How Long Does A Joint Divorce Take?

Wedding rings separated by a lace placed on a table

Joint divorces are the simplest of all divorces in Canada and should be the preferred choice for those who want a quick and smooth resolution. A divorce is considered a joint divorce when both parties mutually decide to break down the marriage, file the application together, and have settled different aspects of a divorce including spousal support, child support, parenting time, and division of assets. 

How long does a joint divorce take in Canada? 

Most joint divorces take up to 90 days in Canada but can be longer by a few weeks during holiday season. It is considered final 31 days after divorce has been granted. To be eligible for a joint divorce, you and your spouse must meet these requirements: 

  • Both parties should consent to the divorce
  • Must be living apart for at least one year. They can live under the same roof but have separate spaces
  • At least one spouse must typically live in the jurisdiction where the divorce is filed for a certain period, often one year
  • Should agree on issues like property division, spousal support, and if applicable, child custody and support
  • Properly complete and file all necessary legal paperwork
  • Ensure there are no other ongoing divorce or legal actions regarding the marriage
Two wedding rings placed on a divorce application with clapsed hands on the left and right side of the screen.

What is the paperwork needed for a joint divorce? 

Since a joint divorce is a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse can apply for it together or one party applies and the other one accepts the offer to divorce. Before that, you are required to fill out the following paperwork: 

  • Form 8A (Application for Divorce): Can be filled out by either spouse but must be signed by both. It’s available for download here.
  • Form 36 (Affidavit for Divorce): Each spouse needs a notarized Form 36, signed and dated in the presence of a commissioner of oaths or notary public.
  • Form 25A (Divorce Order): Accessible online here, this form should be filled out electronically by both spouses. It outlines the details of the court order required.
  • Marriage Certificate: If unavailable, reasons must be provided in Form 36. For non-English or French certificates, a certified translation is necessary.
  • Form 35.1 (Affidavit in Support of Claim for Custody or Access): Notarized form is required from the spouse seeking child custody or access.
  • Form 13 (Financial Statement for Support Claims) and Form 13.1 (for Property Division): These notarized forms are necessary for financial and property matters.
  • Previous Court Orders: Include any prior orders related to your marriage.

After completing the necessary forms, file them with the court. Ontario now offers the convenience of online filing for joint divorce applications. Post-filing, there is a typical waiting period of 60 to 90 days for the court to process and grant the divorce.  

Following the finalization of your divorce and after 31 days from the grant date, you can obtain a Divorce Certificate. This can be requested from the court where your Divorce Order was issued, with a service fee of $24.00.

Can I file a joint divorce without going to court? 

Yes, you can choose to file your divorce online if you do not want to visit the court. However, you must know that if a judge finds collusion in your case, they may not grant the divorce and you will have to appear in front of them for further clarification. A collusion is when both parties are conspiring to defraud a third party or deceive the court. Another reason a judge may need further clarification is when they are not satisfied with the child support arrangement between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. 

For more details specific to your divorce case, please fill out this form. Our family lawyers in Brampton are dedicated to offering the best resolution for your case.

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