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Divorce in The Northwest Territories

The decision to get a divorce often involves significant stress and frustration. If you have reached the point where you want a divorce, the last thing you want is to go through a long and drawn-out process. Fortunately, the Northwest Territories makes filing for divorce relatively straightforward, particularly if you are seeking an uncontested divorce – one where you and your spouse agree on all issues like property division and child custody. You may even be able to complete your divorce without the services of an attorney. If you qualify, you only need to fill out the required divorce papers for the Northwest Territories and submit them to the court to get started. Preparing your divorce papers online for The Northwest Territories with CompleteCase.com can make the process even simpler. When you use our service you’ll know you are using the right forms for your situation.
If you and your spouse are struggling to come to agreements about divorce-related issues, such as property division or child custody, you may find the services of a divorce mediator beneficial. Mediation in Northwest Territories allows you to meet with a professional mediator, someone trained to help divorcing couples reach challenging decisions. Mediation may save you time and money, especially compared to a drawn out court dispute.
The following information was compiled to help you understand the basics of the divorce filing process in the Northwest Territories so you can move forward with your own divorce when you choose.

Northwest Territories Divorce Facts

According to Statistics Canada, the 2008 divorce rate in the Northwest Territories was 13.3 for every 10,000 residents. This rate puts the Northwest Territories near the bottom of the list of divorce rates, with only Nunavut being lower.

The Northwest Territories is governed by the Divorce Act of Canada, which only grants divorce based on marriage breakdown. There are three ways you can prove the breakdown of a marriage. The most popular way is by living separate and apart for one year. You do not need to live in different homes, necessarily, but you must not be acting as a married couple for at least one year. You can also state marriage breakdown due to adultery or extreme cruelty, but if you need to use one of these reasons it may be best to consult an attorney.

The Northwest Territories also requires that you or your spouse be a resident for at least one year before you are allowed to file for divorce.

Northwest Territories Divorce Papers and Forms

The divorce papers you’re required to complete for the Northwest Territories can vary depending on your circumstances, such as if you are filing alone or jointly, or if you and your spouse have minor children together. Ideally, you should do as much research as you can on the divorce process in the Northwest Territories before you begin the filing process. The more knowledgeable you are, the better you can protect yourself and your interests throughout the divorce. The Government of the Northwest Territories provides a Family Law Manual that explains divorce and the basics of the process, and is worth reading if you are considering divorce.

Divorce forms for the Northwest Territories are difficult to find online, which is why many people choose to use CompleteCase.com for their forms. At CompleteCase.com you can get the exact forms you need for your circumstances and the assistance needed to complete those forms accurately and completely. Our services can help you avoid unnecessary delays that result from submitting the wrong forms or from submitting forms that are not completed correctly.

How to File Divorce Papers in The Northwest Territories

When you have completed the required divorce papers, you will need to make at least two additional copies of the forms. You will file one set with the court, use one set to serve to your spouse and keep one for your records. You will also need to pay a fee for your divorce application. It is advisable to contact the court before you attempt to file to verify that you have all the correct documents, and that you have the correct amount for the filing fee.

The Northwest Territories Courts website lists the courts in the territory and their hours of operation. You can take your divorce forms to file personally. You may also be able to mail the documents in if you are unable to come in person, but you should call the court to verify this and find out the exact process.

When you have filed your papers and paid the fee, you can ask the court clerk what your next steps should be. What follows the initial filing can vary considerably depending on your circumstances. If you are filing jointly, you can skip the step of serving your spouse the divorce forms. If you are filing an uncontested divorce, you can expect a fairly short time period between filing and getting a final judgment. On the other hand, if you and your spouse are going to dispute issues, you may be looking at a much longer process. This is why it is a good idea to ask the clerk what to expect next.

How to Serve Divorce Papers in The Northwest Territories

Unless you have filed your divorce jointly with your spouse, the next step is usually to serve papers to your spouse. “Serving” simply means delivering copies to your spouse so he or she has an opportunity to respond. It is an important part of the legal process, ensuring that everyone has a chance to have his or her voice heard by the court.

In the Northwest Territories, you are not allowed to personally serve your spouse. You must find someone who is over 18-years-old and that is literate to deliver the documents. Some people ask a friend or family member to serve the papers. Just make sure you can trust the individual to deliver the documents, because you cannot complete the filing without the service. You may also hire a private process server. A private process server will charge a fee. When the papers have been served, you need to get an “Affidavit of Service” from the individual that served the papers, proving that the service happened. File this with the court to complete the divorce application.

Do you qualify for an online divorce?

Do you know the location of your spouse?
Is your spouse in agreement regarding this divorce and willing to sign the divorce papers with you?
Do you and your spouse have any children under the age of 18 from this marriage?