How long a divorce takes in Ontario depends on whether it is contested or uncontested and how many aspects the two parties agree on. An uncontested divorce is faster than a contested divorce and usually takes just a few months. A contested divorce can take much longer and may even take years to resolve if there are complicated custody decisions or several trials within the divorce.
Just because divorce is common doesn’t make it simple or quick. By rushing through the process, you may end up settling for less than you deserve. Talk with one of our lawyers to find out what you may be entitled to in a divorce and how long you can expect the process to take.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to File for Divorce?
In Ontario, the courts require that couples who want to divorce be separated for at least one year before filing for divorce. This is designed to ensure that couples don’t rush into divorce proceedings only to regret it later on. Having to live “separate and apart” for a year can also make it easier for the parties to know what they want out of the divorce agreement. For example, they may already have a visitation schedule that’s working for them so that can be easily incorporated into the divorce agreement. Spouses who are divorcing for reasons of abuse or infidelity do not have to abide by the waiting period.
What Are Some Options to Speed Up a Divorce?
The easiest way to speed up a divorce is to look at it as a cooperative process. The more both parties can agree on, the less time the courts have to use in making decisions that the parties can’t make for themselves. If you want to make your divorce as efficient as possible, try to work out agreements with your ex for the major issues like property division, child custody, and spousal support in advance so all you need is a judge to sign off and make it final.
When is the Divorce Actually Final?
Many people think that the divorce is final at the resolution of the last hearing or when the judge issues the divorce decree. However, this isn’t quite true. In Ontario, a divorce is final at 31 days after the judge grants the divorce. While this may be close enough to not be an issue for most people, parties getting a legal divorce so that they can marry someone else must pay careful attention to this timeline.
The first step in filing for divorce is to contact an experienced family law lawyer. Our lawyers are knowledgeable about all facets of divorce and know what questions to ask to find out how long your divorce may take. To get more information and get the process started, call 647-933-2397 today to schedule your appointment.