Are Divorce Records Public In Canada?

Are Divorce Records Public In Canada?

Your spouse has filed for divorce, but you were never told which court processed the divorce application. You didn’t receive a copy of the divorce certificate, but your spouse is guaranteeing the two of you are divorced. How can you be sure the divorce is finalized and where can you get information about your divorce?

(If you haven’t filed for divorce yet, meet with a family lawyer to find out about your rights and responsibilities. The divorce process can be complicated and involves issues such as dividing property and debts, pensions, child support, spousal support, and other assets. There are limitation periods (time frames in which you can start a court action) such as filing for spousal support or division of property that you need to be aware of prior to starting your divorce claim.)

In Canada, divorce is granted under the federal Divorce Act, which means it applies across Canada. However, the process of getting a divorce falls under provincial or territorial law. This means the process for getting divorced in British Columbia is different from other provinces. In British Columbia, it is possible to do your divorce in four to five months after you’ve settled all your issues, but the wait times can be longer based on how busy the courts are at the moment.

If you need information about your divorce or a copy of your divorce certificate, you must contact the court that processed your divorce application. In British Columbia, it would be the court that you or your ex-spouse filed the Notice of Family Claim. However, figuring out which court is processing your divorce can be problematic in some situations. For example, what do you do if your ex-spouse filed the divorce application, and you can’t get in touch with them, or they are ignoring your requests for information?

The Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings keeps a nationwide record of divorce applications going as far back as July 2, 1968. They can help you identify which court is processing your divorce. They may also give you a reference number to help court officials find your file. However, the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings cannot give you detailed information about your divorce.

To access court records, including divorce files, you can request the court file from the court that processed the divorce. Obtaining actual divorce records may require specific steps and authorization, as both court files and court records are accessible to the public. However, obtaining divorce records might involve filling out specific forms or providing identification. To obtain divorce records, one might need to know the court file number or have sufficient details about the divorce case.

You can contact the Registry by:

1)      Calling 613-957-4519; or

2)      For the hearing impaired only 1-800-267-7676.

When you contact the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings you will need to provide them with the following information:

1)      The date you married;

2)      Your date of birth;

3)      Your spouse’s date of birth;

4)      Your full name before you married your spouse;

5)      Your spouse’s full name before they were married to you.

Once you know which court is processing your divorce you can call the court directly to get a copy of your divorce certificate or to get more information about your divorce application.

Can you get access to someone else’s divorce records?

The Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings may only provide you with information about someone else’s divorce, including obtaining divorce records and marital status records, if you need the information to enforce a law or if you received consent from one of the parties.

If you qualify, you must fill out a search request form, specifically the Search Request and Consent Form, in writing. This form is necessary for obtaining information about someone else’s divorce. The search request form requires details such as the birth date and full name of the former spouse to process the request.

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