Is It Necessary To Go To Court In A Divorce Case?

People often want to know if they have to go to court. And our response is, no, you can resolve your matter outside of court and that is usually our aim in all cases.

Out of court, you can prepare a separation agreement, which is a contract that governs the terms of the breakdown of your relationship and any ongoing responsibilities that you or your spouse may have to one another.

But sometimes, you may need to go to court because one spouse is being unreasonable and you can’t negotiate with them, or they are refusing to provide financial disclosure. Maybe there is an urgent issue involving one of their children and you need to force your spouse to disclose something or perhaps you need the police to become involved to protect one of the children. These are reasons for going to court.

If you resolve things with your separation agreement, but you want an actual divorce certificate saying you are no longer married – which you need to get remarried – you can still resolve everything outside of court and then just submit a simple application to the court for that certificate only. The court would not have to delve into all the substantive issues that need to be resolved upon separation.

It’s always our approach to try and resolve things outside of court. When you do that, you achieve a result that’s specific to your needs and can be negotiated with the other party. The court, on the other hand, may not be willing to craft a separation with details that are unique to your situation, such as the needs of the children or how support will be paid for the children or their education. There are many advantages to resolving an agreement outside of court and we always try to do that first.


If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with family law issues in York Region, Durham Region or Toronto, contact Feldstein Family Law Group for a consultation.

This article is taken from a November 14, 2008 interview with Michael Wilson, Family Lawyer with Feldstein Family Law Group, a Toronto Ontario Family Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.