In almost all provinces and territories of Canada there are two ways you can file your own papers to apply for divorce: you and your spouse can file as joint applicants, or one spouse can file as a sole applicant.
If you and your spouse want to end your marriage and are able to agree on issues such as child custody and the division of any assets, doing your own divorce is a fairly simple process. The first decision to make is how the paperwork will be handled.
If you and your spouse agree to cooperate, filing as joint applicants is usually a slightly faster procedure than filing as a sole applicant. As joint applicants you will complete the required paperwork together and file it together at a local court registry office.
If you choose to file as a sole applicant, you must rely on your spouse to cooperate in the process. After your initial filing of divorce papers at the court registry, you will need to have the papers served on your spouse (Self-Counsel′s guides explain how this is done). If your spouse cooperates and does not challenge the paperwork (you must wait between 7 and 60 days to allow a challenge, the time depending on where you are filing and where your spouse lives), then you can proceed to complete the remaining paperwork. If your spouse files a challenge to the papers (known in law as a “response”), you will need the help of a lawyer before proceeding further.