Divorce is never easy, but things can go more smoothly if the spouses agree on how to end their marriage. This article discusses different ways to collaborate to get a divorce.
Joint Request for Divorce
When the spouses ask for a divorce together in the same papers, it is called a joint request or joint application. The spouses are referred to as joint “applicants”.
You can do a joint request for divorce in these situations:
- The spouses must agree on all the consequences of their divorce, including the custody of the children, child support, support payments to the other spouse, how their property will be divided, etc.
- The spouses must also agree on all points, such as the date they stopped living together.
- The grounds (reason) for the divorce are that the spouses have been living apart for at least a year. Adultery or physical and mental cruelty can’t be used as reasons in a joint request for divorce.
If the spouses hire the same lawyer or notary to prepare their divorce agreement and other paperwork, she must advise and be fair to both spouses. In other words, she can’t favour one spouse over the other.
Divorce: Vocabulary Change in the Law
Since March 1, 2021, the Divorce Act no longer uses the terms “custody” or “access”. The law now uses the term “parenting time” to describe a divorced parent’s relationship with a child of the marriage. For more information, see our article Divorce: What Is “Parenting Time” and What to Do When Moving.
Divorce by Agreement
The spouses don’t have to apply for the divorce together, even if they agree on everything.
In other words, spouses collaborate, but they apply for the divorce separately. Here are a few examples:
- The spouses want their own lawyers to represent them.
- One spouse is claiming adultery or physical or mental cruelty as the reason for the divorce.
- One spouse already applied for divorce, and the spouses reached an agreement later on in the divorce process.
- The spouses don’t agree on all the consequences of the divorce. For example, they agree on who will have custody of the children but not on how to divide their property.
Spouses can write down the points they agree on in a written agreement they sign. This agreement is also called a “draft agreement” or “consent.”
The agreement can be made into a judgment to become part of the divorce judgment.
There are different ways to convert the agreement into a judgment, depending on the spouses’ situation. You can contact a lawyer or notary to learn more.