Deciding to end a marriage can be hard. If you are wondering how to file for divorce, family law lawyers at Goldwater, Dubé may be able to help.
Filing for Divorce in Québec
Deciding to get a divorce is typically hard to make. The fact that you have arrived at that point means you have probably gone through a lot of frustration and stress. Now that you’ve decided, you want to move forward with your divorce procedure as quickly and affordably as possible.
In Québec, there are several ways to file for divorce, each with their own specific requirements. No matter which path is taken, there must be a motive for the divorce. The motive can include separation, adultery, or mental or physical cruelty and Moreover, a judge must then grant the divorce in order for it to become official.
Depending on your divorce case circumstances, you may be eligible to process your divorce without an attorney. If you and your former spouse have difficulties agreeing on important decisions, the services of a divorce mediator can be helpful. If, however, your situation is more complex, you may need to hire a divorce lawyer. Goldwater, Dubé family law and divorce lawyers are available to help guide you through the whole process.
Divorce Based on a Separation
The most common ground for divorce is separation. If you and your spouse have lived apart for 12 months or more, you can file for divorce. It’s possible to meet this requirement even if you and your spouse were technically living under the same roof for all or part of this time, as long as you were in separate quarters and living separate lives (think: not sharing the marital bed anymore). The separation can be legal (pronounced by a judge), or a de facto (factual) separation where you’ve been living apart for the full year without a legal agreement in place.
During the 12-month period of separation, you and your spouse might try to reconcile your relationship and live together again. If the reconciliation isn’t successful, it will not affect the clock on those 12 months unless you resumed living together for 90 days or more.
After being separated for a year, you can apply for divorce jointly or separately.
Divorce Based on Adultery or Mental or Physical Cruelty
There are two other grounds for divorce that Québec courts consider valid, both of which are more serious than simple separation. One is adultery, the other is mental or physical cruelty. Both of those must be proven in court.
How to File for Divorce in Québec
The most straightforward way for you and your spouse to get divorced is by coming to an agreement together. This agreement has to deal with all the consequences of the divorce, such as the custody of your children and the division of your assets. It is strongly advised that you have your draft agreement reviewed by your own attorney before signing it, to help you understand all the consequences. Once both you and your spouse consent to the agreement, it must be approved by a judge.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on some or all of the consequences of your divorce, you can consult with a lawyer or a mediator to help you negotiate an agreement or take the matter to court for a judge to decide.
Whatever the case, you have to complete the required divorce papers. The forms you have to complete may vary depending on the circumstances of your divorce case. The Gouvernement du Québec has certain divorce forms available online.
After completing the application for divorce and other forms, you’ll have to make two additional copies. One set will be for you; the other can be submitted to the court, while the last set has to be served to your spouse.
Divorce documents have to be filed at the appropriate court. Once you submit your divorce files to the court clerk and pay the required filing fee, you will get further instructions about what to do.
How Can We Help?
Consulting a divorce lawyer before making decisions that may adversely affect the rights of your children and your rights can be a smart move.
Without a proper understanding of the law, you may end up losing your marital property as well as spousal support rights.
Marital disputes are often emotionally charged. It would help if you had a team of divorce attorneys who have experience in divorce cases and who can achieve the favourable results you anticipate.
Goldwater-Dubé specializes in family law and divorce. If you think we can help, contact us on our website or call us at (514) 565-7918 to set up a consultation.