How Fast Can I Get a Divorce in Canada?

To answer this question we assume that you are applying for an uncontested divorce and are not seeking a divorce on grounds of cruelty or adultery. For a divorce to be uncontested, you and your spouse must have agreed on the details of any of the key issues that apply to you (custody, access, and support), and that there are no other issues (such as division of assets) which you and your spouse disagree on or are asking the court to settle for you.

Assuming you are applying for an uncontested divorce, the first requirement is that you have been separated (living separate and apart) for at least one year. Once you have met this requirement, you can file an application for divorce.

A joint application (you and your spouse apply) takes between six and ten weeks from filing the application to receiving the divorce order. The exact length of time will vary depending on how busy the courts are; whether the province requires you and your spouse to attend counselling sessions (usually on the topic of parenting after divorce and each of you is scheduled to attend a different session); and whether there are any questions regarding the paperwork you submit.

The time requirement can be longer if you are the sole applicant, as sole applications require you to serve documents on your spouse and then wait a fixed period of time for your spouse to not respond. A response indicates your spouse has decided to dispute something — the divorce itself, or any of the issues — and if your spouse does respond then your divorce is no longer uncontested and you will need to seek legal counsel.

Your divorce is automatically final 31 days after the court grants you a divorce order. You can re-marry only after the 31-day period has passed.


The “best case” timeframe is one year of separation, plus about six weeks of dealing with the court filings and waiting periods, plus a final 31 days after the divorce order is issued.

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