Understanding Divorce Papers
“Consider yourself served!” A stranger approaches you, confirms your name, and hands you a stack of papers. You’ve just been served with an Application for Divorce and the supporting documents. Here’s some basic information to help you understand some of the documents.
- Common features of each Ontario court document:
- the centre top of the front page has the name and location of the court house
- the upper right corner will be the court file number which also signals that the matter is active
- the upper right corner will also identify the name of the document and the form number. For example, the Application for Divorce is Form 8A.
- the person who started the court process will be identified as the Applicant and you will see your name as the Respondent
- the lawyer(s) representing each litigant is identified to the right of the litigant’s name as well as contact information
- There will a scheduling explanatory notice on the front page. Missing deadlines may result in a missed opportunity. The notice is there as a warning to be heeded.
- Application for Divorce: Read through the document carefully. Read every line on every page. The Application may be used for obtaining only the divorce order after a separation agreement has been signed or it may include additional or corollary claims. The corollary claims would include other matters such as child support, custody and access, and property division. This blog will focus on an ‘uncontested divorce’ filed at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Family Court Branch.
o A short Family History informs the court of the date of marriage, date of separation, any children who may be entitled to receive support; the duration of the parties’ relationship and any prior history of family litigation.
Financial Statement: This document discloses the Applicant’s financial circumstances at the date of marriage, at valuation day, and currently. You will be required to complete the same or similar form. Some parts of the form include
o It is an affidavit once completed is signed under oath that the contents described in the document are true best to the deponent’s knowledge, information and belief.
o The income and monthly expenses relate to the issues of child and spousal support
o The assets, debts and liabilities relate to the division of the value of marital property
To understand the breadth of what’s being alleged and claimed against you can be quite overwhelming. Seek the advice of a family lawyer promptly as there are deadlines to be followed. To have your questions answered and to learn more information about this complicated proceeding, please contact my office at 416 596-8081 or email me at Lorisa@LorisaStein.com