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Kelly Dodd, Housewife No More

Real Housewives of Orange County star Kelly Dodd has revealed that she wants a divorce from her husband of 11 years, Michael Dodd.

Dodd's relationship with her husband has been rocky and tumultuous for several years, with Dodd previously filing for divorce in 2012. Soon after, however, the couple rekindled their love and were on reasonably good terms.

Dodd says their marriage is over, and she's "had enough." She added, "I filed for divorce against Michael in 2012, and we never had any resolution. The case is just sitting there. So I'm going to ask my lawyer to file a motion so I can get a bifurcated divorce."

What Does Bifurcated Mean in a Divorce in Ontario?

In Ontario, a judge can grant a bifurcated divorce separate from other divorce issues, such as child custody, spousal support, and property division.

A bifurcated divorce can allow a spouse to remarry without legal obligations to their former spouse. It can also allow for faster judgment on issues that need clarification.

Whether or not to bifurcate a divorce is a complex decision that should be made on a case-by-case basis. It is essential to consult an experienced family law lawyer to discuss the pros and cons of bifurcated divorce in Ontario.

Reasons for a Bifurcated Divorce in Ontario

A bifurcation divorce in Ontario may be requested for a variety of reasons. For both spouses, there may be several benefits that come along with these reasons.

Evaluating the benefits and consequences before requesting a divorce bifurcation is good practice.

You may want to consider bifurcating your marriage if one of the following reasons applies to you:

  • Instead of filing as married, you want to file as "Single" or "Head of Household."
  • In your divorce case, there has not been a resolution regarding child custody, child visitation, support, or property division for an extended period. If you file for a bifurcation of your marital status, you cannot resolve these issues. However, you will be able to return to your single position.
  • Suppose you or your spouse wishes to marry someone else. You cannot marry another person when you are still legally married to the other party in the divorce. A bifurcated divorce is necessary for either party to get married to another person.
  • A bifurcated divorce can save you money on legal fees, as you only need to pay for one lawyer to represent you on the marital status issue.

Whether or not to bifurcate a divorce is a complex decision that should be made on a case-by-case basis. If you are considering a bifurcated divorce, speaking to an experienced divorce lawyer is crucial to discuss your options.

How to File for Bifurcated Divorce in Ontario

To have your divorce bifurcated or severed, you must ask for such relief in your Application or on a Motion. The decision is ultimately that of the judges, who will consider the following:

As per section 11(1)(b) of the Divorce Act:

In a divorce proceeding, the court must satisfy itself that reasonable arrangements have been made for the support of any children of the marriage, having regard to the applicable guidelines, and, if such arrangements have not been made, to stay the granting of the divorce until such arrangements are made.

As per Rule 12(6) of the Family Law Rules:
The court may, on motion, make an order splitting a divorce from the other issues in a case if:
a. the order will disadvantage neither spouse; and
b. reasonable arrangements have been made to support any children of the marriage.

Often, where ex-spouses can only agree that they want to be divorced, a bifurcated divorce may be a solid place to start. After all, some divorces can take months or even years to resolve. As such, parties wanting to be remarried or "single" for tax purposes may seek to have their divorce divided to change their marital status sooner.

Contact the Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. professionals to schedule a consultation and learn more about bifurcated divorce in Ontario.