How long does it take to get a divorce in Ontario?

How long does it take to get a divorce in Ontario?

If you are thinking of getting divorced or in the process of it, you must be wondering how long you have to wait to get a divorce in Ontario. Well, let us tell you that it is a long process. It would take longer than usual if the couples have disagreements regarding child custody and division of assets, among other things. Although, most of the things in the entire process follow standard rules and regulations. But, it is dependent on the couples who are dissolving their marriage. If there is good communication and they sort out the basic things like child custody and division of assets, it can be pretty simple, and both parties can save time in this way.

This article will talk about some of the essential aspects of getting divorced and how long it will take.

Continue reading to find out more.

Things you should know about getting divorced

There is something fundamental that you need to know even before starting the divorce process. The couple should be living separately for at least one year. This requirement has to be fulfilled to start the process legally. However, there are certain exceptions to it. You need to consult a divorce lawyer to get to know about the details because each case differs.

How long does it take? 

Now, let us tell you how long it usually takes for the completion of the divorce. Generally, it would take somewhere between four to six months. That’s the period when both the parties are working proactively to get things done as early as possible. However, in case of disagreements between them, it could be longer than that.

Many people assume that it’s just a matter of days to get done with the divorce. Unfortunately, that’s not true. They are in a hurry because they have planned to remarry, want to move someplace else, or more. That’s why they want to get the divorce as early as possible. Therefore, you have to make sure that you start planning months before so that you don’t have to face difficulties along the way.

The process of divorce begins when you file your application for divorce. After the completion of it, you have to let your spouse know about it. Your spouse would have 20 days to give a reply to the application. On the other hand, this process could take up to 60 days if your spouse doesn’t reside in the same country as you.

What happens when the spouse has answered the application? 

When the spouse has answered the application for divorce, it falls under the category of a contested divorce. The time it takes for the contested divorce is much longer than the usual time, which is four months for the uncontested divorce.

On the other hand, if they do not get a response to the application, then you’d have to wait. The Ottawa court has to issue the clearance certificate, which they would send to the court. Ottawa lets the court know about the divorce proceedings and mails it to the court. Depending on how busy Ottawa court is, it may take up to two months to receive a clearance certificate.

Now, after the court receives the clearance certificate and the required paperwork has been completed, the court has the authority to issue a divorce judgement. It may, however, take up to 30 days for your divorce to go into effect.

Accordingly, it would help if you planned because you’d have to wait for four to five months from the moment you start the divorce process until your divorce has been finalized.

To speed up the process, couples need to file separation agreements. These are the legal documents that both parties must acknowledge when not living together for one year. The separation agreement would state how they will manage child custody and if they are expecting a child or not. More importantly, both parties would also discuss the division of the assets, who will leave the house, and who will continue living in it.

Why Separation Agreements Work

When the couples have decided to end their relationship and get on with their lives, these separation agreements would be beneficial. The separation document would make sure that everything is done faster. There are other advantages of the separation agreement as well. It could give time for the couples to relax and think about the decision of divorce. Is it going to be the best decision or not? It would also provide both parties with a chance to divide the property and assets before filing for divorce.

Getting a good lawyer

Divorce can be very tough. Both parties are dealing with different emotions. A lot of things would change after both of them have decided to end their union. On the other hand, making the crucial decisions of dividing the property and assets and child custody is essential. However, it could get complicated for the person to make such decisions without qualified legal assistance and come to a mutual agreement. That’s why contacting a divorce lawyer is essential to make sure that all things go smoothly. Hire a lawyer who has been dealing with divorce for a long time and knows all about family law. A good divorce lawyer would guide you about everything along the way and inform you about your rights and obligations that will change.


Now you must be familiar with how long it will take to complete the divorce. You have to make sure that you start the process months before; as we mentioned above, it could take four to six months for the divorce to finalize.

For more information regarding the divorce, you may contact us.

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Written by: the Divorce Fast Team

Our team of Ontario lawyers has over 15 years of experience handling divorce and other family law matters.

All of our lawyers are in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario, and have the knowledge and experience to help and guide you through your family law issues. Whether your matter pertains to divorce, separation, custody/access, or support claims, we are the firm for you.

Contact Divorce Fast for a Free Consultation.

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