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The court must register all new divorce applications with the federal Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings CRDP to ensure that no other proceeding involving the same parties has already been started elsewhere. The court cannot grant a divorce until a clearance certificate has been issued by the CRDP and filed with the court confirming that there are no other ongoing actions. During this time, declines have been steady in Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia, while the territories have seen some year-to-year fluctuations Table 1. Data for Alberta and Northwest Territories are not available for part of this time period.
In Ontario, six in ten divorce cases were new that year, compared to Nova Scotia, Alberta and Yukon at about four in ten. In addition to new cases each year, civil courts continue to process ongoing divorce cases, or cases that had been initiated in a prior year. These were cases that had some kind of case activity or event, such as a document filing, hearing or decision, during the year. Civil courts handle divorce cases and all other family cases such as adoption, child protection, guardianship and cases involving property division, custody and access, and support under provincial law.
In addition to family court cases, civil courts handle non-family, or general civil cases such as motor vehicle actions and bankruptcy matters. The main purpose of a divorce is to end the legal relationship of marriage and finalize the various issues that may still exist between spouses such as the division of assets or property, spousal support, child support, custody and access.
Lawyers and counselling services are commonly used by individuals during their divorce and there are also programs and services available to help divorcing spouses resolve issues and conflict before they go to court Text box 2. Divorce can be a very difficult, stressful transition and people going through a divorce may make use of various programs and services for support and guidance through the experience.
The following examines the use of these services by divorced individuals in Canada, using data from the General Social Survey. According to the General Social Survey, close to , persons in Canada went through a divorce between and Almost one-half of the recently divorced individuals had at least one child with a former spouse. All provinces and territories have, or are planning to have, programs and procedures in place to ensure that alternative dispute resolution services are available for addressing family law issues Department of Justice a.
These services, such as mediation and conciliation , are designed to resolve issues and conflict between parties before they go to court. Parent education programs are also offered in every province and territory in Canada. These programs provide information on the demands and challenges of parenting after separation or divorce, and educate parents on methods of communication, co-parenting and the effects of conflict on children Department of Justice a. Family law information centres have been established in most provinces and territories to provide information on the court system and other information or referrals that may assist individuals with their court cases Department of Justice a.
There may also be community resource centres available to provide support and guidance through a divorce.
Divorce in South Africa - Wikipedia
In some divorce cases, a joint application for divorce will be made, indicating that both parties have agreed to the divorce and any related issues. In other cases, a sole divorce application by one spouse will be filed with the court.
- Divorce in South Africa.
- The processing of divorce cases through civil court in seven provinces and territories.
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The other spouse then has the opportunity to file an answer or Statement of Defence within a certain length of time to contest or dispute the divorce. If an answer is not filed, the divorce will proceed through court as uncontested. In most provinces and territories, the parties to an uncontested divorce no longer have to appear in court before a judge Department of Justice Canada b.
Instead, a judge may grant a divorce judgment after reviewing the application and adequacy of the documentation filed. Most divorce cases proceeding through court are uncontested. The Divorce Act outlines the criteria for child and spousal support and custody of and access to children after a divorce. It requires that lawyers promote negotiation, through means such as mediation, to settle these issues.
The law also provides that custody and access decisions must be based on the best interests of the child and a court will not grant a divorce unless satisfied that reasonable arrangements have been made for the care and support of the children Divorce Act Marital property issues are generally dealt with at the same time as divorce but under provincial and territorial family law legislation.
Divorce cases can involve multiple issues as they go through court. At least one-quarter of all divorce cases with issues dealt with the three issues of access, custody and support Text Table 4. There is some provincial variation in the length of divorce cases. In Alberta and Nunavut, a greater proportion of divorce cases are older than other family cases. In British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, the reverse trend was true—the proportion of other family cases more than four years old was greater than that of divorce cases.
The Divorce Process
Family cases, including divorce cases, may flow in and out of court as issues are resolved. Unlike criminal cases, where charges against the accused are disposed of and cases are considered completed, family court cases may involve issues, such as child support, custody and access, that take time to resolve due to their complexity or level of conflict between the parties.
Cases may also be brought back to court for variation on decisions previously made. Thus, cases may span over a number of years, but they may not necessarily have had activity in every year. One way of examining this phenomenon is to follow newly initiated cases over a period of years. In all five jurisdictions, family cases not involving divorce were less likely than divorce cases to be active the year following initiation Chart 2.
A variety of activities take place as divorce cases proceed through court, and the process and forms required at different stages of a case vary among the provinces and territories. There may be documents filed and other events, such as hearings or conferences that move cases forward through the civil court process. These types of events have been defined by the Civil Court Survey as process events. Other events, defined as disposition events , resolve or dispose of part or all of a case. These include judgments and other decisions made to settle , withdraw or dismiss a case, among others.
The vast majority of all process events were document filings which often accompany various stages of case activity, from the documents required at case initiation, to those filed during court hearings and those filed upon decisions made by the court. Almost all divorce cases had at least one document filing during the year. There are more document filings the first year of a case than in subsequent years of activity. Excludes Ontario. Ontario figures include trial hearings for uncontested divorces.
An uncontested trial is a trial in which only the party making the claim provides evidence and submissions. The figures are therefore not comparable. Note: Data for Alberta for the vast majority of these event categories are not available, therefore Alberta has been excluded from this chart. Divorce cases rarely reach the trial stage.
For divorce cases, the first occurrence of a disposition commonly takes place soon after case initiation. Judgments include all decisions made by a judge or master , such as orders, interim orders , summary judgments , judgments granting a divorce and other decisions that resolve matters associated with the case.
Divorce cases may involve many judgments over time as various issues, like custody, access, and support are resolved. The divorce will not be finalized, but cases may also be disposed of if the parties settle or withdraw the case from court or if the court dismisses or discontinues the case. There are many complexities to the civil court process and differences among the provinces and territories in the management of civil cases. This article has examined the processing of divorce cases through civil court in seven provinces and territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, using data from the Civil Court Survey.
Each year, civil courts handle new divorce cases, as well as ongoing divorce cases from a prior year. The majority of ongoing cases were no more than two years old, although there were some provincial and territorial differences in the age of divorce cases being handled through the court. Most of the activity throughout the divorce cases was the filing of documents. Decisions that resolved matters related to the case were commonly reached within the first six months of case initiation and the majority of divorce cases never reached a trial within the four-year period examined.
The survey is intended to be a census of all civil court activity in Canada. It collects microdata on court events at both the superior and provincial and territorial court levels.
The Divorce Process in England & Wales Explained
Appeal courts, federal courts e. Data limitations The collection of data is from administrative records stored in civil court automated information systems. Given that the data are derived from records originally kept for non-statistical purposes, complete survey information is not always available. Of note for this article is the fact that judgment information related to corollary issues, such as custody, access, support and property may be under reported. Findings are limited to divorce cases where the information is available. The degree of under reporting is unknown.
Given that the data collection methodology requires the existence of detailed operational information systems that have not yet been developed in all jurisdictions, it will take time for the survey to achieve full coverage. Reference and collection period The reference period is the month fiscal period between April 1 st and March 31 st.
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Data are collected quarterly in the month following the end of the quarter July, October, January and April. Ambert, Anne-Marie. Divorce Facts, Causes, and Consequences. Contemporary Family Trends. The Vanier Institute of the Family. Statistics Canada Catalogue no.
Ottawa, Ontario. Department of Justice Canada.