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While obtaining a divorce can be straightforward, a court order is always required. Sometimes, people agree to issues like custody and support on their own and only apply to the court to obtain a divorce. Those cases, called uncontested divorces, take a relatively short amount of time and cost relatively little.

However, it is important to be fully aware of the impact a divorce can have on your rights. It is advisable to obtain legal advice from a lawyer before obtaining a divorce.

How Long Does it Take to Obtain a Divorce?

Assuming the following facts:

(a) This is the first marriage for each of you and your spouse;
(b) You were married in Ontario and you both currently live in Ontario;
(c ) There are no child related issues or other issues that your spouse might contest;
(d) Your spouse is expecting the petition and will cooperate with being served.

...a divorce may take between three and four months.

Steps in Obtaining a Divorce

1. After the Application for Divorce is prepared, it is sent to court where it is given a file number.

2. That same day, the court sends a clearance form to Ottawa requesting clearance from a central registry in Ottawa to grant the divorce. That clearance will be given provided there are no other divorce cases involving the two parties named. If there are no other cases, the Central Registry will issue a Clearance Certificate and send it back to the court where the divorce was issued. It takes a minimum of six weeks and an average of eight weeks for the Registry to send the clearance certificate to the court. A court will not grant a divorce unless the clearance certificate has been received.

3. Thirty days after the day the other spouse was served with the Divorce Application, and if there was no Answer, the applicant may move for a divorce judgment, by swearing an affidavit.

4. The affidavit and other material are filed at court, and processed. If the clearance certificate has arrived, the materials are reviewed by a judge.

5. Once a judge signs the divorce judgment it takes a further month before the divorce takes effect and you can obtain a divorce certificate.

In addition, there are several unforeseen circumstances that can further delay the divorce.

Therefore, if you have plans on remarrying it is not advisable to book a chapel or banquet facility until you obtain the divorce certificate.

Contact us for more information or if you wish to obtain divorce advice in your family law matter.

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