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How do I apply for a divorce with my partner?

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How do I apply for a divorce with my partner?
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Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
Ministry of the Attorney General
Ministry of the Attorney General
Ministry of the Attorney General

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How do I apply for a divorce with my partner?
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Reviewed: 
May 15, 2018
Answer

If you're married and want to legally end your marriage, you must apply for a divorce from the court.

If you both agree to get a divorce, you can apply together by making a joint application. If only one of you wants a divorce, that person  can apply on their own.

To get a divorce in Ontario, you must meet certain conditions. For example, you and your partner must have had a legal marriage ceremony and you must show that your marriage has ended. If you don't meet all the conditions, the court may not approve your divorce application.

Religious divorce

A religious divorce doesn't legally end a marriage. But some religions require a religious divorce if you want to remarry within that religion.

The courts don’t give a religious divorce. You have to get that through your place of worship or religious organization. For example, to get married again in a synagogue, you need a Jewish religious divorce, which is called a get.

Matrimonial home

If you separate, each married partner has an equal right to stay in the matrimonial home and to a share in the value of the home. It doesn't matter who owns the home. You don't give up these rights if you decide to move out.

If you get divorced and you don’t own your matrimonial home, you still have a right to a share in the value of the home. But you no longer have an equal right to stay in the home. This is because you’re no longer married.

Talk to a lawyer

A lawyer can help you understand what the law says you have to do and what you can get when you divorce. If you can't afford to hire a lawyer, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

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