DIVORCE LAW OFFICE OF ERWIN SELTZER
UNCONTESTED DIVORCE TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS ARE ALWAYS FREE
CALL US TODAY – (905) 474-4333
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. WHAT IS A SIMPLE DIVORCE?
A. A simple divorce means that you are asking the court only for a divorce. You are not asking for child custody, child support, child access or visitation, spousal support, property or debt equalization or division or any other claim other than a divorce.
Q. WHAT IS AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE?
A. An uncontested divorce is where both spouses have settled all issues such as child custody, child support, child access or visitation, spousal support, property or debt equalization or division or any other claims Both spouses want the divorce and agree on issues relating to the grounds for the divorce and will not respond to or dispute the divorce or file an Answer. If all issues can be resolved before the divorce is filed, neither party will have to appear in court and the divorce can go through on an uncontested basis.
Q. WHAT ARE THE GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE?
A. There is only one ground for a divorce in Canada and that is based upon a marriage breakdown. A marriage breakdown can be established in one of the following three ways; if the parties have been living separate and apart for at least one year, if one of the parties has committed adultery or if one of the parties treated the other spouse with physical or mental cruelty of such a kind as to render intolerable the continued cohabitation of the spouses. We can only provide our services to you if your grounds for divorce are based on a one year separation and not on the other grounds.
Q. I RECENTLY MOVED TO ONTARIO, AM I ELIGIBLE FOR AN ONTARIO DIVORCE?
A. Ontario maintains specific “residency” requirements that must be met before a party can file for divorce within the Province. In order for the court to accept jurisdiction of your case, either you or your spouse must be a resident of Ontario when the divorce is commenced and has been a resident for a continuous period of one full year prior to starting your uncontested divorce proceeding and must continue to reside in Ontario for the duration of the divorce.
Q. WILL I NEED TO COME TO YOUR OFFICE?
A. We are not an online divorce service and we take our solicitor-client relationships in a serious manner. It is our firm policy that you and your divorce be treated properly whether you are spending $499.00 or $25,000.00. When we meet personally, we can ensure that you are receiving the best possible service and we know that all uncontested divorce documentation is correct and that you are signing all required divorce papers in the right places at the right time. We will normally meet three times over a period of 3 to 4 months. The first meeting will be to obtain your instructions and all your information and this meeting usually takes approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. The next meeting will be for you to review and sign your Divorce Application and this meeting will take approximately 15 minutes and the final meeting will be for you to review and sign the Divorce Affidavit and this meeting will also take approximately 15 minutes. Meetings will be arranged at mutually convenient times. We are always available for questions and inquiries by phone.
Q. HOW LONG WILL MY DIVORCE TAKE?
A. If your divorce is a simple uncontested divorce, your spouse is cooperating and if you have met all the requirements on the Requirements Page, the divorce order can usually be finalized within 4 to 6 months from the date your spouse receives the divorce papers. Court delays and delays by the Central Divorce Registry Office in Ottawa, which are beyond our control, can affect the time it takes to process your uncontested divorce and therefore we can make no guarantee as to the time of completion. We very strongly suggest that you do not make any final wedding plans or pay any deposits for specific dates until you divorce is final and you have the Divorce Order and a Certificate of Divorce (available from us at an extra cost) in your hand.
Q. MUST I USE A PROCESS SERVER FOR SERVICE OF THE DIVORCE PAPERS?
A.Probably not necessary. If your spouse will cooperate with the divorce by agreeing to come to our law office with identification (drivers license), we will personally serve your spouse with the divorce papers at no extra cost. If your spouse lives out of Ontario but in Canada, we can serve your spouse by regular mail provided that your spouse agrees to sign and return to us, an acknowledgment of receipt postcard, confirming that he or she has received the uncontested divorce papers. If your spouse is not willing to cooperate with the service of divorce papers, this may be a sign that your simple divorce will be contested. If your spouse lives outside of Canada, the Hague Convention provides certain rules on how a party outside of Canada needs to be served, which can dramatically increase the cost of your divorce and if this is your situation we will not be able to assist you.
Q. WILL I NEED TO MAKE ANY COURT APPEARANCES?
A. As long as your divorce remains uncontested, you will not have to make any divorce court appearances. We will handle the entire process.
Q. WHAT HAPPENS IF AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE BECOMES CONTESTED?
A. This is always a possibility. After your spouse is served with the divorce papers, he or she may decide to contest the divorce. If this happens, then your uncontested divorce becomes contested and it will cost you (and your spouse) significantly more in legal fees (and time, including court appearances) and if this happens we will not be able to assist you and you will require the services of another lawyer.
Q. DO I NEED TO HAVE A SEPARATION AGREEMENT PREPARED?
A. A separation agreement is a legal contract between spouses that deals with equalization and division of assets and liabilities, as well as any child support, spousal support, custody, access or visitation issues and any other matters relating to the marriage and its breakdown. A separation agreement is enforceable by the courts and may be filed with the court. We would very strongly recommend that you and your spouse sign a proper separation agreement, which sets out your agreement regarding all these issues, before you start your divorce. A Separation Agreement is good common sense but is not a legal requirement to obtain a divorce. We do not prepare separation agreements and if you require one you should consult with another lawyer.
Q. WHAT ARE YOU OFFICE HOURS FOR APPOINTMENTS?
A. For these simple uncontested divorces, the only appointment times we have available to meet with you and serve your spouse are on Saturdays between 9:30 am and 1:00 pm. If you and your spouse are not available to attend at our office on Saturdays between these times we will not be in a position to provide our legal services to you.