During the COVID-19 pandemic, many clients and potential client have asked us about their ability to forward a divorce application online, given that among other reasons, they may have resolved all outstanding family law issues by way of a separation agreement, they may believe the opposing party will not make a claim against them with respect to any other matter under family law in response to the divorce application, and/or they may wish to remarry.

Prior to the onset of the public health recommendations the method for filing an “uncontested” divorce application was to apply by filing the original divorce documents with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice of a city in Ontario. The documents had to be in the original, signed by a party, and they had to be filed at the courthouse filing department by the parties or through their counsel by way of “process servers” or companies that serve and file documents on behalf of lawyers for their clients.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has issued notices that parties, and law firms should not attend any courthouse, as the recommendations of public health in Toronto are to still remain socially distanced and at home, and court staff present in courthouses have significantly reduced in numbers and will not be taking any new divorce applications at least in Toronto, unless by way of the online platform. This is what we were told today, when our law clerk contacted the Superior Court of Justice at 393 University Avenue, the main divorce court in the Toronto core.

In recent days, and in order to provide a safer platform for access to justice for individuals or law firms seeking to file divorce applications, the Government of Ontario has issued notices that parties can now apply to the Ontario Court Superior Court of Justice by filing and perfecting their divorce applications on an online platform.

In order for one of our Toronto Divorce Lawyers to be able to file an online divorce application for you:

Both you and your spouse must:

  • be separated for at least one year
  • have been married in Canada or have an electronically issued marriage certificate (not a scanned copy) from another country, if you’re filing for a joint divorce

Unfortunately at this time, those divorce applications that have already been filed with the Ontario in person either by a party or a lawyer, need to be perfected as to next steps on the file, in person as well, as the online platform does not appear to allow the filing of additional materials for any divorce application that was not originally filed online.

There is a requirement to file several documents with any divorce application, whether online or in person and, as such, a consultation should be had with one of our Toronto Divorce Lawyers in order to determine your eligibility to file for a divorce online and the documentation required to do so. Call one of our Toronto Divorce Lawyers today for a consultation on your ability to meet the online platform requirements. We are here to assist you.

Written by: Ms. Solmaz Separy, Managing Lawyer