This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

How to Address Residency Requirements for Divorce in Ontario?

Question from Hyde, How to Address Residency Requirements for Divorce in Ontario?

Answer from AI:

When filing for a simple divorce in Ontario, one of the key requirements is that at least one party must have been a resident of Ontario for at least one year immediately preceding the filing of the divorce application. Understanding how to accurately represent your residency, especially when there have been periods of living outside your permanent address for reasons such as education or work, is crucial to ensure your application is accepted.

Understanding Residency Requirements

The residency requirement is designed to ensure that the Ontario courts have jurisdiction over the divorce. It’s not solely about where you physically were every day of the last year but rather about where your permanent home was during that time. This can sometimes lead to confusion, especially for individuals who have lived in multiple locations within Ontario for reasons like work or education.

Addressing Your Specific Situation

Based on the rejection notice you received, it seems there was a misunderstanding regarding the continuous nature of your residency in Ontario. Here’s how you might address this:

  • Clarify Permanent Residence: If your permanent address remained in Mississauga and Chatham, respectively, even while you were in London for school and work, it’s important to clarify this on the form. You can indicate that despite temporarily living in London for specific reasons, your permanent residences were maintained in your respective cities.
  • Documentation: If possible, provide documentation that supports your claim of permanent residency in Mississauga and Chatham, such as a driver’s license, tax returns, or utility bills in your names at those addresses during the period in question.
  • Explanation Letter: Consider attaching a letter to your application explaining the situation in more detail. This letter can outline the reasons for your temporary stay in London, emphasizing that it was for school and work and that you both maintained your permanent residences in Mississauga and Chatham.

Next Steps

  1. Review the Application: Go over your divorce application again to ensure all other requirements are met and that the information provided is clear and accurate.
  2. Consult a Legal Professional: If you’re unsure about how to proceed or how to best represent your situation, consulting with a legal professional can be very helpful. They can provide personalized advice and help you navigate the complexities of the divorce process.
  3. Resubmit the Application: Once you’ve clarified the residency information and attached any supporting documents or explanations, resubmit your application to the court for review.


Meeting the residency requirement is a critical step in filing for divorce in Ontario. When there are unique circumstances such as living in different locations for work or education, it’s important to clearly communicate the permanence of your Ontario residency despite these temporary changes. Remember, the goal is to demonstrate to the court that you or your spouse have maintained a permanent residence in Ontario for at least one year prior to filing. If you’re uncertain about how to proceed, seeking legal advice can provide clarity and increase the likelihood of a successful application.

For more information on filing for divorce in Ontario, you can visit the Government of Ontario’s official page on filing a divorce application online. Always remember, when dealing with legal matters, consulting with a legal professional can provide you with advice tailored to your specific situation.

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