For a step by step guide on doing your own divorce see the Family Law in BC Divorce Self-Help Guide
Or for a more detailed in-depth look you can purchase the guide lawyer’s use with Continued Legal Education’s Desk Order Divorce Guide.
For more information on how to fill out and find court forms check out our Court Forms Chart.
1) Get your marriage certificate
2) Prepare court documents starting with a Notice of Family Claim F3. When you fill out this form, use the name that appears on your marriage certificate. If you've used another name since that time, then add "also known as" where it asks for the name on the notice. You will also need to fill out a Registration of Divorce Proceedings online and print it.
3) Go to the Supreme Court Registry and file:
A. For Joint Applications:
B. For Sole Applications:
4) For Sole Applications. You must serve your spouse with the Notice. Have a friend or process server do this and give them a picture of your spouse. They will need to fill out an affidavit of service once they have served the Notice. You should not serve your own spouse.
Before you fill in your divorce application read Chapter 8 to learn how to write court forms.
5) For Sole Applications. If no response is filed within 30 days of receiving the Notice, you can prepare and file your Divorce Documents:
B. Affidavit F38
C. Draft order F52
D. Registrar’s Certificate
E. Process Server’s Affidavit F15
F. If you have kids you will need a Child Support Affidavit F37
6) It will take 4-8 weeks for your order to be ready. You can start calling the registry after 4 weeks to check and see if your order is available. Once it’s ready, you can go in and pick it up. Be sure to send a copy to your former spouse.
7) Your order takes effect 31 days after the date of the order. You are then officially divorced.
If you and your spouse want to get divorced but can't agree about key issues, you may have to apply for a contested divorce by starting a notice of family claim. This doesn't mean you disagree about whether you should get divorced. You don't need your spouse to agree to a divorce for the court to order one.
Instead, you're asking the judge to decide about parenting, support, and/or property and debt issues that you can’t agree on.