Commencing a Divorce Application: Should I Speak with a Lawyer First?

Clients coming to our office are often mainly concerned about obtaining a Divorce from their spouse. Today, we'll be speaking about commencing Divorce Applications.

Hello, my name is Shilpa Mehta and I am a lawyer with Feldstein Family Law Group. Today, I will be speaking to you about commencing Divorce Applications.

When clients come to my office, they are mainly concerned about obtaining a Divorce from their spouse. What many clients don’t understand at the outset of our first meeting is that obtaining the Divorce Order is typically the last step of the separation process. Part of their confusion is due to the difference between “street language” and “legal language.” Before a Divorce Order is obtained, it is common for spouses to attempt to negotiate a resolution of the issues in their matter and have the settlement terms included into a Separation Agreement. The Separation Agreement is often times the heart of the divorce because this document settles the main issues of the breakdown of the marriage. Commencing a Divorce Application in these situations is much easier as the only claim being made is for the granting of a Divorce. So, as you’ll see, the Divorce Order is actually the last step in the separation process.

In my experience, most people want to avoid Court and litigation and attempt to come to a resolution of the matter with their spouse outside of court. For this reason, it is important to speak to a lawyer before attempting to commence a Divorce Application as this may be a possibility for your situation.

In other cases, clients tell me that there is no way that they will be able to resolve the issues through negotiations with their spouse and they would rather proceed to court. In those instances in starting a Divorce Application, you will make claims for the resolution of all of the issues in your matter, including a Divorce. To file an Application with the court, you will need to complete the Application, a sworn Financial Statement, and if there are children involved, an Affidavit pertaining to custody and access of the children. These documents will have to be served upon your spouse and then filed with the Court.

Even if you have chosen to proceed in this manner, it would be wise to speak with a lawyer first and seek his or her guidance as there are claims which you may not be aware of that you may be entitled to make. In addition, if a Divorce Application is commenced, and then you seek the guidance of a lawyer, it is likely that the Application will have to be amended by the lawyer to include any claims that have not been included and then re-served upon your spouse and filed with the court. In order to be allowed to do this, you will be required to seek the consent of the spouse. If your spouse refuses to consent to amending the application, then steps would have to be taken to obtain the court’s permission to do so. As you can imagine, it is more cost effective and efficient to have the Application completed correctly from the outset.

If you would like more information on court procedures, please visit our website. If you would like to schedule a consultation to speak with one of our lawyers about your family matter, please call us at: (905) 581-7222.

Thanks for watching!

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