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Five steps to a quickie divorce

So that childhood flame has fizzled. Luckily, you and your spouse are staying friends and had no children or property to fight over. Here are five steps to make your divorce official.

Step 1. Separate:
Unless there are accusations of adultery or abuse, married couples must spend 12 months apart before applying for a divorce. Some divorces are granted in less than a year in cases where one spouse has claimed adultery or abuse, but only if the other party doesn't contest the grounds for divorce.

Step 2. Obtain a divorce application: The Divorce Act is a federal law, but the process of legally ending a marriage comes under the jurisdiction of the province or territory the applicant(s) reside in. Each province or territory has its own divorce form and you, or your spouse, must have lived in the province for a year prior to applying for a divorce. According to the Department of Justice website, couples can obtain an official divorce form from the following places: courts; bookstores; and the website or office of the provincial or territorial ministry of justice or attorney general.

Step 3. Apply for an uncontested divorce: If your spouse agrees to the reason and terms of the divorce, you can apply for an uncontested, or sole, divorce, whereby you can submit the divorce application on behalf of both parties. File the application at the courthouse in the province or territory in which you reside. You can also have a lawyer do this for you. The documents are reviewed by the Divorce Registry in Ottawa who will serve the papers to your spouse, who has 30 days to challenge any of the terms.

Step 4. Divorce order: After the 30-day period elapses without any challenge from your spouse, you can begin the final stage of your divorce process by submitting your Affidavit for Divorce, Divorce Order and Clerk's Certificate. A judge will review the files and, if no problems, issue a Divorce Order. This process can take up to six months to complete.

Step 5. Make it official: A month after your Divorce Order has been issued, you can obtain your Certificate of Divorce. Congratulations, you are now officially single again.

Read more:

Department of Justice: How to apply for a divorce: