Frequently Asked Questions
The answers set out below are intended to provide general information.
Every person's situation is unique, and the following information should not be taken as legal advice.
There is no legal requirement for you to become divorced unless you want to remarry. Many people however get divorced simply to bring closure.
No, court appearances are usually reserved for defended or complex divorce actions.
Yes, but certain steps must be taken before the court will grant the divorce.
No. Just as with any law suit, anyone can act for himself or herself. However, if you want anything other than the divorce itself you would be well advised to consult with a lawyer.
In many cases people getting divorced also have issues relating to children, support or property to be dealt with. In those cases you should see a lawyer experienced in family law matters to make sure your rights are being fully protected.
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The Divorce Act makes a distinction between the act of getting people freed from the legal relationship of marriage and finalizing the various other issues that may still exist between them such as spousal support, child support, custody and access.
These other things are called collateral issues and they can be dealt with after a divorce or as part of the divorce proceedings, but after the divorce itself has been granted. This allows parties who want to remarry to do so without forcing them to first settle the corollary issues.
Bringing the legal relationship of marriage to an end is the chief function of the divorce proceeding.
As well, the Divorce Act allows the court to deal with issues of spousal support, child support, custody and access.
Most often the divorce itself is not contested. In those cases the party being served with the divorce documents may choose not to oppose the request for a divorce and not file any responding material.
This usually happens where the parties have already negotiated the terms of their separation and have a separation agreement, marriage contract or cohabitation agreement. The divorce judgment in these cases may include the terms already agreed upon or not make any reference to anything but the divorce itself.