Uncontested divorces are becoming increasingly common, especially as more couples realize the emotional and financial benefits of an amicable split. When couples file for a joint uncontested divorce, they agree on everything and do not need the court to make decisions when it comes to any corollary relief such as child custody, guardianship, child support , spousal support or even the division of family property. If you and your spouse are considering a joint uncontested divorce and believe you can amicably resolve your family law issues, there are a few steps you will want to complete first.
There are a number of steps for you to complete in order to apply for your divorce. These include:
1. Reviewing Legislation – You will need to review the Divorce Act (Canada), The Family Law Act and the Supreme Court Family Rules. These will help guide you as to which rules and steps apply to your divorce case.
2. Decide Where to File – You must file your Claim for a divorce in the Province where you have resided for at least one year.
3. Document Preparation –
A. You will need to obtain your Marriage Certificate. The Certificate can be in French or English. If it is in any other language it must be translated into English and take a specific form as required by the Rules. The Marriage Certificate must be certified by Vital Statistics or equivalent government department in a foreign country. You can not submit a photocopy.
B. You will need to print a Registration of Marriage Form and date it on the day you are going to file your Divorce papers.
C. You will need to complete your F1 Notice of Joint Family Claim. This document is very important as it frames your case and your requests to the Judge. This is the document most people have difficulty completing properly and if it is not completed properly it can prevent the Judge from granting the final divorce order.
4. Commencing your claim for a divorce- You will need to attend a Supreme Court Registry and bring along your Notice of Application in triplicate, your marriage certificate, your Registation of Divorce Proceeding form and a cheque payable to the Minister of Finance to file for the first step in the divorce process. The court will then assign your case number and place a seal on the Application.
5. Serving the Documents – After the joint divorce proceeding has been commenced, you will not need to serve the Application on your spouse. You can skip this step because you have jointly filed and jointly signed the Joint Notice of Application.
6. Filing the Documents – If you have met the grounds of divorce such as being separated for one year, you can simultaneously file the final set of documents at the same time as the action is commenced. If not, you will have to wait until you have met the legal grounds for a divorce before you file the final set of documents.
7. Receiving Your Divorce Order – If the court clerk and the Judge are satisfied with your documents, claims and wording of your Court Order, the Judge will grant the Divorce Order, which will take effect on the 31st day after it was granted. The processing times vary and are currently 6 months from the final filing. Many people who submit the documents on their own are often surprised that with the number of rejections they experience and each rejection puts you on the bottom of the wait list before your resubmission is reconsidered often by a different Judge who may have additional concerns than those earlier identified by a previous Judge.
Even if you are filing an uncontested divorce, you may need legal assistance. There are numerous forms and court documents to file and if they are incomplete, you could delay the divorce or find that your divorce is not finalized in the way you intended it to be. Valerie M. Little Law Corporation can help with your case. Whether you need legal advice or assistance with the endless legal tasks of a divorce, Valerie is here to help you navigate your way through the justice system to ensure a speedy and efficient divorce. The risk of having your documents rejected is high, especially because a divorce is a Final Order and the courts rules are very strict. Consider having Valerie assist you complete this legal task. She does this every day and is familiar with the rules and strict legal requirements.
Valerie Little is centrally located in New Westminster and serves the surrounding areas of Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale, Delta, Langley, Tri-Cities, and the Lower Mainland.