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    Family Law: Divorce in Ontario

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    If you are involved in simple or complicated family law matter, you may contact our office at the contact numbers listed above. We are located in Toronto and Mississauga, and deal with a complicated family court proceeding, including appeal matter.

    **Important Procedures of Family Law in Canada: Divorce Proceeding

    An application starts the court process. It sets out the issues that you are asking the court to decide. The information that you write in the application tells the judge what you are asking for and provides important background about the history of your relationship and any children you have.

    The person who makes the application is called the applicant. The other person, or persons responding to the application is called the respondent. The only exception is where you and your spouse both agree to ask for a divorce. In that case, there is no respondent – you and your spouse are both applicants.

    Applications can be listed in three categories:
    1. General Application These types of applications are made when the parties cannot agree on how their family matters should be resolved.
    2. Simple Application You would make this application where the only claim you are making is for a divorce.
    3. Joint Application This is where you and you spouse consent to a divorce and bring the application for divorce together. You may also bring a joint application where you and your former partner agree on other family matters such as custody, access, support or property.

    Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings
    The Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings must be notified whenever a party applies for a divorce anywhere in Canada. Completing a registration of divorce proceedings form notifies the Central Registry of a divorce application. Court staff will provide you with the form, which you will complete at the court office at the time you file your application for divorce.

    The Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings will check its database to see if the same parties have registered any other divorce application. If the check is clear, the Central Registry will issue a clearance certificate and send it to the court. The court cannot grant your divorce until the Clearance Certificate has been received.

    Marriage Certificate
    When you make an application for divorce, you must also file your original marriage certificate. You can file your marriage certificate when you file your application for divorce or at the time you complete the affidavit for divorce (Form 36). A divorce order will not be granted until you file your marriage certificate.

    If you do not have your marriage certificate and you were married in Ontario, you may obtain a copy of your marriage certificate from ServiceOntario or the Registrar General of Ontario. There is a fee charged for the certificate.

    You may contact ServiceOntario at or toll-free at 1-800-267-8097 or within Toronto at 416-326-1234. The Office of the Registrar General may be contacted toll-free at 1-800-461-2156 or within Toronto at 416-325-8305.

    If you were married in another province or territory in Canada, you may order a copy of your marriage certificate from the government of that province or territory.

    If you were married outside of Canada, and your marriage certificate is not in English, you will be required to have it translated. Refer to the yellow pages of your phone book or the Internet for information on certified translation services nearest you.

    Previous Divorce or Death of a Spouse

    You will be required to provide proof of the death of your spouse if you were married in Canada. If you were married outside of Canada, you must also provide proof of any previous divorce or the death of your spouse.

    Divorce Order
    If the judge grants your divorce claim, he or she will grant you a divorce order.

    The court will send you the signed order in the self-addressed stamped envelopes that you provided to the court. One envelope must be addressed to you and the other addressed to your former spouse.

    Divorce Certificate

    Where the court grants a divorce, the divorce order will state that the divorce is effective on the 31st day after the date on which the order was made. The certificate of divorce is proof of the date of your divorce. Either party may request the certificate of divorce from the court.

    ** source: ministry of attorney general of Ontario

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