The Divorce Process

Posted by on June 11, 2012

Oakville is home to over 180,000 residents and offers many wonderful family oriented neighborhoods.  Oakville’s proximity to Toronto makes it attractive for many professionals that work downtown.  Oakville is home to many affluent families, but rich or poor, couples do separate and that is when a good divorce lawyer is needed.

The words “separation” and “divorce” are often used interchangeably, but are, in fact, distinctly different in legal terms.  The term “separation” applies when a married or cohabiting couple separate and no longer live together.  Separation does not have much legal effect by itself, without a separation agreement.  A divorce is a legal act where a marriage is legally terminated by a court order.  One may not legally remarry until they have been granted a divorce.

In obtaining a divorce ideally, the first step is to negotiate the terms of a separation agreement.  A separation agreement includes: spousal support; division of property; division of debt; custody and access of children; child support; and responsibility for and contribution to child-related expenses.  Separation agreements are legally binding contracts, so it is important to know all of the legal consequences of your decision.  It is also important that you have full and accurate information about your spouse’s financial situation before you sign a separation agreement.  A written and signed separation agreement is necessary to avoid future conflicts and serves as proof of obligation in the case that your spouse stops respecting the agreement.

While separation agreements resolve family issues, they do not legally end a marriage.  If you have a signed separation agreement, you can obtain an uncontested divorce.  If you and your spouse can not agree on terms of a separation agreement, then you will need to complete an Application for Divorce and go to court where a judge will make decisions on custody, support and property issues.  This is called a contested divorce.

There are options for couples that are willing to communicate and cooperate so they can avoid going to divorce court.    Some options are divorce mediation, arbitration and negotiation, using trained legal counsel in Ontario.   If you are in the Greater Toronto area, call the experts at Daly law at (905) 844-5883, or visit their website at  Many alternatives to divorce court are quicker, less expensive and easier on the spouses and any children affected by the separation.

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