Looking for an Easy Divorce?

september 13, 2021 | family law
Divorcing unhappy couple

If a split from your partner is in your future, there are changes to the divorce laws in Canada that you should know about, especially if you have children. The revisions to the Divorce Act are substantial, with new rules, new definitions and new language to reflect the time we are in now. So if you’re looking for an easy divorce, also known as an uncontested or amicable divorce, we recommend you get in touch with us so we can explain the changes to you and help make what is often a very emotional process, into one that is as expeditious and uncomplicated as possible.

New terms to know

If you’re familiar with terms like “custody” and “access” when it comes to children and divorce, well, they have been replaced by more up to date terms like “contact,” “parenting time,” and “decision-making responsibility,” the latter of which is the power to make the important decisions about a child’s well-being, including health and education. The new Divorce Act also states that the “best interests of the child” is the only consideration to be taken into account when it comes to decisions. So instead of the presumption that the child is always better off spending as much time as possible with the parent, now, it is whatever works best for the child that is most important.

What is an amicable or uncontested divorce?

What we know as a “regular” divorce is actually a contested divorce where, as the name suggests, the partners cannot agree on major issues like child support or division of property. If you’ve gone through one or know someone who has (perhaps a friend or your parents), you know a contested divorce can be long, expensive, emotional and extremely taxing on everyone.

On the other hand, also as the name suggests, an amicable divorce works well if you can work out the major issues between you and your partner, and you don’t need the court’s involvement other than to declare you divorced. An uncontested divorce can be cheaper, faster and cause much less stress on you and your family. In Ontario, for example, you can have a simple uncontested divorce (also called a sole divorce), where one party files the divorce papers and you can have a joint uncontested divorce where both parties file for divorce and there is a high willingness to work together.

So what happens next, exactly?

Well, first you and your partner have to qualify for an amicable divorce. In Quebec, for example, this includes: being separated from your partner for more than a year, with no hope of getting back together; agreeing to terms about child custody, access rights, support payments, and parental authority (to use familiar terms) and ownership of property, among other requirements.

If you qualify, then there are procedures to follow, such as learning about what to expect when coming to an agreement with your partner, knowing your rights and obligations and the consequences of divorce, drafting the agreement, etc. Of course, it is strongly advised to seek legal advice at the earliest stage possible. You will find a lawyer invaluable for supporting you through all the stages required for an uncontested divorce.

Ok. I want out! How long will it take?

An uncontested divorce is not always as quick as people would like. You have to prepare the relevant documents and that can take time, especially if there are young children involved. Then there can be a mediation process, and finally, a court has to render its judgment, which can take many months. Having a lawyer help guide you can be key to navigating the process.

The take-away

There is nothing pleasant about divorce, but there are ways to make it easier. Once you decide that an amicable divorce is what you’d like, and you qualify for one, the more prepared you are, the less stressful it can be. We can help you draft all documents, file court papers, respond to a judge’s objections and just as important, our experienced lawyers will be there as your advisor throughout the process. We are here to help:

Articles on the website are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or opinion in any manner. Laws mentioned in the articles vary from province to province. Any links to third-party sites in our articles are for general information purposes only and LegalShield is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, the content of linked sites. It is always advisable to seek legal counsel—and LegalShield can help.

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