4. Give your partner a copy of your application

How do I apply for a divorce by myself?
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4. Give your partner a copy of your application

You need to serve your Form 8: Application (General) or Form 8A: Application (Divorce) on your partner. Serving means giving them:

You must serve your partner within six months of getting your Application issued. If you don't, the court may close your file.

The first time you serve your partner it has to be by special service. This means you can't give your partner your documents directly. There is a guide on how to serve documents. You can ask a family member or friend who is at least 18 years old or a professional process server to do it for you.

Whoever serves your partner must fill out a Form 6B: Affidavit of Service. This tells the court when, where, and how the documents were given to your partner. It proves that your partner got a copy of your documents and knows that they have to respond to them. It must be filed with the court. There is a guide on how to file documents.

Your partner has 30 days (or 60 days if they live outside of Canada or the United States) to respond.

If your partner is outside Ontario

If you're serving a divorce application and your partner does not live in Ontario, the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra judicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (the “Hague Service Convention”) may apply. This is an international agreement that applies to countries that have signed the agreement.

The status table on the Convention’s website lists which countries have signed.

If the country your partner is living in is on the list, you can serve them through the Central Authority in Canada (link is external) or by using a method of service that is acceptable under both Ontario rules and the rules of the country your partner is living in.

If your partner is living in a country that is not on the list, you can serve them using the Ontario rules.

You must follow the rules for service. If you don't and your partner does not respond, the judge may refuse to make the orders you are asking for.

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Law Society of Ontario
Reviewed: April 1, 2019

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