How do I apply for a divorce by myself?

3. Give your application to the court

You can now submit most family law forms and documents for a family court case online, including a application. For more information, read the question How do I file court forms for my family law case online?

To online, go to ontario.ca/familyclaims. You will need a ONe-key ID. All you need to create this key is a username, password and email address.

Make sure you have everything ready before you start filing online. Once you’ve started, your session ends if you’re inactive for 15 minutes. Your information won’t be saved. You will need to start over again.

After you submit your court forms and documents online, you cannot view them online later. So it’s important to keep a copy of everything for your records.

If you file your divorce application on a business day between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., you get an email from the court the same day. If you file your application outside regular business hours, you get an email the next business day.

The email from the court will have:

  • your divorce application with a court seal, which means your application has been  by the court
  • the date your application was issued
  • a court file number
  • the court location where your divorce application was filed

Don’t delete the email. You should also print a copy or take a screenshot for your records.

File in-person

If you’re not allowed to, or don’t want to file your documents online, then you have to file them in-person at the courthouse. If you file in-person, take 3 copies of your Form 8: Application (General) or Form 8A: Application (Divorce) and any other court forms to the courthouse.

Only a Superior Court of Justice or a Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice can make a . You have to go to one of those courts in the municipality where:

  • you’ve been living for at least a year,
  • your partner’s been living for at least a year, or
  • your children live, if you’re asking for , or

The issues your application. This means they:

  • give your case a court file number and write the number in the box on the top right corner of the form
  • sign, date, and place a court seal on the forms
  • give you a Registration of Divorce Proceedings form

You must fill out the Registration of Divorce Proceedings form. The court sends it to the Department of Justice. The department checks a database to make sure that no other divorce applications have been made for you and your partner in Canada. If there are no other applications, they send a clearance certificate to the court. The court has to get this certificate before it gives you a divorce.

You also need to start a:

  • Continuing Record: This is a court file that has every document you and your partner want the court to look at.
  • Table of contents: This is a document that lists every document in the Continuing Record.

You have to give the court 2 stamped envelopes, one addressed to you and one addressed to your partner, if you want your order mailed to you. Or, you can pick up your order from the court.

Court fees

The cost to file court forms online is the same as the cost to file them in-person at a courthouse.

You must pay $212 when you file your application. Later you pay $420 when the court reviews your divorce application.

You can pay fees online by Visa, Mastercard, or Interac debit card. You can pay fees in-person by cash, cheque, or money order made payable to the Minister of Finance.

If you can’t afford to pay the court fees, you can ask for a fee waiver certificate. This means you don’t have to pay most court fees. The Ontario government’s A Guide to Fee Waiver Requests tells you which court fees can be waived and how to ask for a fee waiver

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