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Availability of Divorce Records in Ontario

Divorce files are usually filed at the county courthouse where the divorce hearing took place.

Are Ontario divorce records public?

All Canadian provinces, except for Quebec, presume that all civil and family litigation matters are public. There is a very high bar for restricting the public’s access to court files. However, section 137(2) of the Courts of Justice Act, allows a party to make an application to the court to seal the court file.

The test that parties must meet to have their court file sealed was outlined by the Supreme Court in R v Mentuck. In order to keep a court file private, one of the spouses must ask the court to restrict the openness of the court file and any court appearances. Before a court will restrict the public’s access, the court must determine that restricting access is necessary to prevent a serious risk to the administration of justice. If it is necessary, the court must find a balance between the salutary effects of restricting the public’s access and the deleterious effects on the rights of the parties. Where matters in the divorce proceedings may adversely affect the children, the Mentuck test is applied less rigorously, but court files are still rarely sealed in their entirety.

How do I find public divorce records?

The first step to find a divorce file is to know when the divorce took place. For divorces that occurred between 1987 to the present, the files are available only through the Superior Court of Justice courthouse where the divorce was filed.

Next, you will need the file number, the year of the divorce and the name of the county or district where the divorce took place. For divorces that occurred from 1968 to the present, you will need to contact the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings (CRDP) either by phone or by accessing their website and printing a search request and mailing it to them. When contacting the CRDP by phone, you should provide your full name at birth and your birth date as well as the name and birth date of your former spouse, the date of marriage and the approximate date of your divorce.

If you are looking for another person’s divorce file, you must use the indexes that are produced by the Supreme Court of Ontario to obtain the file number. Divorce files for 1986 and after are available only through the local courthouse where the divorce was filed.

How do I check the status of my divorce in Canada?

In order to check the status of your divorce you must contact the court that processed the divorce application. If you do not know which court this is, the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings can provide you with the address of the court and the reference number which you can give to court officials to help them find their file.

If you are contacting the Registry by phone, ensure that you have the full name and date of birth for both you and your former spouse and the date that you married.

For more information please visit out article about the availability of divorce records.

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    Andrew Feldstein

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    Andrew Feldstein graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992. Prior to focusing exclusively on family law, Andrew’s legal practice covered many different areas, including corporate commercial. One of Andrew’s fundamental objectives is to achieve those goals mutually and collaboratively, as set out by him and his client.

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    Deleta Grandy

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    Deleta Grandy obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in 2012, where she graduated with Honours. She completed her legal studies at Western Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 2016.

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    Jeff Hart

    Jeff obtained his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies from McMaster University before attending law school at Queen’s.

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    Location: Markham Daphna Schwartz joined Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2007 as an associate lawyer. She was previously ...
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    Location: Vaughan Nick Slinko attended York University from 2003 until 2007 where he majored in both Law & Society and ...
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    Anna Troitschanski joined the team at Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2012. Prior to that, she practised Family Law at a boutique Newmarket firm. Her experience covers all areas of divorce and family law, including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
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    Veronica Yeung joined the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. as a summer student in 2014 and returned as an articling student in 2015. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2016, Veronica was welcomed to the team as an associate lawyer.

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    Shana joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as an articling student in 2017. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2018, Shana was welcomed back to the firm as an associate. While completing her articles, Shana assisted with legal matters covering all areas of family law.

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    Shazia Hafiji joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as a summer student in 2016 and returned as an articling student in 2017. Following her Call to the Ontario Bar in 2018, Shazia returned to the firm as an associate lawyer.

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    Lucy D’Ercole joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as a summer student in 2017 and returned as an articling student in 2018, during which she gained valuable experience in all areas of family law. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in 2019, Lucy was welcomed back to the firm as an associate lawyer.
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    Joy Pura completed her legal studies and obtained a Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa. Prior to that, she completed ...
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    Rachel joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C as a Summer Student in 2019 and returned as an Articling Student in 2020-2021. ...
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