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.
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:
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.
To file for divorce you can either do it yourself or you can solicit a service to file for divorce for you.
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.
This tool assists to navigate through the process of self-litigation 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
The booklet explains the law around Child Support 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.
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, fill out the Request Form for a Copy of an Ontario Child Support Order Form (PDF) and submit it to the court where the order was made.
For a quick calculation try the child support calculator.
The age of majority in Ontario is 18 years of age.
Family Law Services
Child Custody, Access, and Parenting Plans
The booklet explains the law around custody and parenting 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.
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:
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.
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
This booklet explains the law around spousal support 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.
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 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.
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.
There are time limits for division of property in Ontario. The time limits are as follows:
Family Law Services
This booklet explains the law around property division when a relationship ends in Ontario.
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.
Deals with divorce, as well as claims for child and spousal support, and custody and access, in divorce cases.
Outlines matters such as custody of, and access to children, as well the rules to establish parentage of a child
Outlines spousal and child support, division of property, and possession of the matrimonial home
Outlines the powers and responsibilities of the Family Responsibility Office to collect child and spousal support payments
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: