If you are a Canadian, online divorces can be handled in uncontested cases by filling out the appropriate forms and filing them with the Court. If you and your spouse are unable to agree on the terms of your divorce, however, this is not the right option for you.
Divorce in Canada
In Canada, divorce is under federal jurisdiction. However, the laws surrounding division of assets, spousal support, and child custody are dealt with by each province and territory separately.
Grounds for Divorce in Canada
Here are the grounds for legally ending a marriage in Canada:
- Separation for at least one year
One of the parties must have been living in Canada for at least 12 months to get a divorce. It is not necessary for both of them to be Canadian residents.
Canadian Online Divorces: Three Ways to Get a Divorce
There are three methods a person can use to end their marriage in Canada.
Hire a Lawyer
This is the traditional method of ending a marriage and having legal representation during this time is a good idea. Divorce law can be complicated. Once a divorce agreement is signed, it is binding.
Most divorce cases are settled before going to trial, but there are still some that end up going before a judge. You can choose to represent yourself, but it's not the best idea. A lawyer has the expertise to represent your interests without being emotionally involved in the situation.
Buy a DIY Divorce Kit
Deciding to fill in your own divorce paperwork can be complicated and time-consuming. Unless you are familiar with divorce law in your province or territory, it may not be the best choice.
Get Help from an Online Divorce Service
If you and your spouse have been able to work through the terms of your divorce, you have the option of hiring a service that will take your information and prepare the divorce forms for you. You will still need to serve the Petition for Divorce on your spouse and file it with the Court. The company you hire should provide you with detailed instructions on how to do these tasks.
Online Divorce Services in Canada
Here are some examples of companies offering Canadian online divorces:
- DivorceOnline.ca provides services to people from all provinces and territories. To get started, a client would need to answer some questions during a brief (15 minute) online interview and pay a fee. The documents will be prepared on your behalf. This company also has a list of FAQs, a blog, and links to online resources about divorce.
- Another option for getting help with divorce documents online is UntieTheKnot.ca. You would download a questionnaire specific to the province where you live from the site and fill it in. Same sex couples who want to get a divorce can download the appropriate questionnaire and fill it in. Once the completed questionnaire has been received, the Petition for Divorce will be prepared within two business days.
- DivorceSource.com offers online divorce services to Canadians. With this option, you would pay a fee and answer a series of questions online. Specialized software fills in the forms and you can print them off directly from your computer. You will also receive instructions for serving and filing them.
A Word About Legal Advice
Online divorce companies offer a very specific service. If you need legal advice, they are not able to provide it. A reputable company will explain this to you from the outset. If you want to get a divorce and need legal advice, you should consult with a qualified attorney.