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Divorce (Ontario): process & financial disclosure

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  • Mar 4th, 2021 6:56 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Apr 27, 2014
12 posts
3 upvotes
Ontario

Divorce (Ontario): process & financial disclosure

I am in Ontario.

Spouse and I are separated and both have lawyers for independent legal advice, separation agreement and (maybe if we dont do ourselves) the actual divorce filings.

Spouse and I are very amicable and want to complete everything as easy and least expensive as possible. Neither wants to go to court - very very very tiny chance of that happening.

There will be property division and spousal support but no kids involved or any marital home/fixed assets.

We will get lawyers to draw up formal separation agreement based on what spouse and I agree to together.

Lawyers involved seem reasonable but seem to be typical lawyers - "Fill out form 13.1 and leave it all to us" - ugh fee grab I smell, typical lawyers albeit less greasy than average....

I have come across some sources that seem to say that one does ***not*** have to use or file with Court the "Form 13.1 Financial Statement" if applying for "Joint Divorce" where parties have agreed on property division and spousal support or "Simple Application" - for example:

https://lisagelman.com/divorce/how-to-get-a-divorce-without-a-lawyer/

https://stepstojustice.ca/questions/family-law/what-financial-statement-what-documents-do-i-have-give-my-partner

Spouse and I are willing to disclose finances to one another (using Form 13.1 as guide) in writing and have lawyers review/approve but would like to avoid Form 13.1 and especially filing Form 13.1 with court - because of work involved, cost and privacy. My questions:

Q1. Are the above (see URLs) correct re: not having to use or file 13.1 for Joint or Simple? Surprise surprise the "welcome to the firm" paperwork both our respective lawyers provided us do not even mention Simple/Joint and just seem to leave impression that "General Application" is the (only) process. Ugh lawyers. Don't get me wrong - a good lawyer is worth weight in gold - unfortunately those are not the rule just the exception IMHO.

Q2. If one did have to file 13.1 with Court, how is it kept private? Who could see it after filing/how is it kept private?

Thanks!
8 replies
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2009
11005 posts
9484 upvotes
You can go to lawdepot.ca and get a free legal separation agreement printed there.

Then a notary can be your witness (there are a few lawyers who are notaries as well).

You only need a lawyer if you cant agree on terms or want legal advice on things like child/spousal support.

Just ensure full financial disclosure of assets. And in the agreement put all assets each of you plan to keep (down to the furniture).

But if you both can agree on division of assets and there is no support involved, this is easy and may not need lawyers involved. Lawyers are a waste of money and only for those who want to take their partners to the cleaners.

Otherwise Notary $60 bam your done, and tell your spouse thank you have a great life!
Last edited by Sanyo on Apr 21st, 2020 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
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Dec 16, 2015
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Technoking
Due to stayathome?
To the moon
Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2017
687 posts
505 upvotes
My ex-wife and I negotiated out most of the terms, then sat with a mediator for about four hours to give her instructions to draft up the separation agreement. She took all our financials and ran it through divorce-mate software and appended the results to the agreement for us. It wasn't that expensive (far cheaper than each of you using a lawyer). Brings some impartiality and some confidence that the agreement is being done well.

Edit to add:

In terms of financial disclosure, copies of bank accounts, pension balances for the period accrued during the mortgage, assets (cars, rrsps, etc), debts (mortgage statement, car loan statement, etc). Anything you own or owe with an official statmeent essentially.
Deal Addict
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Mar 9, 2012
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Kitchener
When I divorce the spouse I didn't use a lawyer at all. We agreed to this. You simply file for, as you said, a "Simple Divorce". One of you would have to file, and that one pays for the divorce, as well as associated costs (the main one being using a Process Server Provider to serve the Responder -- this is proof that the spouse received the divorce agreement). I can't recall if there is any action on their part before the court date. But normally if they agree to everything, they don't file a response. On the hearing date, you simply don't go to court, and technically if there is no answer from the respondent, there is no courtroom hearing. The judge signs the divorce agreement, and your divorce I think it was 3 weeks later.

I think total cost for me was like $500. Lawyers are OK to have because they'll make sure all the paperwork is accurate, as I did have a couple errors here and there (mostly typos, but some protocols as well). Generally though the staff at the courthouse will help you in fixing any errors, it's just a pain in the ass because you're always waiting for staff to serve you.

No 13.1 sent in, btw.
Why can't we all just get along?
Newbie
User avatar
Feb 16, 2021
1 posts
2 upvotes
The only thing I needed after the divorce is a professional counsellor... too much stress I was up to overcome.
Jr. Member
Dec 17, 2012
105 posts
15 upvotes
Vaughan
dolfan1980 wrote: My ex-wife and I negotiated out most of the terms, then sat with a mediator for about four hours to give her instructions to draft up the separation agreement. She took all our financials and ran it through divorce-mate software and appended the results to the agreement for us. It wasn't that expensive (far cheaper than each of you using a lawyer). Brings some impartiality and some confidence that the agreement is being done well.

Edit to add:

In terms of financial disclosure, copies of bank accounts, pension balances for the period accrued during the mortgage, assets (cars, rrsps, etc), debts (mortgage statement, car loan statement, etc). Anything you own or owe with an official statmeent essentially.
Recommendation of mediator?
Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2017
687 posts
505 upvotes
Zer0Zer0 wrote: Recommendation of mediator?
No idea, the one we used left the practice. We used a younger, cheaper lawyer who had perhaps 10 years experience and specialized in these things.
Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2017
687 posts
505 upvotes
Zer0Zer0 wrote: Recommendation of mediator?
No idea, the one we used left the practice. We used a younger, cheaper lawyer who had perhaps 10 years experience and specialized in these things.

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