What Happens If I Do Not Sign The Divorce Papers?
Couples are not always on the same page regarding divorce. You might have been blindsided by your spouse and been served divorce papers in Etobicoke. Your first instinct would be to resist and avoid signing the divorce papers. Unfortunately, 40% of marriages end in divorce and it’s better to separate than live in a loveless marriage. However, you should know that by resisting you might lose your negotiation rights regarding spousal support, child support, and division of property in Ontario. The divorce proceedings will be more expensive and time-consuming too.
How soon do I have to respond to divorce papers?
In Ontario, you can file for divorce only after a year of separation. You are required to respond and file necessary documents within 30 days of receiving divorce papers. When you refuse to sign the papers, the divorce becomes contested. Your spouse can still go ahead with a divorce proceedings. For Ontario residents, you are required to reside in the province for at least a year for the divorce to be granted.
Uncontested vs contested divorce in Toronto
An uncontested divorce is when both parties have no outstanding issues that the court needs to resolve. You and your spouse will get equal say in the matter and work together to reach a solution. Often called a “simple divorce”, it is more affordable compared to contested divorce because lawyers don’t have to spend time resolving issues. It is a much quicker process and can be completed outside the court.
On the other hand, a contested divorce is when you and your spouse don’t agree on the terms of your separation. It could be as severe as not wanting a divorce or issues like parenting time, spousal support, or division of property.
Will my spouse be able to get a divorce without me signing the papers?
Even though complicated and time consuming, your spouse will be able to get a divorce whether you sign the papers or not. The Ontario family court will set a hearing date and send you a notice. The judge will review all documents submitted by your spouse, ask you and them questions, and issue a ruling. It’s likely for the divorce proceeding to take a minimum of 6 months. The Court of Justice will decide the matter on an uncontested basis.
What should be my next step?
Contested or default divorce proceedings can get ugly. Whether you want to sign the papers or not, it’s best to hire an experienced divorce lawyer in Etobicoke. It’s crucial for you to know your rights and take the right action. At Noori Law, we believe that every case is unique and needs to be handled with care. Hind Noori, our principal lawyer, has participated in different alternative dispute resolution processes including mediations, arbitrations and various settlement meetings.
We don’t go to Court just to go to Court – our strategy is to focus on winning the war, not only the battles along the way.