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How Much Time Does It Take To Get A Divorce In Ontario?

Updated: Jan 2, 2023

When a marriage comes to an end, most people choose to legally divorce. This process can take some time and includes a series of steps that must be completed for the divorce to be finalized.


In this article, we’re going to go over the steps of a divorce to give you a better idea of how long the whole divorce process takes. Keep reading to learn more.


How Much Time Does It Take To Get A Divorce In Ontario?
How Much Time Does It Take To Get A Divorce In Ontario?


The Steps of a Divorce


Divorce is the legal process required to end a marriage. It is only an option for married couples and can only be granted by a court. Divorce settlements tackle issues including child and spousal support as well as the parenting arrangements after the marriage has ended.


The Divorce Act presides over the laws that dictate how divorces are processed and settled in Canada. Some provincial differences may apply.


Generally, an uncontested divorce or a simple divorce takes approximately 4–6 months to complete in Ontario. An uncontested divorce occurs when there are no disagreements over how the divorce will be settled.


For contested divorces or divorces with more complicated aspects, it can take anywhere from 6–36 months. A contested divorce happens when the two parties cannot agree on the division of assets, child support, and parental arrangements.


Below are the list of steps that occur in a simple divorce:


Step 1: Divorce Clearance Certificates


Upon filing for an uncontested divorce, you are expected to wait for at least 1–2 months for the clearance certificate to be issued. There can be some holdups in this process if the names on the application and marriage certificates do not match up.


Step 2: Service of Documents Application


Provided all parties are cooperative, this process should only take 1–2 weeks. In this case, the server is the person who files for divorce and the respondent is the other spouse.


The process server needs to serve the documents and submit an original affidavit of service. If the respondent is unresponsive, a motion for substitutive service may need to be filed which can delay the process by 4–8 weeks.


Once served, the respondent has 30 days to file their answer if served in Canada. If they are served outside of Canada, they have 60 days.


This process can take up to 3 months before the matter is sent to the judge.


Step 3: Divorce Hearing


If the two parties cannot agree, the divorce then moves to a divorce hearing. This part of the process can take between 4–8 weeks. After the hearing has occurred, it will take another 2–4 weeks for the divorce to be fully finalized.


Step 4: Divorce Certificate


The last stage in the process of a divorce is to get your divorce certificate. This is necessary if you want to change your name or remarry. It usually takes 4–6 weeks for the divorce certificate to arrive after the date of the divorce order. At this point, the divorce is final.


Notes on a Contested Divorce


A contested divorce, or a divorce with other relief, will take more time. This is because courts need to make a ruling on each of the contested issues. Child custody, property division, and alimony are all factors that need to be argued by divorce lawyers in court hearings.


This is why a contested divorce can take up to 36 months to be finalized.


Considering Divorce? Contact Baker Doodnauth Today.


Are you looking for Newmarket lawyers to represent you in your divorce case? Baker Doodnauth is a Newmarket law firm with the expertise to represent you in divorce proceedings. With years of experience in family law, we’re committed to helping make the process as straightforward as possible. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you with your divorce.

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