To ask for a divorce, you must file certain documents in court. A request for a divorce is officially called an “Application for Divorce.” The divorce process begins when you prepare an application for divorce.
You can prepare the application on your own using our web guide Applying for a Divorce. This guide includes a model application for divorce that you can fill out. However, this model is not very detailed and doesn’t necessarily respond to the needs of every person..
The best way to protect your rights when asking for a divorce is to have a lawyer prepare the application for divorce.
Beginning the Divorce Process
Even if you hire a lawyer, the lawyer must attach certain documents to the application for divorce. These are documents you already have or can easily get your hands on.
Documents You Need When Asking for a Divorce
These documents must usually be attached to an application for divorce:
- birth certificates for both spouses
- spouses’ marriage certificate
- spouses’ marriage contract, if there is one
In some cases, other documents are needed too:
- any youth protection judgments involving the couple’s child
- any agreement with the Director of Youth Protection
- any document signed in front of a notary where the spouses gave up rights to the family property (officially called the “family patrimony”)
- any agreement between the spouses concerning all or some of the consequences of their breakup
- birth certificates for all children
- official translations of the birth or marriage certificates if the originals are written in a foreign language
- any court order, “undertaking” or “recognizance” for the child or one of the spouses under the Criminal Code
Undertakings and recognizances are formal promises that a person accused of a crime makes to a police officer or the court. The person usually promises to appear in court and to follow certain conditions.
Consequences of a Divorce Application
There are many serious consequences of filing a divorce application. For example, the spouses may be wondering
- whether they have to find a new place to live,
- whether they can keep some property until the divorce is final,
- who will pay for which expenses,
- if they will have to pay for the other spouse’s financial needs or for the children’s financial needs,
- if the other spouse will pay for their financial needs,
- what will happen to their joint bank accounts and joint credit cards, and
- who the children will live with.
A lawyer can set your mind at ease by providing advice that applies to your specific situation. If the spouses aren’t able to reach an agreement, a temporary judgment can settle any emergencies until the divorce is final.
A collaborative divorce saves time and money. It’s definitely something to keep in mind.
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.