Filing for Divorce

There are few important steps to take before you are ready to file for divorce. I have outlined few major recommendations.

In most cases, you have to be separated for at least a year and only then can you proceed with the divorce application. At this point, parties already have agreed to settle any disagreements by way of a separation agreement and a divorce application becomes a formality. This is the most easiest case you can have and it’s the cheapest option to resolve a marriage. However, not everything in life is that simple.

There are situations where it’s not easy to equalize the net worth and agree on spousal and/or child support or custody. Therefore, it may be possible that an agreement cannot be reached by both parties and the matter will require judge’s ruling. In this article, we are going to look at the steps necessary to prepare for your divorce.

  1. You need to understand whether you will be filing a joint or simple divorce application. When you and your spouse apply together, you both agree to a divorce and on all other family law matters such as parenting, spousal or division of property.
  2. In a simple divorce application, you apply on your own because you and your spouse can’t agree to a divorce and you are not asking for any other court orders. You are just asking for a divorce and there are no other disputes, no children and no property to divide.

There are three main questions to consider when you are separating, equalization, spousal support and child support. Basically, if you have a solution and an agreement with your spouse to resolve the above-mentioned issues, you may save yourself a lot of time and money.

What is Equalization of Net Family Property?

According to S. 5(1) of the Family Law Act (“FLA“);

5 (1) When a divorce is granted or a marriage is declared a nullity, or when the spouses are separated and there is no reasonable prospect that they will resume cohabitation, the spouse whose net family property is the lesser of the two net family properties is entitled to one-half the difference between them. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 5 (1).

It simply means that a spouse with the lesser net family property is entitled to 50% of the value of the marriage.

It’s not always accurate when you hear that everything is divided in half between spouses when they separate.

Family property is just one element of economic re-adjustment. There is also spousal support, care arrangements for children, and child support.

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