simple ‘joint’ divorce, neither spouse is suing the other for divorce. Both spouses are saying to the court together: “we both want this divorce”. Both souses are the divorce applicants and must both sign the Joint Application for Divorce and the Joint Affidavit for Divorce.
In some cases, both spouses are willing to sign the joint papers. However, this may be inconvenient if, for example, one of the spouses lives overseas. This does not, however, make a joint divorce impossible. It just takes a bit more coordination. Many couples want to do a joint divorce regardless of any logistical issues. Others choose to go the ‘sole/uncontested’ route simply because it is much more convenient for one of the spouses to take care of all of the required paperwork. The timing and cost are the same whether you do a simple joint divorce or a simple sole/uncontested divorce where both spouses are cooperative.
You can sign everything in your own home. We use DocuSign so you can sign the forms digitally and Zoom so you can swear the affidavit over your computer or smartphone.
See this page more information about the step-by-step process.
You will need either your original marriage certificate or a certified copy issued by the governmental agency responsible for issuing certificates. Click here to order a replacement Ontario marriage certificate.
If you were married outside of Canada and the US, you must do your best to obtain a replacement certificate if the original is lost or if you only have a photocopy. If your best efforts fail, you will still be able to obtain a divorce.
If your current marriage took place outside of Canada, and you were previously divorced, the law requires you to show proof of the prior divorce (there are ways around this if it is impossible to get such proof now).
There is no such thing as “filing for legal separation” in Ontario. You are legally separated when you and your spouse are ‘living separate and apart’ (although you don’t necessarily have to be living in separate home). See this page for information about separation in Ontario. You can file for custody of your children, or for support, division of property, etc. without filing for divorce. However, in Ontario, there is no filing for ‘legal separation’.
NO, the court does NOT require that you have a separation agreement. It is always better if the two of you can agree on how to settle the issues between you. Court proceedings can be very expensive and take a long time. Signing a separation agreement is a very important step. Your decisions now can affect you and your children for the rest of your lives.
The law leaves the decision about having a separation agreement to you. You may have a hard time proving that you and your spouse settled things a certain way if you do not have a written, signed and witnessed separation agreement. This could be a problem if your spouse stops respecting your informal agreement.
Click here for more information about separation agreements.
You can file the application for divorce any time after you separate*. However, unless your divorce is based on adultery or abuse, the court will not finalize the divorce until you have been separated for a year. NOTE: The Divorce Act requires that you live “separate and apart” for 12 months – this does not necessarily mean in separate homes. Many people get divorced who still share the same home for economic or other reasons. Click here for more information on sharing the same home after separation.
The court charges $669 to anyone who files for divorce, unless you are eligible for a Court Fee Waiver.
Note: The court’s fees went up on January 1, 2023:
Mandatory: $224 when the Application for divorce is filed.
Mandatory: $445 when the Affidavit for divorce is filed about 6 to 10 weeks later.
Optional: $25 per optional certificate of divorce (required when re-marrying in the future).
If you have extremely low income and very few assets, the court can waive all but $10 of their fee. Click here for more information about Court Fee Waivers in Ontario.
1. You need to have a your original or government certified copy of your certificate of marriage or registration of marriage. Ontario charges $15 for this. Click here to obtain a replacement Ontario marriage certificate if you lost your original Ontario marriage certificate. If you were married outside of Ontario, unless it is impossible or impracticable, you must obtain a replacement if you lost your original.
2. If your marriage certificate is in a language other than English or French, you will have to pay to have a certified translation prepared.
3. If in a sole/uncontested divorce your spouse refuses to cooperate with being served with a copy of the divorce papers by mail he or she must be served in person. You would either have to arrange for a friend or family member to do it or pay a professional process server to do it for you. The cost for this can vary widely. We recommend getting several quotes before choosing a process sever. (We can refer you to someone in certain areas.)
4. If you cannot find your spouse, click here to read about additional fees related to a missing spouse divorce in Ontario.
If you mean, do you have to appear before a judge? – The answer is no, unless your spouse contests the divorce. See this page for a description of the process for divorce in Ontario.
The divorce is usually granted within 2 to 6 months after the application is filed with the court. Click here for details about the process for getting a divorce in Ontario.
As long as one of you is living in Ontario and has been for more than a year, you can file in Ontario. ezDivorce is very experienced with coordinating overseas and cross-country divorces. Click here for details about the process for getting a divorce in Ontario.