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Divorce is usually the final step in the separation process. It happens after the separation agreement is negotiated and signed, or after a final order. Although there are several legal grounds for divorce available, including adultery and cruelty, most people divorce on the basis that they have been separated for one year. In this respect, divorce is considered ‘no fault’. Assuming that adequate financial provision has been made for any children of the marriage, after one year of separation, either spouse is entitled to a divorce.
Separation can be unilateral and it doesn’t necessarily require physical separation, such as one party moving out of the family home. If one person has a subjective intention that they are living separate and apart, then the one year period starts running as of this date. A separation is not an agreement between the parties to separate- if only one person has the intention to live separately and apart, then that is enough to entitle them to request a divorce after one year.
Because the date of separation is so important in the calculation of both party’s respective net family properties, there can be some negotiation required in order to determine the true date of separation. For most people, however, establishing the date of separation is not a contentious matter.
In applying for an uncontested divorce, you will need to have your original marriage certificate. Most provinces allow you to order these certificates online if you never obtained one at the time of your marriage. If you have children, you also have to confirm that you have either a written agreement, or a court order, with respect to child support. If you file an Application for an uncontested divorce without including information on child support, the Application may be delayed or denied.
If you’re on relatively good terms with your ex, Applications for uncontested divorce can be filed jointly. This eliminates both the costs of personal service of the Application on your ex, and the waiting period after your ex is served before you can move on to the next step in the process.
After the divorce order is issued, there is an opportunity for either party to appeal the order. After 30 days, if there is no appeal, the court can issue a divorce certificate. It is the divorce certificate, not the divorce order, that confirms you are legally divorced and entitled to remarry
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