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My ex and I are thinking about getting a divorce, where do we begin?

Since you and your Ex are formally married, the mechanics of your divorce will be covered by the Divorce Act, which is Canadian federal legislation. This statute sets out the prerequisites for getting a legal divorce, and also covers what is known as “corollary relief” including child support, spousal support, and parenting arrangements for any children you have together.

With that said, even though the Divorce Act is federal law, it gets administers through the Ontario Family justice systems. That means that you have to follow the procedural and administrative rules set up by the provincial government. These will cover things like how to file for a divorce in the province, and what forms and filing processes must be used. They will also set out which local court offices you must attend, to make your application.

However, part of the process of ending and untangling your relationship involves financial aspects – namely dividing up your marital property, including the matrimonial home, upon the breakdown of your marriage. Immediately after your split, these property-related issues are also governed by provincial legislation, primarily the Ontario Family Law Act. That Act contains a set of special rules on how your matrimonial property is dealt with pending your divorce, and in those cases where you separate but decide not to formally divorce at all. This legislation will also covers child custody and spousal support aspects in certain prescribed situations.

In the end, all of these divorce- and property-related issues – whether under federal law, or provincial law – will be brought under the same “umbrella” and dealt with by the same Ontario court, as part of your overall divorce process.

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