Despite the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, TCZ Law remains open and dedicated to providing an outstanding service to all clients. While you may have previously preferred to deliver your information and meet with us in-person at our office, we recommend other alternatives, such as scheduling a phone call or video conference to substitute for face-to-face meetings, and emailing us your personal information at your convenience.

Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter

There are two types of uncontested divorce applications in Ontario: ‘sole’ and ‘joint’. First, it’s important to understand that an uncontested divorce in Ontario is a legal proceeding where both parties agree on all issues related to their divorce, such as property division, child custody and support, spousal support, and financial matters. In a ‘sole’ divorce, one spouse initiates the process and serves the other with the divorce application, and the other spouse does not contest the divorce or raise any issues. In a ‘joint’ divorce, both spouses attend our office to sign the necessary paperwork indicating their intention to divorce, without initiating any action against each other.

To get married in Ontario after being divorced outside of Canada, you need to obtain an Authorization Letter from the Marriage Office by submitting various documents, including a Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter from an Ontario lawyer. Failing to follow this step will result in your marriage license application being denied. It can take up to four weeks for the government to authorize your marriage after you have submitted the necessary documents and opinion letter. The Foreign Divorce Opinion Letter is a statement from a lawyer evaluating whether a foreign divorce would be recognized in Canada based on factors such as the jurisdiction of the divorce and the applicable law. The letter will explain why the lawyer believes the divorce would be considered valid in Ontario and will reference relevant laws and facts to support their opinion. It’s important to give yourself enough time to fulfill this requirement.

In Ontario, only lawyers who are licensed and authorized by the Law Society of Upper Canada can create and approve a foreign divorce opinion letter. If you attempt to create the letter yourself or use an unlicensed practitioner, the government will not accept it. When attending your appointment, you will need to bring various documents, including the original or court-certified copy of the Divorce Decree/Judgement, which must be translated into English if it’s not already in English or French. Additionally, both parties intending to marry must complete an Application for Marriage and sign a Statement of Sole Responsibility. Finally, you must pay a fee of $199 plus HST for the letter.

Once you have obtained the foreign divorce opinion letter, the process of getting remarried is straightforward. You need to send the foreign divorce opinion letter along with other necessary documents to the Office of the Registrar General at the specified address. The required documents include the Application for Marriage signed by both parties, the original or court-certified copy of the divorce decree (translated to English if necessary), the Statement of Sole Responsibility signed by both parties, and the foreign divorce opinion letter confirming the validity of your foreign divorce in Ontario. After mailing these documents, Service Ontario typically takes four weeks to send you back your original documents, including an Authorization to Remarry Letter. We provide the uncontested divorce service which  is only for clients seeking a divorce and not for those who require legal advice on property division, custody, child support or spousal support. If you need legal advice, you can contact us for a consultation with one of our divorce lawyers.

After submitting the necessary documents to the Marriage Office, it’s important to note that the Authorization Letter has a 90-day expiration period. This means that you must apply for the Marriage License within 90 days from the date on the Authorization Letter. Additionally, the Marriage License is valid for 90 days from the date it was issued. Service Ontario offers helpful guidance on obtaining the marriage license and navigating the marriage process. To find out more about the required documents for getting married in Ontario, you can visit the government website for more information.

It’s important to know that in Ontario, individuals can get married at the age of 16 or older, but if you’re under 18, parental consent is required. Marriages can be either religious or civil, but the individual performing the ceremony must be legally authorized to do so. In a religious marriage, the ceremony is conducted by a religious official who is authorized as a religious marriage officiant, while a civil marriage is conducted by an authorized clerk of the municipality, justice of the peace, or judge. A marriage license is required for both types of marriages and can be obtained by providing two government IDs and paying a fee. After the wedding, couples can order a marriage certificate.

Requirements for Uncontested Divorce

If you want to use our Ontario uncontested divorce service, you and your spouse must meet certain requirements. Below are the mandatory requirements and information about the process:

  • The uncontested divorce service is only for clients seeking a divorce and not for those who require legal advice on property division, custody, or child/spousal support. If you need legal advice, you can contact us for a consultation with one of our divorce lawyers.
  • Ensure your spouse will not contest the divorce or make any claims against you. If there are any unresolved issues between you and your spouse, such as custody, support, or property division, contact us for a consultation about your potential rights and options.
  • According to Ontario law, your spouse must be served with the divorce documents, except in the case of joint divorces. Our firm will arrange service for your spouse, but their cooperation is important to ensure a smooth process. If your spouse’s whereabouts are unknown, we can still assist in obtaining the divorce.
  • You or your spouse must have lived in Ontario for at least 12 months before the uncontested divorce process begins, and at least one of you must continue to live in Ontario throughout the process. You don’t need to be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident to obtain an uncontested divorce in Ontario.
  • Child support must be paid or agreed to be paid according to the Federal Child Support Guidelines. Although there is no requirement for a formal agreement or court order, you will be required to sign an affidavit detailing the child support arrangement.
  • There are two fees associated with an uncontested divorce: our legal fee of $850 plus HST, and the government filing fee of $632.
  • It usually takes four months to be granted an uncontested divorce in Ontario. If you plan to remarry, you must wait 31 days after the divorce is granted.

An uncontested divorce in Ontario is a quick and easy option that involves lower costs and less stress as both parties do not have to appear before the court. Since there are no disputes between the parties, the chances of the divorce being contested in the future are reduced. Additionally, details of the marriage are not widely published, thus maintaining privacy. An uncontested divorce is often preferred when children are involved and allows both parties to move forward amicably.

While uncontested divorce may seem attractive, it has some drawbacks. For instance, it may not be suitable in cases of abuse as it does not record the abuse, which may provide the abuser with an unfair advantage. Additionally, using uncontested divorce as a means of avoiding disagreements may only delay important issues that need to be addressed in the future. If one party lacks a thorough understanding of the law or struggles to complete the divorce paperwork, an uncontested divorce in Ontario may not be the best option.

Contested Divorce

In Ontario, when a couple is unable to reach an agreement on the terms of their divorce, a contested divorce may be the only option available. Unlike an uncontested divorce, where the parties have already agreed on all the important issues related to their separation, a contested divorce requires the intervention of the court to decide on the unresolved matters.

Contested divorces are often more complicated, time-consuming, and costly than uncontested divorces. The process typically involves multiple court appearances, mediation sessions, and negotiations between the parties and their lawyers. The parties may need to provide evidence and testimony to support their positions on issues such as property division, child custody, support, and access.

In Ontario, the court uses the “best interests of the child” principle when making decisions on matters of child custody and support. The court will consider various factors, such as the child’s age, needs, and preferences, the parents’ ability to care for the child, and any history of domestic violence or abuse.

Property division in contested divorces is governed by the Family Law Act. Under this law, each spouse is entitled to an equal share of the value of any property acquired during the marriage, with some exceptions. Property that was owned by one spouse before the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage may not be subject to division.

The duration of a contested divorce can vary depending on the complexity of the issues involved, the level of conflict between the parties, and the court’s workload. It is not uncommon for a contested divorce to take several months or even years to resolve.

One of the biggest drawbacks of a contested divorce is the emotional toll it can take on the parties and their children. The stress and anxiety of going through a protracted legal battle can be overwhelming, especially if the parties are unable to maintain a civil relationship. In some cases, the children may be caught in the middle of the dispute, which can lead to emotional trauma and long-term negative effects. Another significant disadvantage of a contested divorce is the high cost. Since contested divorces require a lot of court time, lawyer fees, and other expenses, the total cost can quickly add up. In many cases, the cost of a contested divorce can exceed the value of the property being divided. A contested divorce is a complex legal process that should only be pursued as a last resort. If possible, couples should try to resolve their issues through negotiation, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution methods.

Overall, the divorce process in Ontario can be complex and emotional, especially in cases where the divorce is contested. Divorce and separation are complex legal and emotional processes that can have significant consequences for all parties involved. It is essential to work with an experienced family lawyer to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Custody and Access

Custody and access in family law refer to the rights and responsibilities of parents or guardians towards their children. In Canada, the Divorce Act governs custody and access in cases where the parents are separating or getting a divorce. The act applies to married parents, while each province has its own legislation for unmarried parents. Custody and access arrangements are often a significant part of divorce proceedings and require careful consideration to ensure the well-being of the children.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce Lawyer?

The cost of hiring a divorce lawyer depends on many factors, including the length and complexity of the case. Divorce lawyers typically charge a fixed fee for their services, ranging from $2,500 to as much as $15,000 or more, depending on the scope of work required.

Before committing to any contract, it is essential to understand all fees associated with an attorney’s service. Suppose you believe that your case may be lengthy or complex.

Finding and hiring an experienced divorce lawyer who can provide professional advice throughout the process is often recommended.

What Causes Divorce to be Legally Invalid?

In some cases, a divorce might be legally invalid. Some of the most common reasons a divorce might be denied are if the spouse seeking the divorce lacks mental capacity at the time of filing or if there were procedural errors in achieving service upon the other party.

In addition, certain jurisdictions require that both parties agree to specific terms before the court can grant a divorce; otherwise, it could be overturned on appeal. Divorce laws vary significantly from state to state and even country to country, so consulting with an experienced attorney is essential.

When you doubt your case and its potential outcome, seeking legal advice regarding all aspects of your process is highly recommended.

What Possible Questions Should I Ask a Divorce Lawyer?

Here are some possibilities you can ask a divorce lawyer to help you make a decision:

  • What is your experience with divorce litigation?

  • What steps will you take to protect my rights?

  • Are there alternatives to divorce litigation that could be better in my case?

  • How long have you been practising Divorce law?

  • Can you explain the process of Divorce Litigation in detail?

  • Are you an expert in divorce proceedings?

  • How many years have you been providing family law services?

  • What legal fees should I anticipate for utilizing your services?

  • How do you typically handle divorce proceedings?

  • Are you usually able to resolve divorce cases without going to court?