When your spouse agrees to separate, save time and money with a joint divorce.
Getting a divorce can be upsetting for everyone. Joint divorce takes some of the trauma out of ending a legal marriage. You reach mutual decisions about how to move forward and may avoid court appearances altogether.
Axess Law Ontario family lawyers file your joint application for divorce and help settle differences privately. Consenting to a joint divorce makes it easier on everyone. You file documents together and stay involved every step of the way.
The No Contest Divorce Option
Contested divorces often result in lengthy negotiations and are just unpleasant. You pay for every hour of a lawyer’s time for settlement conferences at courthouses, meetings with judges and trial time if needed. Joint divorces help couples feel more empowered about divorce.
You can settle issues like where children will live, when you spend time with them and who pays debts or lives in your matrimonial home on your own. Axess Law’s licensed Ontario lawyers can meet with you by video call anywhere in Ontario or in person at our Greater Toronto Area law offices to draft a separation agreement. We recommend independent legal advice to ensure you understand your legal rights and file a form 36 affidavit for divorce joint application in Ontario family court for you.
Most judges sign off on joint divorces without question, but you could be called into court briefly to explain reasons for your divorce or arrangements you make for children. Resolution is quick — your whole divorce takes just three to six months.
Documents We Need
Bring the following with you for your virtual video conference or in person appointment with an Axess Law family lawyer:
- government-issued photo ID to verify your identity
- marriage certificate or if there is no certificate, details about the marriage and witnesses
- emails, letters or correspondence with your spouse agreeing to divorce
- separation or settlement agreement, if you have one
- cohabitation, prenuptial or marriage contracts
- court orders related to your marriage
- a parenting plan agreeing to parenting time and decision-making responsibility for minor or dependant children
- how you will support your children financially, including expenses like extracurricular activities
- for child or spousal support, a summary of incomes, assets and debts.
Joint vs Simple Divorce
As long as your spouse doesn’t object to your divorce application, a simple divorce or uncontested divorce is the quickest option. You file for divorce on your own and your spouse agrees not to contest your application. Filing joint divorce applications shows family court you are committed and have resolved issues that can keep couples in court a very long time. No need to wait for your spouse to reply to your court documents — you file for divorce together. Your divorce decree is issued 31 days after the divorce order is issued.
Is Your Marriage Over?
Ontario family courts want to be sure your marriage is truly over before they sign a divorce decree. You may be eligible for joint divorce in Ontario if you:
- were legally married by a registered marriage officiant
- have lived separate and apart for at least a year
- agree divorce is the best option for ending your relationship
- and both consent to an uncontested divorce.
Family court may not approve your application if you can’t meet all these conditions. Joint divorce is definitely not suitable if you want a divorce because of adultery or physical or mental cruelty. Apply instead for an uncontested divorce if your spouse agrees to end your marriage or contested divorce if they don’t.
Living Separate and Apart
Living separate and apart doesn’t mean you have to move out. As long as your relationship is over, you can share your home while you make other decisions about your new life. Be aware you may have difficulty convincing a judge you plan to divorce unless you are sincere about separating. Acts like sharing a bedroom, being intimate, making meals together, going to events, not telling others you are divorcing or behaving like a couple make it appear you are still together.
Reconciling During Divorce
Family courts do realize divorce is a serious step and that many couples change their minds. You can resume your relationship for up to 90 days without having to reapply for divorce. If your trial reconciliation doesn’t work out, your divorce will go forward without interruption.
What Happens to the Matrimonial Home
Who gets the matrimonial home depends on decisions you make as a couple. Joint tenancy and divorce can be complex. In joint divorce, you decide if you want to live separate and apart in your own home or let children live there with the primary caregiver parent. You can sell, rent or even transfer ownership to a trust for minor children and stay there during parenting times. The choice is yours.
Flat Fee Divorce Savings
A joint divorce costs less than going to court because, unless a family court judge has questions, your divorce proceeds without expensive and time consuming court hearings. You pay court fees of $632 to file a joint divorce in Ontario and schedule time for the judge to review your application. Axess Law does all the legal paperwork for you and advises you on joint divorce steps for Ontario couples. Our affordable flat fees start at just $699.99. A certificate of divorce is only $24, after your divorce decree is issued.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if my spouse doesn’t want a divorce after all?
If your spouse has been agreeable all along but changes their mind, you can revise your application to a contested divorce and let a judge decide issues for you. It is not necessary for your spouse to file jointly with you. You can have Axess Law file a sole application and serve your spouse with divorce papers.
How soon can I apply for a joint divorce after our separation?
You can apply for divorce as soon as you and your spouse separate. Starting early means your divorce can be finalized as soon as the separation year is over.
Do common-law spouses need to get divorced?
Only couples who were legally married by a registered marriage officiant can get divorced. Common law couples can simply separate.
Does Ontario recognize gets or religious divorces?
A religious divorce or get for Jewish faiths doesn’t legally end a marriage in Ontario. You require both if you plan to remarry.