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How to start the divorce process in Ontario

We often hear from our clients that ending their relationship and/or a marriage is one of the hardest challenging times that they have ever faced in their life. The process of getting separated and/or divorced can be emotional, complicated, and consequential. It’s so important to make sure that your voice is heard and that you are protected – you want to protect your rights. This is where our team of family lawyers can help. 

While most divorces are granted in Ontario on the basis of living apart from your spouse for at least one year, you can still be living in the same house but living separate and apart. Ideally, couples should enter into what’s called a separation agreement – a contract where we set out all the most important issues, such as child support, parenting time, the division of property, and possibly also spousal support. If you are separating, we recommend finalizing this contract or separation agreement with your spouse prior to filing for divorce, to ensure that all your rights are protected. 

A separation agreement contains mutually agreed-upon terms. You come to an agreement with your spouse. If either spouse disagrees on issues raised, they need to reach a settlement. Most couples manage to settle without taking the case to trial. You want to do this. It’s much less expensive, and with the help of family lawyers, we can make sure you are protected.

When does the divorce get finalized?

In Ontario, you need to be separated from your spouse for at least one year in order to file an application for a divorce with the court. Once a judge signs the Divorce Order, the divorce becomes effective thirty-one days later. However, there are unique situations involving physical or mental cruelty and/or adultery, in which a divorce may be granted immediately. Especially in a situation like this, we recommend you consult with a family lawyer.

Do you need a family lawyer to get a divorce in Ontario?

There’s no legal requirement that you need a lawyer to help you process a divorce, but hiring a lawyer may help ensure that your best rights are protected. If you believe that your separation and/or divorce is going to be contested, hiring a lawyer can help remedy issues you and your spouse disagree on, and protect you. 

Contact Gelman & Associates today for a consultation

If you have any questions or would like to speak with our family lawyers about a separation and/or divorce, contact Gelman & Associates today for an initial consultation. With offices in Aurora, Barrie, Grimsby, Mississauga, North York, Scarborough, Toronto, and Whitby, our team would be pleased to help you. 

Contact us online by filling our consultation form, or call us today to schedule your consultation.

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16 Industrial Parkway South • Aurora • Ontario • L4G 0R4

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500 Mapleton Avenue, Suite A • Barrie, Ontario • L4N 9C2

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Downtown Toronto **

100 King Street West • Suite #5600 • Toronto • Ontario • M5X 1C9

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4257 Sherwoodtowne Blvd Suite #300 • Mississauga Ontario • L4Z 1Y5

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Scarborough **

10 Milner Business Court • 3rd Floor • Scarborough • Ontario • M1B 3M6

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Grimsby **

33 Main Street West, • Grimsby • Ontario • L3M 1R3

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Whitby **

105 Consumers Drive - Unit 2, • Whitby • Ontario • L1N 1C4

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** Satellite office that requires you to book an appointment with us prior to arriving at the office.
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