Divorce In Ontario

Divorce In Your Province


Filing for Divorce in Ontario

The court filing fees for a divorce in Ontario is approximately $448. The divorce documents will be filed with the clerk of the Ontario Court (General Division).

The locations of courts in Ontario can be found by going to the Ontario court website.


Do I have to wait a year to apply for a divorce?

In Ontario spouses don't have to wait for a year of separation to apply for a divorce. Spouses can start the application process as soon as they are separated, however the court will not grant the divorce until the year has been completed.

A divorce in Ontario can be granted without waiting for one year of separation if spouses prove that the marriage has broken down because:

  • A spouse committed adultery
  • A spouse committed physically or mentally cruelty

However, if a spouse applies for a divorce on either of these grounds, the other spouse might oppose it, which can lead to a longer and more expensive process.

How to file for Divorce in Ontario

To file for divorce you can either do it yourself or you can solicit a service to file for divorce for you.

  • DIY divorce filing is done by obtaining the documents from the courthouse, filling out the documents together and filing the documents with the courthouse. It sounds simple. However, for couples with properties, support and children the forms are cumbersome.
  • Obtaining assistance to file for divorce requires an additional fee, however you will leave the cumbersome paperwork and court running up to the professionals. Call us to find out more about Fairway’s filing for divorce.

How to Self-Represent yourself in Ontario Family Court

Self-representing in matrimonial issues is common if the couple is unable to mediate or negotiate together and they do not want to obtain legal counsel. A person who chooses to self-represent is acting on behalf of himself or herself before a court.

Representing Yourself in Ontario Family Court

Family Court Applicant PDF

This tool assists to navigate through the process of self-litigation in Ontario.

Introduction to Family Law in Ontario

Introduction PDF

Custody, Parenting & Child Support

Child Support in Ontario

Under the Family Law Act there is a responsibility for parents to support their children, even when one parent does not participate in the care of the child/children.

The parent who the child/children live with most of the time is entitled to receive child support from the other parent. If a child spends time equally with both parents, the parent who has the higher income will most likely be responsible to pay the other parent child support.

Family Law Services

Child Support

Child Support PDF

The booklet explains the law around Child Support in Ontario.

What are the child support guidelines in Ontario?

Child support in Ontario is based on the Federal Child Support Guidelines

These amounts calculated are based on how much the payor earns and how many children the payor is paying support for. It is also based on the time the child/children spend with each parent. Each province has its own simplified table. This is the table for support in Ontario

The amount to be paid is based on the total annual income (before taxes) of the payor and the number of children to be supported. Each province has its own table.

How do you calculate child support in Ontario?

In order to figure out how much child support the payer will be responsible to pay under the child support guidelines use the Child Support Online Lookup to calculate the amount of child support.

To request a copy of an existing child support order, you must make a request at the court office where the file is located. Learn how to get a copy of a Child Support Order.

For a quick calculation try the child support calculator.

What is the age of Majority in Ontario?

The age of majority in Ontario is 18 years of age.

Family Law Services

Child Custody, Access, and Parenting Plans

Custody Access PDF

The booklet explains the law around custody and parenting in Ontario.

Spousal Support

Spousal Support in Ontario

The law in Ontario views spousal relationships as financial partnerships. When the partnership breaks down, the party with a higher income or assets may be required to pay support to the other. However, the law in Ontario expects adults to look after their own needs to the best of their abilities.

How do I figure out the amount of support to be paid?

To decide on how much spousal support and the length it should be paid, Ontario law says that many factors are to be considered, including but not limited to:

  • How much the spouse needs to meet his or her needs
  • How much the other party can afford to pay

The party may claim support to help become financially self-sufficient or to keep from ending up in serious financial difficulty.

The Support Advisory Guidelines can help spouses figure out the amount of spousal support that should be paid. The guidelines take into account the income of both spouses, length of the marriage, and whether children are involved.

MySupportCalculator.ca is a website with a support calculator and can provide an estimated dollar amount that can be adjusted based on specific circumstances.

Can I enforce the spousal support agreement in Ontario?

Once an agreement is received for spousal support, parties can enroll with the Family Responsibility Office.

FRO enforces child and domestic support orders and collects support payments for families.

Be aware that FRO does its job best when files and information is kept up to date. Always make sure that FRO knows the most current address and phone number. If the payer has moved or has changed jobs, FRO should be notified.

Family Law Services

Spousal Support

Spousal Support PDF

This booklet explains the law around spousal support in Ontario.


Property Division in Ontario

When a marriage is ending in Ontario, property rights are governed by Part I and Part II of the Family Law Act in Ontario (FLA). Part II deals specifically with the division of the value of the matrimonial home, while Part I deals with all other matrimonial property.

It should be noted that only couples who have entered into a legal marriage may make use of these provisions of the law in Ontario.

Common-law couples in Ontario, regardless of the length of the relationship, cannot make an application under these parts of the Family Law Act. They must use a different principle of law called "constructive trust" or "resulting trust" in order to obtain a share of property held in the other person's name that was built up during marriage.

How does property get divided in Ontario?

When getting separated or divorced in Ontario, the spouse whose net family property is the lesser of the two is entitled to one-half the difference between them.

Net family property is calculated by adding together the value of all of the spouse's property that a spouse owns on the date of separation, minus exclusions and then deducting the following:

  • Spouse's Debt
  • The value of property (apart from the matrimonial home) that the spouse owned on the date of marriage. (The value of any debts that the spouse had on date of marriage are deducted from this value first)

What property is excluded in the division of property in Ontario?

  • Property that was a gift or inheritance from a third party (i.e., not the other spouse)
  • Income from this property, so long as the giver specifically stated that this was to be excluded from the spouse's net family property
  • Certain damages for personal injury settlements
  • Proceeds from a life insurance policy payable on the death of the insured person
  • Any property (apart from a matrimonial home) that was acquired with money from the above exclusions
  • Property that the spouses agreed by a domestic contract (marriage contract or pre-nuptial agreement) would be excluded from the spouse's net family property

Spouse's property is defined as anything held in that parties name or bought by them, such as a car. Any item bought together that is registered in both names is considered joint property. In this case, each party would claim half the value.

How do you determine the value of property in Ontario?

The legal rules to follow in order to calculate the value of property and divide it between spouses can be complicated. Consult a mediator to assist in determining the value of your family property.

Are there time limits to settle family property or debt in Ontario?

There are time limits for division of property in Ontario. The time limits are as follows:

  • 2 years after the date of divorce
  • 6 years after the day of separation
  • 6 months after a spouse dies

Family Law Services

Property Division

Property PDF

This booklet explains the law around property division when a relationship ends in Ontario.

Divorce Mediation And Resolution

Divorce mediation is a speedier and less costly way to dissolve a marriage than going through the courts. With the help of a neutral third party, you and your ex will sit down and figure out an agreement that encompasses all aspects of your divorce, from property division and spousal support to child custody. There are two types of divorce mediation, open and closed. Open mediation may be disclosed, while closed mediation is strictly confidential.

Divorce resolution through mediation requires teamwork. The mediator acts as a facilitator and guide, keeping the conversation moving forward and ensuring that all topics are covered. However, he or she will not provide legal advice or settle disputes. Therefore, it is best for both parties to seek legal advice from an independent lawyer before signing any final binding agreement.

Successful divorce mediation results in a non-binding, written agreement, that can be drafted into a binding separation agreement and then filed with the court. Upon court approval, it becomes legally binding. Enforcement may be sought in exactly the same way as a court order.

Divorce mediation can be challenging, as cooperation is essential. Through our proprietary process, though, which involves multiple professionals, we have helped many very contentious couples negotiate a fair and equitable settlement. Whenever possible, divorce resolution through mediation should be attempted, as it is much faster and less expensive than a court battle.



Federal Divorce Act

Deals with divorce, as well as claims for child and spousal support, and custody and access, in divorce cases.


Children's Law Reform Act

Outlines matters such as custody of, and access to children, as well the rules to establish parentage of a child

Family Law Act

Outlines spousal and child support, division of property, and possession of the matrimonial home

Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act

Outlines the powers and responsibilities of the Family Responsibility Office to collect child and spousal support payments

Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act

Outlines the methods to apply for a support order or a change of an existing support order in another Canadian province or reciprocating jurisdiction

For more information on these laws:

Family Legal