Getting a divorce

Frequently asked questions

What are the grounds for divorce?

In Canada, you must show the marriage has broken down and there is no hope of reconciliation. There are two ways to prove this: “no fault” divorce, where both parties agree to dissolve the marriage; and “for fault” divorce, where one party applies for divorce alleging adultery, or either mental or physical abuse.

What is an “uncontested” divorce?

Also called a “sole” or “desk” divorce occurs when both spouses agree to the breakup, but only one fills out the official divorce application and the other doesn’t challenge any of the grounds for divorce.

Do both parties have to agree on a divorce?

No. If only one spouse seeks a divorce that is enough to prove a breakdown in marriage has occurred. A divorce will likely be granted faster if both parties are in agreement, but it does not have to be mutual.

How much does it cost?

Divorce fees vary across Canada. In Nova Scotia, an uncontested divorce application costs $200 to file, while in Ontario the same process (referred to as a “simple” divorce) costs $167. In Quebec the fee is $176, while filing your divorce application in Alberta and B.C. costs $210.

What is a separation agreement?

This is a legal document created between two spouses at the time of their separation and witnessed by a legal professional such as a lawyer or notary. The contract establishes each party’s rights on issues such as child custody, spousal support, property, savings, pensions, inheritances, and debts.

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