If you and your spouse are lucky enough to settle all your matrimonial issues outside of the court room, or you do not have kids, spousal support or money issues at the time of separation, you can apply for what is called a Desk Order Divorce which means getting a simple divorce from the Courts.
Only a judge can grant you a divorce. Therefore you need the BC Supreme Court’s assistance for your Desk Order Divorce.
What is a Desk Order Divorce or an Uncontested Divorce?
The Desk Order divorce is the process by which you can avoid having to appear before a judge to obtain your divorce. It can happen in two situations:
- You apply for divorce and other Orders based on your settlement with your spouse and your spouse does not provide a Response to your Claim.
- You and your spouse jointly apply for the Desk Order divorce.
The First option is mostly used to obtain a BC Desk Order divorce. The second option is almost never used because it complicates the matters and courts are hesitant to grant a joint divorce.
What you Need to Do to Obtain a BC Desk Order Divorce
This is a 2 step process.
Stage 1 of BC Desk Order Divorce
File your BC Notice of Family Claim and serve it on your spouse. Your spouse will have 30 days from the date of service to respond to your claim. If your spouse does not respond you can move ahead to the second stage. In most cases, you should ask your spouse not to provide a Response. If he/she does, your BC Desk Order Divorce application will be rejected.
Stage 2 of BC Desk Order Divorce
After waiting 30 days for a response and if no response is filed or served on you, you can move to the second stage. This is where things get complicated. You will have to fill out multiple forms and if you make a single mistake, your Application for a BC Desk Order Divorce will be rejected.
The forms you will have to prepare include but are not limited to:
- Divorce Affidavit
- Child Support Affidavit
- Certificate of Registrar
- Registrar’s Certificate of Pleadings
- Draft Desk Order Divorce
- Requisition to Search
- A copy of your separation agreement
- Fees payable
It is reported that over 90% of BC Desk Order Divorce Applications are rejected by the Courts due to incompleteness, lack of proper legal procedure, lack of proper wording, etc.
For BC Desk Order Divorce, we always recommend that you hire a lawyer to prepare your Application on your behalf. I have a client who tried doing this by herself. 3 rejection notices and one year later, she still has not obtained her divorce and now has to pay higher legal fees to correct her mistakes.