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I'm getting divorced? What now?

Divorce is not an uncommon event today. In the last two decades, 5 million Canadians have divorced or separated. Just because a lot of people are getting divorced, though, isn't likely what you want to hear if you are going through one. If you are wondering where you go from deciding a divorce is happening to a new and happy life after divorce, here are the steps to a divorce in Canada:

-- Decide to divorce. This can be one of the hardest steps in the entire process.

-- Get an application for divorce.

-- Determine the grounds for the divorce. There are three valid grounds for divorce: separation, abuse/cruelty and adultery.

-- Decide if the divorce is non-contested or contested.

-- Negotiate agreements on child custody or child support.

-- File the application at a courthouse in your territory or province of residence.

-- Obtain clearance from the divorce registry.

-- Serve your spouse with divorce papers. He or she will have 30 days to respond.

-- Be notified of the court's decision on whether to grant your divorce.

-- Get your divorce certificate 30 days after the court issues the divorce order.

While all of that may seem a bit intimidating, your lawyer can help you with the legal process. On top of dealing with the divorce, you also must plan for the future. This includes planning for the separation of the household, dealing with a new financial reality and help your children through this monumental change in their lives.

Divorce can contribute to anxiety, depression, substance abuse and stress in either or both parents. You will need to make sure you take care of yourself during the divorce process, including seeking help through counseling or therapy.

Source: Huffington Post Canada, "Divorce In Canada: 20 Things You Need To Know," Terri Coles, accessed July 08, 2016

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