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Separation. Divorce. Child Custody and Access. Child Support. Spousal Support. Division of Property and Assets.

The Divorce Act contemplates that divorcing (and/or separated) parties may reconcile. It thereby allows and encourages parties to resume cohabitation, with reconciliation as their primary purpose, and engage in normal marital relations for a period of up to (but not exceeding) 90 days.

Regardless of whether you are attempting to reconcile or not, it is unwise to make unrealistic or grandiose promises to your former spouse. Offers like “she can have everything” may ease your guilt or otherwise prove your love/goodwill, but such promises often manifest into overly generous settlements or agreements that are rarely kept or enforced. more

Child support obligations will generally end when a child has reached the provincial age of majority but can extend to when the child has obtained some form of post-secondary education. The obligation also continues past the age of majority for children who are incapable of supporting themselves due to illness or disability. more

Often, people planning to get married do not think about how to best protect themselves financially before the marriage. Marriage is intended to be lifelong but the reality is approximately 40% of marriages in Canada end in separation and divorce. You may not want to think of the possibility of the upcoming marriage ending in the future but you should be prudent in planning ahead of time to minimize risk and protect your finances. more

The Divorce Act regulates termination of legal marriage in Canada. The Act applies to individuals that satisfy the definition of “spouse” in s.2(1): “either of two persons who are married to each other”. Divorce is only for people who are legally married. Common-law couples can’t get divorced. more

A divorce is granted only:

  • where two spouses have been separated from one another for at least one year; or
  • where one spouse has established one of the other grounds for divorce (adultery or mental or physical cruelty).

The length of the actual divorce process however, varies based on the spouses’ circumstancesmore

Upon marriage breakdown, family property must be split between the separating spouses. This process is known as the Equalization of Net Family Property. Family property includes pensions and they are often a significant portion of the family’s assets. more

The cost of a divorce in Ontario varies considerably based on various factors:

  • whether parties litigate their divorce in a court of law;
  • whether the divorce application contains corollary claims for custody, access, support, and/or property division; and
  • whether the parties agree on some or all of the corollary issues.

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Divorce can be the most financially fragile time in your life. It is important to consider the financial implications of divorce and how your finances will change with this major transition in your life. more

What is Child Support?

In Ontario, all dependent children have a legal right to be financially supported by both (or all) of their parents.

Parents who do not live together often have an arrangement where the child or children live mostly with one parent. The parent that the child primarily lives with most often burdens the costs of raising the child. The other parent is legally obligated to help with the expenses by paying money to the parent the child resides with; this payment is referred to as “child support”. more

1. Have I Tried to Repair the Relationship?

Divorce can be an incredibly difficult and traumatizing (and expensive) experience for all parties involved. Therefore, before deciding to terminate a marriage, it is crucial that you first try to repair the relationship; practice open communication, build mutual respect, devote time and effort, balance tasks and responsibilities, and/or if needed, seek professional help from a therapist or marriage counsellor. Essentially, you want to determine whether the marriage is salvageable or if the conflict can only be fixed through a divorce. If divorce is your only option, you will need to prepare yourself for the process and be as informed as possible. more