Without support, the divorce process can be confusing and difficult. Even firmly deciding that divorce is the right choice can be hard for some. If you are seriously considering it, or have already decided, it is important to understand what laws are set in place where you live and what options you have. You may be faced with many questions, but unsure where to start. Here are 5 frequently asked questions about divorce that will help you feel more prepared as you begin your divorce journey.
1. I want to get a divorce, where do I start?
When you have decided that getting a divorce will be the best choice for you and your family, the first step is to consider legal advice form a family law expert. A family lawyer will ensure you know how to protect your rights and what the process requires depending on your case.
The first step in the process is to fill out a divorce application and submit it at a courthouse. After paying the required fees, you must ensure that your partner receives a copy and responds within 30 days.
2. How long does it take to get a divorce?
The length of a divorce process will vary on the complexity of your situation. In Ontario, an uncontested divorce may take around 4-6 months, while a contested divorce takes anywhere between 6-36 months to be finalized.
It is important to note that you and you spouse have to be separated for at least one year before you file a divorce application. In the event that the reason for the separation stems from violence or adultery, you could be granted divorce right away.
3. How much will it cost?
Much like the length of the divorce process, the cost will be determined based on how complicated the case is. If you’re going through a very adversarial divorce, it will cost more as a result of attorney fees. Ideally, if both parties can agree on all divorce related issues such as property division, child custody and support, and spousal support, the divorce will not cost much in comparison.
4. How does a judge decide who gets custody of the children?
When it comes to children, it is recommended that you and your spouse work on coming to an agreement regarding their futures after your divorce. The conversation on the wellbeing of your children should always come first when making decisions during the process.
Unfortunately, judges usually do not have the ability to spend enough time with families before making decisions that will affect their lives. With the new changes to the Canadian Divorce Act, the needs and best interests of the child are now taken into consideration more than ever before.
Here are some factors that influence the decision to grant custody to a specific parent:
- The nature of their relationship and any emotional ties between the parent and child
- The stability of the home environment
- Attention to their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing
- What the child actually wants
5. Is mediation worth it?
If you and your spouse are willing to compromise, but need some guidance in doing so, mediation may be a great solution. A neutral, third-party mediator won’t make any decisions for you, but instead will push you in the right direction towards a positive outcome. There are many benefits to choosing mediation if you believe it may be right for you. Here are a few:
- You have control over your decisions
- An unbiased perspective can provide real truths, answers to your questions and attempt to settle your frustrations from a neutral standpoint
- Avoiding litigation lowers your divorce costs
- In Ontario, it is statically proven that most cases do in fact settle. Over 90% of them.
When navigating the process it is advisable to seek a family lawyer to minimize the overwhelming feelings that come with not knowing where to start and having too many unanswered questions about divorce. With the proper support, your journey has a positive potential.
At Hussain Law we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time. If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain at 647-428-3919.