Despite what you may think not every divorce is a messy one. In fact, some go so smoothly that neither party has to set foot in a court or speak to a judge. These divorces are called Desk Order Divorces and, in this blog, we’re going to discuss how the process works.
What is a Desk Order Divorce?
If the two parties involved in the divorce have no major matrimonial issues, no children or money issues they can apply for a Desk Order Divorce. This simplified arrangement involves a judge signing off on the divorce from behind his/her ‘desk’ to complete the arrangement. It typically happens in two situations:
- A settlement between both parties is made in advance. This is submitted to the judge and no spouse files a response
- Both spouses jointly apply for the Desk Order Divorce
In terms of how common both arrangements are. Lawyers in British Columbia will typically see the first option the most. Applying jointly for a Desk Order Divorce isn’t common as divorce can be an emotionally fraught process. And, while both parties are on amicable terms at that moment, it might not always last. It is recommended one person apply and for the other party not to file a response.
How to Apply for a Desk Order Divorce in BC
In the interests of clarity, we will describe the process for applying for a Desk Order Divorce on your own, and not jointly. This relatively simple process takes place over two stages:
Filing the Claim
Start by downloading and completing the Notice of Family Claim form. This document is then served against the other spouse. At this point, the spouse has 30 days to respond to the claim. If no response is made, the Desk Order Divorce will proceed to stage two. If a response is filed, the Desk Order Divorce application will be rejected.
Completing the Forms
Once the 30 days have passed, it’s time to file the necessary paperwork. This part of the process can be laborious, with multiple forms to be completed. If there are any errors contained within the forms, the application for a Desk Order Divorce will be rejected. We recommend consulting with a family law expert at this juncture to prevent any avoidable delays in the process. The forms it will be necessary to complete include:
- Copy of the Separation Agreement
- Divorce Affidavit
- Child support Affidavit
- Certificate of Registrar
- Draft Desk Order Divorce
- Requisition to Search
- Fees Payable
Here to Help
If you have any questions about the Desk Order Divorce process in BC, the expert team at Westside is standing by to help. Contact us and we’ll be happy to assist.