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How Much does a Divorce Cost in Canada?

Divorce Cost in Canada

Marriage is all butterfly and happiness until things go south. Many marriages often do not last forever and end in divorce. Sometimes, that is the best outcome of a failed and unhappy marriage.

The process of divorce is complex and lengthy. You have to go through a lot of paperwork, lawyer consultation, mitigation, trials, and, eventually, the judge’s verdict. It could be months before you can finally get separated from your spouse. So, how much does a divorce cost in Canada?

The cost of divorce in Canada can vary depending on your particular case. Here is how much does divorce will cost you in Canada.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Canada SK: Understanding the Scenario

No matter how hard you try, sometimes separation is the only option in marriage. You decide to go for a divorce. Now you cannot wait to be alone and single again. However, the path towards that is not so smooth.

The overall process of divorce is very critical. On top of that, there are so many things to consider. Apart from the separation money, alimony and child custody, the cost of the divorce itself is a lot to take in. There are numerous charges and fees involved. Not to mention, the divorce lawyers fee are sky-high.

Despite everything, you should have a clear idea about the overall cost of a divorce in Canada. You can avoid unexpected financial constraints and expenses by having a thorough knowledge of this topic. So, here you go.

Amicable Divorce: The Cheapest One Out There

An amicable divorce is also known as an uncontested divorce. This is by far the cheapest divorce anyone can ask for. Uncontested divorces are those divorces that have an agreement between the two parties, and there is no disparity.

In an amicable divorce, an application is filed for divorce with a draft agreement of separation. This eventually cuts a lot of costs and reduces delays. Since the process moves faster, there are fewer additional and hidden costs in the process.

As the spouses agree on the terms and conditions, there is less option of lawyer involvement. Therefore, judges will sign the agreement, and separation will be finalized.

The Canadian Lawyer Magazine stated in a survey that lawyers usually charge $1845 on average in an amicable divorce. The court fee is around a little more than $400. Moreover, the court’s extra fees can range up to $300 for divorce review.

Contested Divorce: Fights and Disagreements Increase Cost

If you are going through something exactly the opposite of an amicable divorce, that is a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, parties disagree on literally every term of the divorce. This can be a division of assets, alimony, child support, and many other areas of separation.

The average cost of a contested divorce can be around $14,000 in Canada. As the overall process of this divorce is quite lengthy and complex, the expenses rise way up. You will definitely need experienced, skilled, and the best lawyers out there to fight for your claims. As a result, these lawyers will charge very high fees.

Furthermore, the court proceedings are quite tricky as well. The lawyers will need to draft hearings, calculate alimony, assets, and debts, divide property, and fight for child custody. Therefore, costs go way up in a contested divorce.

Read more about tips for an uncontested divorce.

Quick Divorce: A Joint Application with Low-cost Package

There are many lawyers who suggest online divorce. This is another low-cost divorce procedure. Here, the lawyer will offer you low package deals to work with a lawyer without even setting a physical meeting.

The cost of a quick divorce can range from $500 to $2000. You can expect to spend this amount on cases that are fairly simple to handle. When there is no hassle or property division, or child custody, a quick divorce can be the best option.

Many people opt for this option for the low-cost approach. However, you must remember that something that is so cheap, must have some holes in it. For instance, it is important for lawyers and clients to sit together and prepare a separation agreement. In a quick divorce, this may not happen at times. As a result, your divorce application can be denied for not having a strong case to present in front of the judge and for this application you may need the help of a divorce lawyer in Saskatoon (SK).

Fees of Legal Professionals in Canada

The divorce procedure will involve quite a few legal actors. Each professional has their own fee chart and will charge differently.

The lawyers

The cost of lawyers in Canada varies depending on the state or province you have applied for divorce. On average, the hourly rate of divorce lawyers can range between $180 to $350. Lawyers in Saskatchewan are very experienced and skilled in family matters. Thus, you should be prepared to spend extra if you want the best ones in the business.

The notaries

In a few states, you can complete an amicable divorce with the help of a notary. While in other states of Canada, the notaries do not have the power to handle divorce cases. However, if your state does allow notaries to handle amicable divorces, they will charge you depending on your family condition and type of case.

The bailiffs

Bailiffs are used by lawyers to produce and send documents related to divorce cases. You will have to bear their traveling expenses as well. For transportation of one kilometer, you can be charged from $0.65 to $0.85 depending on the state. In other states like Ontario, the amount is fixed for 3 attempts to serve. This amount is around $100 for each bailiff.

The experts

Experts are basically professional psychologists to take you through the mentally and emotionally tiresome process of a divorce. It is always a great decision to acquire expert assistance when you are going through such events in your life. However, their fee can be quite high, actually. You should be prepared to spend from $2,000 to $15,000 for the service of an expert.

Ways of Cutting Costs in a Divorce

As you may have already understood that divorce is lengthy, complicated, and costly. But there are ways you can save a lot of money.

Consider conciliation

This is the best way to cut costs. It is always a fruitful option to consider any financial disaster from divorce at the very beginning of the unhappiness. Of course, no one wants to think of such things when they are trying to fight for a life together.

Nevertheless, this can be greatly beneficial for both parties. Moreover, some states provide you with free family mediation if you have at least one dependent child.

Legal aid

If a spouse has no or low income, the provincial legal aid can provide him or her with free legal counsel. This is mostly applicable to contested divorces.

Tax optimization

Things like life insurance or inheritance money should be kept away from your family and even your spouse. As a result, these will be excluded from the list of assets to be divided in a divorce.

Read More: Tax Advantages of Legal Separation

Marital contracts

This is also known as a prenuptial agreement. This is an agreement done by spouses to fix terms if the marriage faces divorce at some point in their life. It is much better to discuss these things at the very beginning of a marriage. Eventually, you may be saved from a lot of hassle and unplanned expenses.


Divorces are never easy. You go through a lot of mental, emotional, financial, and psychological pressure. Knowing how much does a divorce cost in Canada is a must for couples going through unhappy marriages. When there is no option of saving the marriage, the best choice is to get separated with low-cost approaches.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of divorce in Canada?

An uncontested divorce can cost $1,400 on average, ranging between $1,000 to $2,600. A contested divorce is quite costlier. The range is $7,000 to $74,000, with an average of $14,000. It’s to be noted that the cost of divorce in Canada is not limited to paperwork, nor is it fixed. And, there are other costs included.

Who usually pays for a divorce?

Both the party pays the cost of divorce and attorney fees. Sometimes the judge may consider the circumstance and order the husband to cover the wife’s expenses. But, most of the time, the wife needs to claim a logical reason for that.

Is divorce expensive if both parties agree?

In uncontested divorces cases, where the husband and wife agree on major issues, the cost is comparably so much lower. It can be as low as $500 only. There must be other costs because of state-wise rules or other factors. Still, it’s reasonable.

How long does a divorce take after filing papers?

A divorce case can be dismissed within 4 to 6 months if the court sessions regarding hearing and respective issues run timely. However, depending on the complicacy, such as contested divorces take a longer period to finish.

Can you get a divorce without a lawyer?

It is not necessary to have a lawyer for every divorce. If the husband and the wife mutually agree on their issues and file the paperwork themselves, there is no need for any lawyer. The reason is- there is no need for any legal advice.